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One Law Student’s Exchange Experience

By Oliver Moore, Arts/Law IV 

It has been nine and a half months since I left Sydney, and like a slightly overdue baby I return big, bouncy and with a healthy thatch of hair. I have had the privilege of gallivanting around this lovely continent and I’m incredibly grateful for the kindness and generosity I’ve been shown by family and friends who have made this all possible. I am (literally and metaphorically) indebted to the world and recognise how lucky I am to have been able to be here.

It all started in September last year, as I parted ways with my home town for the promise of adventure in Berlin. The city certainly delivered, as I danced and d̦ner kebabbed and found a wonderful group of people who kept me endlessly entertained. It is a city unique in its charm and its constant capacity to surprise and delight. Seeing Neuschwanstein, chucking down Guinness in Dublin, enjoying the German opera, immersion in the beautiful baths of Budapest, waiting five hours in a post office, missing a flight, being thrilled and terrified by the chaos of Berlin NYE, skiing in the Alps on Christmas Eve, dancing in the most incredible afrobeats club Рthese are the exchange memories that will stay with me until the day I die.

From Berlin to London with adventures in between, I had decided to do an internship in human rights if I could, and was able to find the NGO Rene Cassin – a match made in heaven. This was the first time that I’ve worked on something that I’m passionate about – and the feeling is truly uplifting. I entered an unabashed idealist – and left with idealism intact, coupled with a sense of anger about the world. Like the wise Darth Sidious once advised to a colleague, I shall use my anger. Not for intergalactic domination however, but fighting evil and dimwittedness – on the side of justice. Living in London, seeing my family there, voting in the general election, I had never felt more British in my life. My internal monologue switched to BBC English towards the end even if I retained most of my charming Home and Away twang. And I never tire of jokes about convicts – hilarious and timeless banter.

My final major stop was in Barcelona where I learnt Spanish for a month and met another set of amazing people. Doing yoga in the park, chilling beachside and sipping cool beer and sangria on the daily, I truly lived the dream before meeting great people on backpacking adventures in the south.

I feel like I’m giving short shrift to all of these places and I can’t really summarise nine months of my life in a Facebook status – but I’ve lived, loved, and had a superjoyous time with a few inevitable hurdles here and there too. I still have the same number and same address back in Sydney, so come to me people I have missed you terribly, and ache to see many faces that have been absent from my life for too long.

Finally, here is a visual representation of the sheer delight I have felt living a charmed life in Europe, followed by my enthusiasm I feel at the prospect of seeing family and friends upon my return. See you very soon Sydney, and to everyone else – I’ll be back xoxoxo

This Facebook status was republished with the full permission of Oliver Moore. 

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