Every day the people around you go on trips, to new places you haven’t been, and have new experiences. And the only way you’re going to get in on it is by inserting yourself. It seems hard and super awkward when you’re talking to a friend and they say “oh yeah I’m going hiking at [insert name here] National Park this Sunday” to reply with “that sounds so fun, can I come too?” It feels forced and uncomfortable, but at the end of the day if you don’t ask you won’t get to experience it.
Sometimes it doesn’t work out. Last week I found out a friend from another program is going to an AFL (Australian Football League) finals match, so I texted him asking for more information. By the time I found out and asked tickets had been sold out and I can’t go, which is frustrating. Study Abroad students stick together- we form group chats, invite each other to Facebook events, and we’re always looking to hop onto each other's plans. Basically it feels like we’re 14 all over again.
Most programs also offer their own excursions. Trust me, you’re not paying them thousands of dollars just to help you get a visa and figure out your classes. Arcadia hosts a great selection of unique day and weekend excursions throughout the semester, from Surf Camp to Walking Tours and everything in between, to offer us a genuinely Australian experience firsthand from our Australian program managers (shout-out to Katrina and Mazz and Gizmo!).
Now, most of the time I’m that kid who misses the huge campus-wide announcements about footy game trips or free food events, but I’ve been trying to get better about it. What I’ve learned is that looking at the weekly emails from my uni, asking my friends to invite me to events, and actually looking at the posters around my dorm are a good place to start. Most importantly, liking and following local and Uni pages on social media that are relevant to your interests has helped me find cool events.
I’m usually too lazy to sign up for events, or even put them on my calendar, but since going abroad I’ve realized that if I want to have any fun, I should take advantage of the resources that are literally being handed to me by all of the institutions that surround me.