Lilibeth Resendiz - 2015 Program Participant

What inspired you to study abroad?

I'm an international relations major and love to travel; studying abroad was always in my college plan. I chose to study with CAPA because I'd be studying, living, and working in Sydney. When I travel, the most important thing to me is to fully immerse myself in the local culture, and CAPA really strives to make you feel at home.

Girl with a wallaby in Australia

Mr. Wallaby and me

Why did you sign up for a program abroad with CAPA The Global Education Network?

CAPA worked with my home institution to create a academic program that would allow us to intern throughout Sydney, whilst completing a writing minor. They are great at maximizing your time abroad!

What was your favorite part about living in Sydney?

Sydney is an incredibly city, with so much to do and see. It's impossible for me to pick a single thing.

What made your experience in Australia unique?

My internship really made my study abroad experience one-of-a-kind. I was able to experience Australian office culture and truly become part of the community. That's something that cannot be replicated!

Staff at Cancer Council in Sydney, Australia

My Supervisor Jo and me

How would you describe CAPA The Global Education Network’s local staff?

CAPA's Sydney staff are the most hardworking, genuine, amazing, and wonderful people I've ever met. Tamara and Andrew worked incredibly hard to make our study abroad experience unforgettable. If there was ever a problem or concern, they were quick to address it.

The best source to what’s going on in Sydney will come from the CAPA team in Sydney. Tamara and Andrew send out emails every week to let you know of any cool events happening. For food and drink, Andrew will have the best suggestions (like the Dumpling Festival), and Tamara can tell you where you can find Sydney’s hidden gems.

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

The only thing I wish I had done differently would be planning a longer stay. To this day, I'm so incredibly surprised how much Sydney felt like home, I wish I had stayed longer.

Describe your typical day in Sydney.

On days that I had class, I'd take a train to North Sydney with my classmates. Because we only had class twice a week, Wednesday's were spent in the classroom from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Friday's would be "field trips" from 9 a.m. to 1:00 p.m..

The rest of the week was spent at my internship site, Cancer Council NSW. A typical day in the office would start with “sunrise” yoga with my boss, morning tea, and then a team meeting at 10 a.m.. Then, we’d all break off and work on any tasks for the day. For me, it would vary day-by-day; sometimes, I’d set out in the city for meetings with sponsors and vendors or work alongside the PR department to set out comms (emails and calls) to sponsors, volunteers, and VIP’s.

Lunch hour always had something new; on a slow day, it would be a quiet lunch at Third Village Coffee, and, on other days, it would be team bonding at the pool. By 2 p.m., we’d be back at our desks, working on Seven Bridges Walk planning, and assisting conference calls, which would typically continue for the rest of the working day.

Seven Bridges Walk, New South Wales, Australia

Seven Bridges Walk 2015

What did you enjoy doing in your free time?

The great thing about living in Sydney is that it has something for everyone: world-class beaches, hundreds of miles of trails to hike, diverse restaurants, local boutiques, and an efficient transportation system that will take you anywhere you want to go. My Sydney was a collection of hidden beaches, local coffee spots, and incredible hikes. I found the best flat white at The Nectar Coffee House on Mountain St. I snorkeled with the local legend “Bluey” at Clovelly Beach and witnessed the most amazing sunrise from the cliffs of Bronte Beach. The reason that these places were so special was because they catered to my interests and played an important part in my inauguration as a true Sydneysider!

Where did you live in Sydney? What did you like most about your housing situation?

I lived in Ultimo, a suburb of Sydney. Ultimo is a 10 to 15 minute walk from Central Station, the major transportation hub in the city. The apartment that I lived in was part of Urbanest (student accommodation), and it was the most ideal living situation! Because we were placed in the middle of the city, I was a short commute from Sydney’s main attractions: a 10-minute walk to Darling Harbour; a 15-minute train ride to Circular Quay; and a 20-minute ride to campus. There was always something happening around the neighborhood. From Glebe to Darling Harbour, to Haymarket, to everything else in between, I was never bored.

What is one thing every participant should know before signing up with CAPA The Global Education Network?

Don't blink. There's so much to see and do, soak it all in.

This is YOUR study abroad experience, it is up to YOU to make it as memorable as possible.

Sydney Harbor, Australia

Secret Spot, overlooking Sydney Harbour

What was the biggest thing you took away from your international experience?

Initially, I was hesitant to study abroad because I didn’t want to take three months off of my routine. This is why I chose Sydney. They offered an internship component and I figured I could justify exploring another country because I would not only be able to go to school, but I would also be completing an internship. Little did I know that Sydney was going to take my routine and throw it out the window.

The culture really forces you to slow down and take it easy, as cliché as that sounds. A common Australian philosophy is to take the day “8x8x8”: eight hours work, eight hours play, and eight hours sleep. After spending years overworking myself and rushing towards the next thing, Sydney taught me how to balance my life.

Would you recommend CAPA The GLobal Education Network to others? Why?

YES! CAPA is a great organization, the staff's only priority is to give you the best study abroad experience they possible can.