So far, my time here in Australia has been nothing short of amazing. However, the semester is almost half way done which means deadlines and exams are slowly approaching. For the past few weekends, I’ve had the opportunity to do small weekend trips around the area to places like Byron Bay, the Blue Mountains, and Royal National Park. Nevertheless, classes are picking up speed and I’ve had to slowly settle into a new school routine. Back in Philly I had my favorite study spots selected and my study schedule planned out. Here, it has taken me awhile to figure it out.
I tend to do my best work and studying at coffee shops; I’ve always felt that libraries suffocate me. However, I came to the sad realization, after many trials, that free wifi is not as common as in the states. Hence, finding good study spots close to home took some time and research. My top three choices are Clipper Cafe, 107 Projects Cafe, and Bad Manors. These all have a good studying ambience and, more importantly, free wifi. The downside, almost all cafes close at 4 or 6 pm. So for longer and more intense studying spots, I’ve had to deeply explore the university’s campus.
The University of Sydney has 12 libraries/study areas ranging from silent zone to group working area. The library is always open, which is a great advantage. There are also napping pods available in the fourth floor of the library. However these tend to always be packed so it takes awhile to find a place to seat. This is why I tend to go to lounge areas rather than designated study spots. My favorite spot is the third floor of the Law Building. Being a glass building, it has an amazing view and it is typically empty.
Lastly, it is important to actually go to your lectures. Even though this might be the most obvious tip, lectures in USYD are recorded so it is easy to start skipping them. However, we all know that once skipped, the probability that anyone would sit down and actually watch them are slim. I think it is important to note that USYD is an academically rigorous school, so maybe it’s not what people typically think of when they think about studying abroad. Thus, it is important not to fall behind, so that there is time to explore and study. Remember, it’s all about finding the balance 😉