Obviously, my last post about Australia had to be about where it all started and ended, in the city of Wollongong. This cute seaside city located south of Sydney was my home for four and a half months. It was here where I spent most of my time studying at Uni, sun bathing on the beach at Fairy Meadow, watching GOT on a Saturday night, going out on a Wednesday to The Grand, running to the lighthouse, eating a delicious kebab at Eat Street or hanging out with new friends at Campus East. Many memories were made here.
I’m glad I got my first choice of housing, Campus East. It was just a five-minute walk from the beach, a twenty-minute jog to the lighthouse, and a ten-minute bus ride to Uni. It was the perfect location. I lived in Sandon, or what was known as “Trenchtown” or “Trenchie”. It wasn’t the best accommodation in Campus East but I survived. There were six units on Campus East so I met a lot of International as well as Australian students. From America, there were about three distinctive places where everyone came from- CU, IU and some small colleges on the East Coast. UOW also provided accommodation in other parts of town but I really got to know people who lived on Campus East. There was also a gym close by which was super convenient. The grocery store, Coles, was only a ten-minute walk but it felt longer, especially when you were pushing a cart of food.
Campus was about the size of CU except it looked like a rainforest. You were surrounded by ponds and crazy trees that seemed like they came straight from a Dr. Suess book. You were also guaranteed to find a coffee shop in a fifty-foot radius. If I were trying to get a good grade in my classes it would probably have been difficult, but since I was only there to pass, classes were a breeze! I still had to do loads of work and study a lot, but compared to CU it was nothing.
The night life in Wollongong was alright to be completely honest. Each day of the week there would be one specific club or bar all the students (and basically the entire town) would go to. The most popular night to go out was on a Wednesday to The Grand. It was nice because there was a free shuttle there and back which made it a whole lot easier to commute. Every other day we would have to take the town bus or uber. Transportation was good and bad. There was a free bus that could get you any place in town but on weekends it would only come every twenty minutes and stop at 6pm. There was a train station close by where you could use your Opal Card to tap on and it could take you anywhere.
If I wasn’t in Wollongong I was either traveling elsewhere or just taking a train ride to Sydney or to nearby towns. Since I only had class Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, I had a lot of free time to explore and take advantage of the nature close by. Some of the hikes I did were Mt. Kiera (Wollongong), Sublime Lookout (Austinmer), Blue Mountains (Sydney) and Figure 8 Pools (Royal National Park). All the nature was amazing and thankfully I didn’t run into any poisonous snakes or spiders.
The Gong was a great town and I’m grateful I got to study there. Cheers Wollongong and Australia, you will be missed!
Recommended restaurants if you’re ever in town:
- Da Orlando (Wood fired pizza)
- Kinn Thai Restaurant
- Amigos (Taco Tuesday or Wing Wednesday)
- Ziggy’s House of Nomm’s
- Aoba Sushi Bar (Cheap after 7pm)
- Noodle Plate
- Lee & Mee
- Turkish Paradise (Kebabs)
- Raw Energy
- Humber Lounge Bar Café
- Blu Orange