I think there are two main things I would pass along to people who are looking to study abroad in Sydney in the near future. One concerns the living arrangements while you are abroad and another concerns a travel destination.
Currently, accommodations are organized by NYU, so until that changes this advice is not really applicable. However, I believe the school should reevaluate their stance on off-campus housing because most people are adults and it’s frankly none of the schools business where students decide to live. So, my advice, for after the school has seen the light, to students is that they, independently or with the help of the school, should try to find housing near Bondi Beach. The commute from Bondi Beach would probably be about 45 minutes and 20 minutes from Bondi Junction, but this small sacrifice would be well worth it. Although my experience in Sydney was already very good, I believe my life would have been significantly enhanced if I was living right next to the beach. The nightlife in the city isn’t great, so you wouldn’t lose much in terms of that by living close to Bondi, and the bar scene in that area isn’t too shabby. The food isn’t really that relevant, because most of you will cook at home anyway, but, in case you do want eat out, the food near Bondi is much healthier than in Haymarket. On top of these miscellaneous details, the main point is you get to live right on the beach, right when it warms up during the fall semester and for most of their summer during the spring semester. I think this is an unbelievable opportunity for people who don’t live this way when at home, or at NYU, so I am disappointed that I was deprived of this opportunity by the school. I can’t see much of downside to this way of living. Everyday can be a short beach day with fresh ocean air and a calming beach atmosphere.
My second piece of advice is aimed mainly at anyone that practices yoga. If you have a chance to wander out to Byron Bay for a long weekend, then you have to visit Creature Yoga while you are there. This is by far the best yoga class I have been to anywhere. The class isn’t really for beginners, so you do need to know the basics fairly well in order to keep up, but the instruction and classflow are miles ahead of any class I have participated in since I have started practicing yoga. Just as a reference this is the only studio that actually has an understanding of how important Shavasana is, which is evidenced by the fact that they let it go for 8-10mins at the end of class. Besides the yoga class there were other great things about Byron Bay too, which anyone can enjoy. It has a lot of healthy food options and in general has somewhat of a hippy vibe going. The atmosphere is very relaxing and the beaches are great. The only downside is that Byron Bay, due to its increasing popularity, isn’t exactly cheap. The prices are probably comparable to Sydney, so you do need to plan on bringing along some cash.
I do realize I haven’t given that much to use here, but I think it’s best for you to get out there and explore for yourself and not rely too much on other people’s reviews of Sydney.