Jillayne Adamyk - 2015 Program Participant

What inspired you to apply for an international program?

I come from a family who loves to travel, so I have grown up travelling and I love it. The opportunity arose where my schedule was pretty open for a semester, and I thought it would be a great time to go abroad and intern abroad.

Why did you choose CAPA The Global Education Network?

As a senior, the most important thing to me was choosing a program with an internship applicable to my major to help me after graduation. CAPA was the only program with a guaranteed internship, so that really impacted my decision, since I wanted to have the best internship experience possible. I liked the conversations I had with my CAPA adviser on the phone and the extras that the program offered!

Sydney Harbour Bridge at night

Sydney at night

What was your favorite part about living in Sydney?

I loved Sydney in the spring, with all of the markets and festivals. It's super easy to get around Sydney and to get from downtown to the beaches.

What surprised you most about Australia?

What surprised me most about Australia and Sydney was how similar it is to American culture from English and international influences, but at the same time is an alternate universe where words have different connotations and meanings (such as: a pepper is called a capsicum). Since Sydney is a very international city, there aren't many Australians concentrated there. I also honestly expected it to be a bit warmer!

What makes CAPA unique?

Definitely the internship program. They did a great job pairing students with organizations and creating a balance of school, interning, and fun.

How supportive were the local CAPA staff in Sydney?

The staff were great! We got weekly emails with local events, as well as CAPA news and events. We visited them often to hang out and chat about what to do and see. There was always a weekly snack of Australia novelties too! They were responsive and receptive to any issues.

What's one thing you wish you would have done differently?

I wish I booked flights further in advance in order to save some money!

Describe a day in the life of your program in Australia

Weekdays, I would get up and go to class in the morning and then grab lunch before taking a bus to my internship. At my internship, I would help at the front desk, assist with patients, and take pilates at the end of the day! Then, back at the apartment, I would cook dinner, hang out with my roommates, and go out and explore. This was the routine for the two days a week I had class; the two other days, I would intern most of the day. Usually, I had a day off, when I would explore everything that Sydney had to offer.

What was your favorite pastime when you weren’t at your internship?

My favorite activity was exploring coffee shops and markets. There's markets in numerous neighborhoods on Saturdays that are really fun to explore. Afterwards, head to a beach!

Tourist with a kangaroo in Australia

Meeting Zoe the Kangaroo

What type of accommodation did you have in Sydney? What did you like best about it?

There was the option to stay in homestays or apartments, and I opted for the apartment. It was four bedrooms with four bathrooms, so each double had a bathroom. There was a shelving unit in the middle of the room, dividing it so that it was a little more private. The kitchen was nice and new, and there was a big couch and a TV. I liked the outside community kitchen and the free BBQs every Friday night!

Do you have any packing tips for individuals headed to Sydney?

Pack layers and a good jacket! When I arrived in September, it was spring, but there were still some chilly and rainy days. The temperature can change a lot, so be prepared! I'd also recommend bringing your favorite sunscreen, as it is pricey in the city and you will need it. Since the ozone layer is so thin, even if you don't burn in the states you will most likely burn in the Land Down Under.

What was the hardest part about studying and interning abroad?

The hardest part about studying and interning abroad was sticking to a food budget and cooking for myself. I have always been on the meal plan at school, so it was a new experience to have to grocery shop for all of my food. I tried to plan out my meals so that I wouldn't go out to eat often and attempt to cook healthy foods. I would recommend collaborating some dinners with roommates so that you can split the grocery bill (and clean less dishes)!

What is one thing you wish you would have known before studying and interning abroad in Australia?

One thing I wish that I would have known is that the time goes by so quickly and, all of a sudden, you have four weekends to go everywhere you want, and the prices of the flights are now high! I wish that I would have planned ahead a little more so that I could have seen more of Australia, but there were always fun things like festivals and markets going on in Sydney, and always something to do and more to explore.

How has your experience abroad helped you grow?

I became more comfortable in my own skin. Escaping the bubble at my school and taking the leap to travel very far away, alone, made me more confident in myself and my ability to adapt to new situations. I also grew professionally and learned the value of asking clarifying questions and being engaged every day.

I think that you can be all the way across the world and find something that makes you feel completely at home, and something else that makes you feel like an outsider. It took a little time to feel comfortable and not miss my family and friends, but I caught myself calling the apartment home and my friends my family. I can't wait to reunite with them and travel back to Sydney someday.

If you could study abroad again, where would you go?

If I could study abroad again, I would like to go somewhere completely different, like South America. I have always wanted to visit Brazil and explore the food, culture, and landscape.