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5 Things To Do In Sydney, Australia

5 Things To Do In Sydney, Australia

I recently went on trip to Sydney, my first time visiting Australia’s largest city, would you believe it. Basically it was a weekend of eating delicious food and seeing most of the sites Sydney has to offer over the weekend. So here it is, I’ve found some tip-top places to go to while you’re chilling in and around Sydney.

Chinese friendship garden

Hidden in Darling Harbour, this garden will make you feel like you’re not in Sydney anymore. It’s a tranquil garden full of greenery and ponds full of beautiful koi fish. I spotted a little lizard and bunny hopping around too! There are lots of photo spots to get a perfect insta photo, or place to sit back and relax and get out of the hustle and bustle of city life.

Ferry ride

Ferries are a form of public transport in Sydney. I know, weird, right? You can use your Opal card to hop on the ferry around Sydney! Ride the ferry to Manly and hang at the beach. Or ride it under the bridge and past the Opera house. Or just do a round trip to see all the sights. It’s a cheap way to get around and see Sydney by sea.

Newtown

The hipster side of town. This area looks a little more run down and old, but it has so much character. There’s loads of second hand shops full of vintage goodies, and old books to swoon over. Newtown has a progressive vibe, you’ll find lots of artsy things, pro feminism and lqbtq+ sentiment. Also, I should mention the amount of delicious places to get brunch or a quick bite to eat. While you’re there pick up some insta-worthy watermelon cake from Black Star Pastry.

GPO cheese and wine room

This is the place in Sydney for cheese lovers. Tucked away under the GPO building in Martin place you’ll find this little gem known as the GPO Cheese and Wine Room. Treat yourself to a delicious cheese fondue, or two, and wine to match. I 100% recommend the truffle cheese fondue, thank me for it later. It has a cosy atmosphere with a bit of class without feeling too pretentious. I almost couldn’t think of a better way to spend an evening.

Hang around The Rocks

The Rocks is one of the oldest areas of Sydney. You’ll find cute streets and little alleyways with old style houses. There’s quirky street art and loads of photo opportunities. There are markets on every weekend to get a quick bite or gift. The action doesn’t only happen in the day though, the nightlife is great too. The Rocks filled with bars, pubs, and restaurants. And if you really want to get your tourist on, the harbour bridge walk starts from the Rocks. You’ll also get a very nice view of the bridge and opera house from the roof top bars.

Have you been to Sydney? What were the quirky things around town you found? If not, what are you looking forward to?

 

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What to do in Sydney
Why You Should Study Abroad

Why You Should Study Abroad

Studying abroad was a highlight at uni for me. I was able to study in both Germany and Japan and it was Amazing. There are loads of options to study abroad, from a full year exchange, semester exchange, summer school, and short 2 week study tours. While it might sound scary venturing off to a new country, where you don’t know anyone, and might not even speak the language, fear not! Studying abroad is an awesome experience and something every student should consider while doing their degree. Here’s why you should study abroad during your degree.

 

People

No doubt, the people you meet while away will become a highlight of your time abroad. You’ll meet students from your own country, other countries, and host country. You’re all the same age, all doing the same thing, and chances are you’re going to bond pretty quickly over that. These are the people you’ll be living with, studying with, and going on epic weekend adventures with. Whatever you’re doing you’re going to be making awesome memories with awesome people that you’ll want to stay friends with for the rest of your life.

 

Resume builder

Study abroad experience looks great on a resume! It shows you’re ready to get out of your comfort zone, and that you’re open to new horizons. You have some life experience, living out of home and fending for yourself in a foreign land. It’s also a good talking point at a job interview, just don’t mention all the nights out!

 

Independence

Living out of home across the globe really makes you become who you are. Apart from having to do the boring things for yourself, like cleaning, washing, and tidying, there’s lots of fun stuff! You can go out when you want to where you want without anyone asking any questions. Your dorm room will be your zone for just you so you can make it exactly what you want it to be. It’s the time to develop your person and learn to just rely on you.

 

You’re young and free

While you’re young and have no commitments you have no excuse not to travel abroad! When else will you be debt free, with minimal rent, have loads of free time and holidays, and nothing to tie you down. Make the most of this time before uni finishes and commitments and adulting starts.

 

Learn the language

If you’re a language student, or keen on learning a new language, this is the best way to do it. There’s no better way to pick up a language than immersing yourself in it. You’re forced to learn it without really putting in the effort. You’ll soon pick up common phrases from train stations and shops from your every day life. You might even be able to strike up some small talk with the locals. The longer you stay, the better. And try to not revert back to English just because it’s easy. If you put in a little more effort to speak and understand the language whenever you can, it’ll do your skills wonders.

 

Become a local

You know you’ve become a local when you’ve been to the gym, cinema, and become a regular at the corner café. There are some things that you do while living in a city that you just don’t do as a tourist. Get to know the place you’re living and live how the locals live to really get to know a place. My best feeling-like-a-local moment came when a German lady asked me about how to get somewhere on the train, and I could tell her exactly where to go, in German!

 

Get a loan from the government

Every country will be different when it comes to this, so before you read on I’m speaking in reference to Australia. As an Australian student studying overseas you’re eligible to apply for an OS-HELP loan from the government. You can loan around $6,800 and over $7,000 if you’re studying in an approved Asian country. What’s not to love!? You can receive two of these loans during your degree, and it simple gets added to your HECS debt. We can deal with that later. Now you’ve really got no excuse to not go! You can find out more about the details of OS-HELP and how it can work for you from your uni’s international study centre.

 

Have you studied abroad? Let me know what your best experience was! If not, would you study abroad?

 

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5 Things To Do In Melbourne, Australia

5 Things To Do In Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne, the hipster capital of Australia. Don’t count that as a bad thing though. It’s full of great brunch spots, quirky alley ways, street art, events, and heaps of places to chill out. It’s my favourite city in Australia for a good reason, mostly because of the food. If you’re ever heading down under to Melbourne, be sure to check out these things while you’re there:

 

Cafes in the Laneways

Melbourne is full of hidden-gems in the laneways, whether it’s quirky shops, hidden experiences, or cute little cafes. I recommend spending some time in the morning strolling through the laneways during the work hustle and bustle when the city wakes up for the day. Besides, if you don’t have brunch in Melbourne, you’re doing Melbourne wrong. My personal favourite is The Hardware Societe. It’s not so much a hidden-gem, rather a quite popular one. Get in early and you won’t regret it, it’s cute, kitsch and delicious.

 

Yarra precinct

Hop just over the Yarra from the hustle of the CBD and find yourself relaxing around the Yarra. There’s loads of restaurants and cafes with river front views along the promenade where you can people watch and sip on some wine. Take a little walk to the Botanic Gardens to escape into a garden wonderland and forget for a moment you’re in the middle of a city. Or check out the art gallery. The art gallery of Victoria is huge has a wide variety of art and there’s always an interesting exhibition to scope out while you’re there.

 

Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)

Us Australian’s like to abbreviate things, you’ll hear the Melbourne Cricket Ground referred to as the MCG, and even that’s too long, so sometimes we just simply refer to it as ‘The G’. If you’re not an Aussie, and you’re in Melbourne during footy season, you should 100% see a footy match at the MCG. Don’t be too confused as to why we call it football but they hold the ball in their hands, I don’t know why either. In the summer you can catch a cricket match, and don’t worry, they don’t all go for 5 days. Check out the Big Bash, whish runs over December and January for a fast paced, entertaining version of the game. Otherwise if you’re not so into seeing the sport, you can always do a tour and learn a bit about it’s history, and even go out onto the oval itself.

 

Hosier lane

If Melbourne had to be famous for something other than brunch spots, it would be street art. All you have to do is check out Instagram and you’ll see what I mean. You’ll find street art plastered all over Melbourne, but if you want to go to THE place, go to Hosier Lane. Take a candid insta pic in your hipster outfit and you’ll fit right in! Don’t worry, everyone else is doing it too!

 

City circle tram

The City Circle tram is a free (yay!) tram line that loops around the Melbourne CBD. Like a hop-on-hop-off bus, but tram version, and in a really cool old style carriage, you’ll be taken around Melbourne to most of the important sites. It’s a great option for tourists to see the city. Grab the map and audio guide and learn about all the points of interest. You can see sites all over Melbourne such as Captain Cook’s Cottage, the Aquarium, Federation Square, Docklands, and other areas of interest along the way. It’s also a great way to get from one end of town to the other if your feet can’t take anymore walking after a day of seeing the city.

 

Heading to Melbourne? What are you most looking forward to, let me know in the comments!

 

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Things to do in Melbourne
5 Things To Do In Stuttgart, Germany

5 Things To Do In Stuttgart, Germany

Stuttgart has a special place in my heart. In 2015 I spent some time studying at uni in this city and got to know it pretty well. While it might not be the top tourist destination in Germany it’s still a beautiful city and full of life. I was lucky to be there coinciding with Fasching / Karneval, which brought everyone out and about all over town for a few weeks to celebrate. It was loads of fun dressing up and drinking a little too much Glühwein (definitely recommend visiting at this time). But moving on, I’d like to share some of my favourite things to do in Stuttgart if you ever get the chance to visit!

Explore the surrounding towns

Stuttgart is surrounded by small towns and suburbs. Spend a day hopping on and off the train to explore new areas. My favourites are Bad-Cannstatt, which is the oldest area of Stuttgart and has a lot of history and festivals, depending what time of year you visit. Another one of my favourites is Esslingen, a small town on the Neckar River, it’s very ‘German’ looking and has lots of interesting landmarks. And if you want to get a bit interesting, you can visit Reutlingen, home to the narrowest street in the world, which is 64cm at it’s narrowest point. It’s definitely worth going a bit out of town to see the surrounds of Stuttgart.

 

Stuttgarter Markthalle (Stuttgart Market Hall)

The Stuttgart market hall is home to so much delicious food you’ll come back with enough food for the next week (almost). Fresh fruit, cakes, bread, cheese, condiments, and everything that you could want in your pantry is there. Stop by on your way out to get some food for a picnic and you’ve got a very delicious and tasty lunch.

 

Stuttgart city library

There are a few libraries in Stuttgart, so don’t get confused! I’ve seen this library on instagram, and on lists of the best libraries in the world, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s modern, airy, and feels like a library from the future. Definitely worth stopping by to take a quick snap and look around. There are even some books in English. It’s only a few stops away from Stuttgart main train station on the u-bahn so it’s easy to get to.

 

Königstrasse

Königstrasse is the main street of Stuttgart and where all the shops and happenings are. Spend some time browsing the shops, check out the little side alleys, and spend some time in the main square, Schlossplatz. Some of my favourites were the book shop Wittwer, homeware store Depot, tea shop Tee Gschwender, and Lang bakery and Konditorei, which is full of delicious German treats.

 

Schweine-musuem (pig museum)

Have you ever wanted to go to the largest pig museum in the world? Now, I’m sure it’s at the top of your to-do list, and guess what? You can do exactly that in Stuttgart. There are pigs in all shapes and sizes, from a giant pig tram to cute plushies, and even pig figurines getting up to some kinky mischief. We were told there are over 40,000 pig items in the museum, which is crazy! If you’re into quirky things or want to boast about going to one of the weirdest museum, I would recommend this one.

 

BONUS – Ritter Sport Factory

While this isn’t in Stuttgart, it’s one of the closest capitals you can reach the Ritter Sport Factory from. Waldenbuch is about an hour by public transport or half an hour drive from the city, and is totally worth your time to go. If you’re a chocolate lover like me, this might just be your slice of heaven. And if you haven’t tried Ritter Sport yet, do yourself a favour and get your hands on some now! They have THE BEST chocolate in all sorts of flavours like yoghurt, cornflakes, and interesting seasonal flavours every year. You can do a factory tour, go to the museum, and visit the Ritter Sport shop to pick up some blocks of deliciousness.

 

So, let me know. Have you ever been to Stuttgart, or is it on your travel list?

5 things to do in Stuttgart

What to do in Stuttgart
5 Things To Do In Tekapo, New Zealand

5 Things To Do In Tekapo, New Zealand

Tekapo might be a small town on the south island of New Zealand, but it has a lot to offer. Its picturesque surrounds and chilled vibes make for a relaxing getaway from the usual hustle of travel. Here are my 5 things I recommend you do while in Tekapo!

See the lake

Lake Tekapo is obviously a highlight of this small town. It’s rich blue colour and mountainous backdrop is perfect for an insta pic, or to marvel at for hours on end. In winter you can see the snow capped mountains not so far away, while in spring and summer you’ll find gorgeous purple lupine flowers.

 

Mount John hike

If you’re in Tekapo for a day or two and you’re into hiking (or long walks) this is one for you. It starts near Tekapo Springs and takes you up Mount John to the Observatory, which is a nice pit stop along the way. Offering beautiful views of the lake as you walk along, the upwards climb is definitely worth it. Take some water, snacks and your camera with you so you can stop off at the sight seeing spots because there are definitely plenty of photo opportunities along the way.

 

See the stars

Spending the night in Tekapo is 100% worth it. The town is in a dark sky reserve, meaning there is minimal light pollution at night. Head outside in the dark and you’ll see more stars than you’ve ever seen in your life before, it’s honestly breath taking. If you want to understand more about the constellations hit up the locals where you’re staying, they’re happy to share their knowledge, otherwise there are organised tours at the observatory. If you are heading out by yourself don’t forget to take a torch or phone with you so you can see where you’re going, we don’t want any injuries in the night!

 

Tekapo Springs

Tekapo Springs is like a little relaxation zone is an already pretty relaxed place. There’s different hot pools with different temperatures which you can chill out in and enjoy the atmosphere. Unfortunately they’re not natural pools, but they’re about the next best thing. In winter there’s also a snow tubing area, which is what we went for and was incredibly fun. You can also buy value passes that allow you to go snow tubing, in the pools, and ice skating all in the same day.

 

Church of the Good Shepherd

This is the prime tourist destination in Tekapo. It’s a small church situated just in front of the lake; it’s the perfect photo opportunity. You’ll find busloads of tourists coming in all day so I recommend visiting early morning to beat the rush.

 

Have you been to Tekapo? Tell me about your favourite things there! If not, tell me what you’d like to see!

 

What to do in Tekapo