My break thus far

Girl on a road trip.

How I spend my break as an international student. 

Those who live interstate may have found themselves catching the next outbound flight home while those living in Adelaide will use this opportunity to spend some time with family. As an international student, though, flying back home for only two weeks isn’t always a good (much less cheap) choice. So when you can’t go home to your family and you don’t have your regular uni schedule to keep you busy, these mid-semester breaks can get pretty lonesome. In an attempt to feel less lonely, I would usually take this time to explore SA or even other states with my friends. 

I haven’t planned any trips this time around, but past breaks have seen me take short trips around SA such as to Hahndorf, Victor Harbour and Port Elliot as well as interstate to Perth and Melbourne. Not only did I get to enjoy the wonders Australia has to offer but I got to do it with my friends who, like me, are international students and understand what it’s like to be far away from home. 

In way less exciting fashion, I have been spending my time this break catching up with my studies. I know, nerd alert but my classes this semester, whilst very interesting, have been rather heavy in content and for the lack of better words, A LOT. I think semester 2s are my 'Mercury in retrograde': Everything is always so chaotic this time around. 

I’ve also spent some time giving my room a deep clean after weeks of putting that off because I was “too busy studying”. Spring cleaning as one might call it, although winter clearly isn’t planning on leaving us anytime soon. It was pretty therapeutic actually, scrubbing my bathroom floor while pretending I’m an ensemble in that diner scene from tick, tick… BOOM! 

But something more enjoyable than burying my nose in textbooks and mopping my floor has been going on a picnic with my friend. There was a lovely sunny day last week so we made the most of it by having lunch at the botanical gardens. We spent the afternoon chatting away over sushi and strawberries while also trying to keep the ducks and magpies away from our food. Thank goodness we weren’t brutally swooped by magpies!

My friends and I also attended an Aboriginal Dance Workshop held at Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute which was by far the most fun and insightful thing I’ve done this break. We learnt some dances including a welcome dance and a Torres Strait Island sit down dance (my favourite – not only does it remind me of Dikir Barat, a traditional Malay choral ensemble, but we had to do it in a huge circle so it created a strong sense of connection with the class). I’ve always loved learning about other people’s cultures, and getting to listen to the dancers share their stories about dancing, growing up in the country and connecting with their culture while also learning from them was such a memorable experience for me. 

So, it’s safe to say that my break has gone pretty swell! It’s no substitute for home, of course, but getting to connect with friends, learning new things and exploring has also been wonderful. 

Tagged in What messes with your head, mid-semester break, Culture, study, international student, First Nations, Travel