One of the best things about participating in the Core Paris program is obviously the location. The first thing anyone says when you tell them you’re from Australia, is “Oh, so far away”. It is quite literally on the other side of the globe. So of course, when you travel that far and endure a forty-hour transit to get there, you really want to make the most of being where you are.
The program itself provided so many opportunities to see the sights that Paris has to offer. Included in the program was the Siene River Cruise, which a group of us took on a beautiful Sunday evening. It was on this night I came to the conclusion that Paris really is beautiful at absolutely any angle or time of day. We were also taken to visit the breathtakingly beautiful Palace of Versailles and on a VIP Eiffel Tower tour right to the summit. These activities in Paris were an incredible experience alone. However, as I wanted to make the most of my time, like many other ACU students, I decided to stay in Paris after the program had finished and do some travelling of my own.
Once I had said my teary goodbyes to my newfound friends, I met my twin sister in Paris and a new experience began. From Paris we went to the exciting Greek Island of Mykonos, this was hands down one of the greatest weekends of my life. I remember seeing how blue the Aegean Sea was and it took my breath away. From Mykonos we caught the ferry over to the Volcanic island of Santorini where we met up with friends I had made in the Core Paris program, we all went for dinner on the Caldera before watching the World Cup final in the busy town centre.
We said goodbye to Greece, having fallen in love with it, and our love of the ocean took us to new beaches, this time in Barcelona. This would have to be the best city in the world. It had a fast paced city centre with incredible shopping, yet just down the road were stunning relaxing beaches with tanning beds for miles.
After our time in Spain was up we went on to visit an English speaking city, London! It was strange being able to speak my first language after so long having to think before I could speak. From London we stopped into one of my favourite city’s as we were homeward bound and stayed a few days in Hong Kong. This crazy city has so much to offer, shopping, food, theme parks, etc. Just exploring the busy streets and markets, you will always stumble across something you didn’t expect to see, like a pet goldfish market or a cat café.
No matter where I went in the world, I immersed myself in the culture and customs of that place. I never declined an opportunity that came my way. It’s honestly amazing how much you learn about yourself through interacting with people you wouldn’t normally meet and doing things you wouldn’t normally do. I definitely don’t have any regrets about my time spent abroad. If I could, I’d go back tomorrow.