One of the best things about a year abroad is that you know that you are always going to be supported in what you do. Most of this support will come from your family and the friends you make on your journey, but there are also systems put in place for you by both your home and host universities to support you throughout your year. At Flinders, we have the International Student Service (ISS) who keep tabs on all international students – whether they are exchange students like me, or international students who are completing their entire degree in a foreign country. They mainly do this through the usual modes of communication like email or facebook, but one of the really cool things about the ISS at Flinders is the trips they organise so you can explore the local area whilst mingling with the other international students who largely all have the same mindset and are in the same situation as you.
Literally as I am writing this I just got an email from them asking if anyone wants to go on trips to Kangaroo Island (!!!!!) and a tour of the local wine region, Barossa Valley (also !!!!!!!). One amazing trip they organised for us last week was to Cleland Wildlife Park which is located about a 30 minute drive from the uni in a nature reserve half way up Mt Lofty. It was an amazing day, not only as we were able to see kangaroos and koalas for the first time, but also because it was an opportunity to spend a whole day with the international students who were either already friends, or became friends over the course of the day! (I also became friends with the Aussie wildlife so it was really the best day!)