To go home or not to go home?
As I mentioned previously, I finished my exams on the 30th of October. Since then I have mostly been sorting out lots of admin work: arranging my accommodation for when I get back to Warwick, sorting out some finances, returning library books, and more importantly: planning my summer!
I will be travelling to Tasmania tomorrow and I am super excited! I am going with 3 other friends from halls *shout out to Iris, Aran and Bhavya* and a local friend of mine *shout out to Mudit*. It is crazy how a few months ago I was thinking about whether I will meet people to travel with, and now here I am with the flights and an itinerary sorted, ready to go!
Post exams is definitely a good time to get lots of travelling done. However, I would recommend that you don't leave straight after your last exam. I really enjoyed being here for a while and spending time with friends I wouldn't be travelling with, and also just using the opportunity to get to know the locals better! Additionally, I would suggest not limiting your travels to just other exchange students (or even just Warwick students for that matter). There is so much value to be held in travelling with others, you will learn so much from them and it will be an awesome experience I am sure.
Don't rush with your travel plans either. There were some people who knew exactly where they would be going and decided who they would travel with within the few weeks! It will work out in the end so take your time. You will meet people later in the semester too who will be up for exploring, there is no rush to make decisions quickly (which probably limit you to just the halls people that you spend the most time with, especially in the first few weeks). It is easy to compare your plans to others - remember, everybody has different priorities, whatever happens, you will have had an awesome summer!
That brings me to my next point: deciding whether to go home during the summer or not.
Since the academic term is different here - you will end up having a really long summer (Mid November/ Early December-Mid February). This may be a good time to visit home for a bit and finally eat those foods that you may be missing. From what I gather, there are definitely more students visiting home. This is completely okay - so if you are thinking of not choosing Australia because it is too far to go home during the summer, don't let that stop you! It is really common. Equally though, this may be a good time for your family to visit you here in Australia which is awesome.
Personally, I have decided that I don't really want to visit home, I would rather spend a full year in Australia. Whilst a lot of the exchange friends I have made are going, there are 3 locals who are up for travelling and it is also a good time to do some solo travels! I am really excited to be spending Christmas and New Years here, and whilst I don't know exactly what I will be doing then - I am sure it will be awesome either way :)
Whatever you decide to do - make sure you go with the best decision for you! Some people will want to go home and others will prefer to stay. Whilst I will definitely miss the opportunity to meet my friends back home before they graduate next summer, I am sure we will continue keeping in contact!
Time to begin packing!
Shanita :) xo