1.Familiarise yourself with your new city.
Spend a few days wandering about, going to offbeat nooks and areas of the place. Nothing is better than to feel at home and comfortable where you live and what better way to do that than to find some cool cafes and spots in the city where you can go to chill or study when you feel like? If you are looking for cafe suggestions or places to visit in Canberra, you can browse through Visit Canberra’s website: https://visitcanberra.com.au/
One of the most iconic events happening in Canberra is the annual balloon festival. Every year, hundreds of hot-air balloons are being flown in Canberra during the festival. You can also book a spot to ride in one!
2. Make sure to keep in touch with your family and friends.
It’s always nice to have a support system behind you, especially if you are feeling out of place or lonely in a new environment, which everyone is likely to feel at some point- it’s not always easy. To ensure this, make sure you have at least one person who you can talk to about everything and can be there to help or talk you through things when you’re feeling down. Internet and Wi-Fi connections are readily available around ANU Campus. If you ever need high-speed internet connection to call or video-call your family home, you can definitely do it on campus or even in your campus accommodations!
3. Try to make new friends and attend events so you’re doing things and keeping yourself busy and having fun.
Only speaking to friends and family back home will not be enough- surround yourself with new people and fun events that are happening at your new university. Chances are you will meet some people that will become lifelong friends and that you will make some great memories with.
There are many social events hosted by ANU Global Programs as well as the university itself. ANU Global Programs organizes monthly social events for exchange students to connect with each other! They also host a lot of events for exchange students during orientation week. It is definitely a good opportunity to meet new people and make friends.
There are also over 50 interest groups in the university, ranging from sports groups, performing arts, cultural clubs and many more! You can look through list of student-led organizations on campus through this website: https://anusa.com.au/life/clublist/
4. Don’t forget that you can also just stop with the pressure of making the most of your time abroad whenever you feel like.
It’s completely okay to take some time for yourself. Treat yourself once in a while, do some face masks, stay in bed to watch movies all day- whatever makes you feel better because sometimes it’s nice to spend some time alone and clear your head.
5. Travel to cities and towns around where you’re staying to explore and get to know the culture.
Travelling is always fun- whether solo or with friends- and seeing other places in a new country are likely to make you more comfortable and happy. You get to see more things, meet locals, interact with the country on a level beyond just your university. Canberra is located about 2,5 hours away from Sydney, the beach or the snow! You can easily purchase a bus ticket to go to Sydney, snowy mountains or to Bateman’s Bay (the beach!). There are also several organized trips for exchange students. They are completely optional but you do have the option to go on a tour to Sydney, blue mountains, surf-camp at the beach and many more!
6. Read about the country you’re moving to beforehand to learn more about it, the people, the politics and the culture.
Understanding where you are going will help you feel a little less out of place when you arrive. It can also help prepare you to be more personally accommodating and open to what the new environment will bring to the table. If you want to look through what Canberra might look like, you can refer to Visit Canberra’s website and Study Canberra’s website. https://visitcanberra.com.au/ and https://www.studycbr.com.au/
7. Be open to new things and going out of your comfort zone, its likely the culture at your destination is different and it’s always fun to experience something new. Most things are worth trying at least once. BUT do not do anything you are opposed to and try not to succumb to peer pressure. If you feel uncomfortable about doing something or you feel doubtful, don’t do it.