Day #2 of my internship at Ai Group went really well. I'm so excited to be working with the organization. It's a little nerve-wracking because they expect me to be their "expert", which is quite a stretch! But hopefully we'll learn a lot from each other. My supervisor, Andrew, took me to the Australian Parliament house which was really useful because Australia is having an election later this year and hopefully now I will understand a little bit of what's discussed in the papers. We also met an Australian journalist that covers international trade-- that was really interesting with the recent events in the Doha Round and then the APEC ministerials meeting will be held in Sydney in September. Of course, you probably have no idea what I'm referring to but it's really excited for a trade nerd like me. I met a really nice guy on the bus ride back who was about my age and is working for the Australian Dept of Defence. It's interesting to hear that everyone has the same experiences at the beginning of their career, even on the other side of the world.
I got back to Sydney late Friday night and went out for another night on the town. I'm worried that everyone will lock themselves in their rooms once the semester starts so I'm trying to live it up as much as possible. I had to get up incredible early today, Saturday, to head out for the wine and whale weekend! I'm actually in Newcastle now. We spent the day wine tasting and are now in a hostel at the beach. It's amazing how much everyone drinks here- who would think you'd take shots at a winery?? It was crazy, but fun.
Overall, I'm feeling like an emotional rollcoaster, having fun one minute and then quite lonely the next. I'm much older than everyone else here, which I wasn't really expecting. Just about everyone I have met so far is a junior in college, so that makes me a good 5-6 years older. Not a big difference in years, but it's a huge difference in maturity level. I'm kind of thinking now that any further traveling I do around the country will be independent, rather than with a tour group. Everyone is really nice, but I'm hoping to meet some older people in my classes. School starts up again on Monday!