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Finals Week & A Family Visit

Even though finals week is looming, this past week has been a pleasant one. As a student, there’s no better feeling than turning in a major assignment and feeling the weight lifted off your shoulders. Additionally, summer has finally decided to show its face in Melbourne, bringing sunny skies and perfect beach weather. My parents were pleased to be greeted with the warm weather when they arrived on Saturday.

Yes, even though my mother has a strong distaste for long flights, my parents wanted to come visit me during my studies at Collarts, since they’ve never been to Australia either. I’ve been looking forward to their visit for weeks so I can show them around the city I’ve come to appreciate. On Saturday, though they were wary from their travels, we explored the CBD and had lunch together in Southbank. I filled them in on the basics of public transport and answered all of their questions about Australian slang. The next day, I showed them around Elwood, the suburb I’ve been staying in. Even though I still have a few final projects to submit, it’s been a nice change to be able to spend time with family.

Next week our plans include visiting the Shrine of Remembrance and Botanical Gardens, which I mentioned in one of my earlier blogs. We also have a trip planned to the Great Ocean Road, which has been on my list of things to do since I arrived here. Almost everyone I’ve spoken to who has visited Melbourne or Victoria in general has recommended taking the drive along Victoria’s beautiful coastline. I’m looking forward to sharing photos from the trip next week!

Because my end-of-trimester workload at Collarts has been pretty hefty, I don’t have much time left in my remaining week and a half for exploring. Although I did make the trip up to Cairns as I wrote about earlier, I haven’t made it to Sydney like I wanted to. While it can be exciting to travel to other cities or even countries while on study abroad, sometimes it can be difficult to coordinate around schoolwork. However, there is a silver lining. I’ve spent the past three months getting to know Melbourne’s unique culture, and am now comfortable traveling within Australia. I’ve made friends here I won’t soon forget, and anything I haven’t been able to see during my time just gives me another reason to come back.

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