Semester Abroad, Global Correspondents Say Yes

April 17, 2024
By Annabel Sumardi, CAS '24

Annabelone of the Semester Abroad Global Correspondents, shares her experience abroad during the Spring 2024 semester. Follow along with the group of correspondents on our blog and look out for their images on the @pennabroad Instagram feed.

Don’t be afraid to say yes. As the end to my time at the University of Sydney creeps closer, I have found the time to reflect on the opportunities I’ve had while abroad. If I had to give any piece of advice, I would suggest embracing the adventures and whirlwinds of the study abroad life.

Say yes to school clubs and activities. The best way to meet people is to get involved in the community. Joining the volleyball team allowed me to meet some of the best people while abroad. The community and shared interest led me to a group of girls whom I could bond with.

Say yes to beach days or weekend activities. I am lucky enough to have a three-day weekend with my University courses. This extra time allowed me to incorporate beach days and exploration into my weekly routine. Whether I was swimming or snorkeling at Manly Beach, Bondi Beach, or Rose Bay, I have been having a constant blast.

Perhaps the most important yes for me was saying yes to travels and adventures. Over mid-semester break, I embarked on a trip around New Zealand, a bucket list destination of mine. I witnessed the beautiful Southern Lights, and standing under the colors of the night sky left me with a memory of awe. I also experienced the adrenaline rush of polar plunging into the glacier waters at the end of a couple of our New Zealand hikes.


Finally, say yes to the scenic route. While wandering the streets of Sydney, I stumbled across some of my favorite hidden gems. Some of my favorite bookshops and record stores were discovered by accident, and I couldn’t recommend being willing to take a stroll more than when in a new country or location. Planning hikes also provided perfect opportunities to bond with study abroad friends, and I was able to forge friendships and memories that I can cherish forever.

While my time in Sydney may be coming to an end, I am feeling deeply thankful for the countless opportunities that saying yes has allowed me to experience. To future study abroad students, allow yourself to say yes. Being open to new adventures will allow you to experience new places to their fullest potential.

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The Semester Abroad (SA) program offers undergraduate students the opportunity to study in a new global community through extended study for a semester or year. Penn Abroad partners with top institutions around the globe and collaborates with Penn’s undergraduate schools to offer programs for students across academic disciplines.

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