Maintaining my Identity while Studying Abroad in Sydney

When I think about what makes me who I am, I always think about my hobbies, the people I surround myself with, and what’s important to me. I struggle to answer the question “what are your hobbies” because I try to find enjoyment in most things I do, but realistically, my hobbies are reading, going to the beach, drinking coffee, trying new food, and spending time with the people that I love.  

Stuck a phone in a heart shaped hole at the beach to take this picture.

What I Captured 

Reading and Exploring  

On one of my first days studying abroad in Sydney, I visited the local library and got a library card. I used this card multiple times, and my friends begged me to help them get cards too. I tried to go to the beach at least a few times a week to take advantage of the beautiful weather and places Sydney offers.  

Two study abroad students sitting together and smiling

Sriya and I after visiting the Glebe Markets and napping on the beach.

I felt very fortunate to be in Australia during their summer months instead of in Minneapolis winter back at school. 

A green bookcase with a bird on it

Take-a-book-leave-a-book library where I borrowed my next read.

Art Abroad 

Even though I didn’t miss the weather at UMN, I did miss my friends and family dearly. To cope, I spent a lot of time with my new study abroad friends in Sydney.  

A room with art on the wall

A red room in an art museum. There was lots of beautiful work in this room.

I’m very fortunate and grateful to CEA CAPA for providing me with a great group of friends that are very similar to me. 

A group of people sitting at tables in a restaurant

A hidden café behind a bookstore in Glebe. 

We started a book club, visited art galleries, tried new cafés, went on hikes, and did many other things that I personally enjoy.  

A study abroad student walking on a path in the woods

This is a photo of me taking in the scenery on a hike.

I think that I would’ve struggled a lot more if I didn’t have a community of people with similar identities and interests. 

A table with drawings on it

Artwork featuring marine animals in the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne.

While we had a lot of similarities, we also had a few key differences that made us an interesting group.  

A couple of study abroad students smiling for a selfie

Spontaneous sunrise with Shivani after getting no sleep.

As a Quaker, I hardly ever meet other Quakers and never expect to. This is a part of my identity that I never really see “out in the wild” so to speak. I didn’t go to a meeting for worship in Sydney yet because of life getting in the way. I have, however, spent time quietly reflecting on my own, and I was truly happy being in Sydney. 

A person standing next to a bunch of flowers

Flower booth at Bondi Market.

A study abroad student sitting at a table with a pizza

Me, about to eat a $12 pizza.

Piper Salmon is the Content Creator – Photographer in Sydney, Australia, and is currently studying at University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.


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