Both a big deterrent and a big incentive to studying in Australia is the distance from home. From the west coast of the US to Sydney can take about 14 to 16 hours in a direct flight. From the east coast to Sydney, well, without the layover to the west coast, it’s going to add another 5 to 6 hours. As students, the cheapest options often involve some layovers, pre-arrival airport time of 2+ hours, plus driving to the airport, so it’s no easy feat.
Tack on the time zones, and it is certainly difficult to arrange visits and talk time to family and friends back in North America, however, in this modern day of internet and teleportation devices (ok, not there yet) it really isn’t so difficult to maintain connections and avoid homesickness all together.
Innovations such as MSN Messenger, Gmail chat and calls, Skype, Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites keeps you connected no matter where in the world you are. Aside from texts and decent long distant phone plans, you can see your family and friends via webcam. The world has never been smaller!
Occasionally, as you sit in class listening to the twang of your Australian professor, look right-left-right as you cross the street, pay $4 for a coke and sit on one of the beaches of a coastal city of Australia, you may feel a twinge of sadness. Truly, no one is ever so far away, and you are experiencing the adventure of a lifetime, so soak it in.
You’re studying in Australia–a country full of amazing opportunity and a great culture–life is good.