The first few days in your new home will go by in a blur. Getting off the plane, getting to your new accommodation, unpacking, buying essentials—suddenly, you’ll realise you’ve been living in Australia for a week.
Now, before classes start, is the perfect time to get to know your city. It will make easing into your new student life a whole lot easier, and take the uncertainty out of living and studying in your new town.
The easiest way to do this is to head to the centre of town, get a map, and just walk around. Familiarise yourself with your city’s layout and get to know a few areas: where to find cheap food, where there’s good shopping, where some nice parks are. See the big landmarks, and use them to get your bearings.
Read More: Explore Your City
While walking is an easy, free, and enjoyable option, it’s not always the quickest way to get around. If you’ve got a bike, ride to and from town or your university a few times before class starts. Having a rough idea of how to get there will save you the anxiety of driving a completely new route on your first day of class.
If a bike isn’t an option, make public transport your friend. Work out which buses and trains take you in the direction you want, and find the ones you need to take to get to class on time.
Read More: Transport Options In Your City
Once you’ve worked out your bearings, and got to understand your transport options, it’s time to get to know what makes your city tick. If you have the time, visit a museum that specialises in your city’s history. Learn about how the city was born, how it grew, and what it’s become. Get to know your city from the ground up and really feel like you’re a part of it.
It might sound touristy, but it never hurts to sign yourself up for a walking tour. This way you’ll see the sights of your town that you want to see, and you’ll get insider knowledge from your local guide. During and after the tour you can ask them further questions on where to go, what to do, or where does the best coffee. Who knows, you might even meet some friends along the way.
Getting to know your new university is much the same. Get yourself a map, and take some time exploring the campus. Make note of landmarks and the buildings you’ll be spending the most time in, so you can orient yourself and get your bearings if you ever get lost. Find out where the good café is (there’s always the ‘good’ one), and where the best food is served. If you ride to school, check out where the bike racks are.
The best way to get to know your city and university is to get out there and explore it yourself. You might find a coffee shop you love, or a place to get a great sandwich, which makes you want to become a regular. At the end of the day, if you get stuck—just ask someone. Explaining that you just moved to town and want to know where’s good to go is sure to get a friendly response. You’ll get information from people who know the town, meaning you’ll feel like a local in no time.