Sydney Internship and Study Abroad Program: Josh Malm '18
Living in Sydney for the past couple months has been an awesome experience that just keeps getting better and better. With so much to do in so little time, there never seems to be a dull moment. Classes, internships, and sightseeing take up the majority of my time here, but so far it’s been a semester to remember.
During a long weekend a few weeks back, I flew to Bali to meet fellow W&L student Ram Raval who was studying abroad in Singapore at the time. The first night there we summited the tallest peak in Bali, Mt. Agung, in time for sunrise the following morning. After taking in the stunning view from the top of the volcano, we went white water rafting on the Telaga Waja River before riding ATVs through the jungle where we saw countless rice fields. Surfing on the western beach of Canggu was mainly for experienced surfers, but it isn’t so bad getting thrashed by giant waves when you’re at a black sand beach on a paradise island. Next on the itinerary was the Sacred Monkey Forest in the central town of Ubud, where scores of monkeys surrounded anyone who pulled a banana out of their bag.
After braving the Balinese long-tailed monkeys, I headed to Tanah Lot Temple where I held a much tamer four meter python. Leaving Bali took a day longer than expected due to a missed flight, but it almost turned into a stickier situation as our taxi started floating down the road in monsoon floods on the way to the airport. Back in Sydney, there was little time to rest before midterms and more traveling.
During our mid-semester break, many of us took the opportunity to travel outside of Sydney for a while. We had a couple Generals in Melbourne, New Zealand, and I headed up to Darwin in the Northern Territory where I was able to experience the beauty of Litchfield and Kakadu National Parks. The Adelaide River, home to thousands of saltwater crocodiles, was a spectacle in itself. While on a river cruise, a park ranger fed many crocs averaging about 4.5 meters in length. These massive animals launched themselves up out of the water right in front of us to to snatch the raw chicken bait before plummeting down beneath the murky river water. After leaving Darwin, I drove with a small group of tourists 1500 kilometers south through the bush to Alice Springs in the heart of the outback. Along the way we stopped at beautiful waterfalls and natural hot springs. Once in Alice Springs, we headed west to explore the unique rock forms of Kings Canyon and Kata Tjuta before venturing to the ever famous monolith of Uluru. These sights were a true Australian experience. But back in Sydney, the fun doesn’t stop.
We have attended many different sporting events in and around Sydney. To name a few, we have attended Rugby Union, Rugby League, Soccer, a Greyhound Race, and Australian Football League games. A few of us are enrolled in an Australian sporting class at the University of Sydney, so we are able to get credit for a class while getting rowdy with our professor at these games. Unfortunately, Sydney FC is the only local team that consistently stays on the winning side of their games.
Just this past weekend, we rented a van and made our way a few hours down the coast to Jervis Bay, a small coastal town that boasts beaches with the whitest sand in the world. This small little beach town was a relaxing getaway from the hustle and bustle of college life in a major Australian city. The trip was complete with dolphins swimming just off the shoreline, countless Rainbow Lorikeets darting through the trees, and two attempts at watching the sunrise over the water that resulted in a beautiful view over the bay on our final morning. Renting a van out to eight college kids with minimal driving experience on the left side of the road may not have been East Coast Rentals’ best move, but we returned the van in one piece at the end of a relaxing weekend.
Although we’re studying here in Sydney, there is definitely enough time to get out and see what the city and this whole side of the world has to offer. Sometimes it can be hard to remember that we’re more than 9,000 miles from home, but a quick train ride down to Circular Quay to see the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge serves as a striking reminder that we’re living the dream in a far away country.