121 days in Sydney — The University of Sydney

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Sydney Habour—-The Opera House

As many people know, I had a great and fun experience during my overseas student internship programme (OSIP), or rather known as ‘attachment programme’. Many had asked me: How did you manage to do it in overseas? By school? By grades? By chance? Well, my answer is No. In fact, I took a long haul route of troubles to get what I want.

Being able to step out of my own comfort zone and to see the different horizons of another city or continent is what I had yearn for ever since I was a child. With an ambitious and curious mind, I seek for nothing but adventure. To see the world, to remember them and keep them save in my memories till I age and grow old. 

Having a strong mindset and determination, I started planning for my last semester, OSIP, since year 2. Instead of just following the usual flow of writing surveys and waiting for answers from the teachers if I could go overseas, I took the initiative to draft an email (with the help of my OSIP partner) and search  for suitable universities that could cater to my needs. Besides, the school on offers two choices, which is of competitive and limited vacancies.

The criterias in which I select the universities are simple:

  • A research group majoring on Biomedical or Pharmaceutical-related.
  • A country that is safe and near home

Initially, it was tough. It was difficult. Tons of rejection emails and no replies from all the universities that I had mailed. I can say, I was desperate. I literally mailed about more than 30 institutes just to get a placement in any research group.—-any countries that is. However, to no avail. There were no good news at all and it was already about 6 months before our internship commence. I was upset and disappointed. It was like a broken dream. I wanted to give up and just suck it up with the school’s arrangement.

FLASHBACK: At that point of time, I was a dating this boy. ( I am not shy to admit it.) This boy which had given me good memories for a month and had broke my heart after. Ironically, he was the one that enlightened and reminded me the existence of THE UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY .—Totally slipped out of my list of universities. Hence, I decided to give it a try.– my last hope. I prayed everyday to God. Hoping He will answer my prayers.—Yes, He did.

I got a casual reply from the Professor from the Pharmacy department—highly related to my course, within a short period of time. I remembered clearly that I was pampering myself at a manicure boutique with my mum when I read the mail. No words can describe how happy I was. My heart skipped a beat and I was doubting my eyes if I had misread the mail: I AM KEEN TO WORK WITH YOU GUYS, PLEASE PROCEED ON WITH YOUR INSTITUTE….

Immediately, I texted my lecturer and told her the good news. After several months of procedures, aplications and acknowledgements were done, I was stepping on the grounds of the vibrant city, Sydney.—- after a year of struggle in getting an acceptance. The struggles are worth it, trust me.

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We took off on 8 September 2012, leaving our friends and family back home. I set a goal and expectations for myself: To bring back only good results on my research, good memories and myself.

Airline: Qantas

Accommodation: Long distance relatives’ cosy crib

Duration: 121days

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The beautiful colours of Sunrise. 

Upon arrival, we were greeted with a clear ombre blue sky. Sydney, being described as a city of diverse culture, cosmopolitan and stunning jewel views. I couldn’t agree more to that. 

#Day 1: Visiting EASTWOOD and settling down at WEST RYDE

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This sign should be in SINGAPORE.– no more drunkards around.

Introducing my first found friend in Sydney, SIMBA!

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Followed by his Alias.
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AWWW… look how lovey dovey they are.–despite the size
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#Day 2: The University of Sydney– Proud to be part of USYD

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The magnificient GREAT HALL.—I am in Harry Potter land. 

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We explored the campus as a visiting scholar. We are proud of ourselves. Very much indeed.

Life is a living story that each of us creates.’—  all it takes is a little bit of Faith, determination and motivation.

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Let’s Mingle and Meet New PetsNFrenz!

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On an early Sunday morning, me, Jason and my bro brought our babies out to play and meet new friends!
Organised by the people’s association head quarters at Leng Kee Community Club.

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Bailey’s signature ‘Motion Sickness’ face.

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Upon our arrival, we were pleased to be greeted with a massive crowd of dogs!!

There were many booths set up as well, along with obedience and training classes. (see images below)

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Adorable apparels for the little ones!
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*Screammms!!!!!* I saw this Q-T pie! Apparently, it’s an Australian breed. Like, ARE YOUR FREAKING SERIOUS? I DID NOT SAW ANYTHING LIKE THAT WHEN I WAS IN AUSTRALIA?!

Introducing this EXTRAORDINARY family of 6 animals! Yes, 6!— no kidding!

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Specifically, they own a Corgi, a Chinchilla, a Hamster, a Lovebird, a rabbit and a Fluffy white cat. What’s amazing, is the fact that these animals are tame and friendly towards each other. Strange, it is but I got to admit I am impressed.  

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Jake says’ “hello! I want my treat!”

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We took a mandatory group photo which rewarded us with three free movie tickets to the Cathay! — Hunger games! 

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I wish I could laze like her.

On Another Island: Privé Café. Bakery.

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A glimpse of the fine, night lights and swaying yachts on the peaceful sea.

Located on another island, Keppel bay island. There, lies a hidden gem by the name of Privé. 
Surrounded by nothing else except the nature reserve and cool breeze from the sea, such ambiance is only best described as B.L.I.S.S.

I chose to dine here for the Birthday Boy because its located on this fine, private island.

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The FOOD 

  • Spicy Sausage Ragu Spaghetti— Arrabbiata sauced with three chillis, it is indeed spicy. I love the texture of the spaghetti, cooked just nice, QQ that is.
  • Club Sandwich– the sandwich that is most worthy to be in your stomach! There, this is good enough to express

The PRICE
For such ambiance and good food, I don’t mind paying the twenties. Well, typically, you are paying for the ambiance then the food. This is a private island, how much cheaper do you expect?!  GEEZ

The AMBIANCE

  • Love how it is situated at a private, surreal quiet place, away from the busy crowds and city life,  surrounded by sea water and a magnificent view of yachts and night lights from high rise buildings. Ahhh.. Life at its best moment.

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Birthday boy trying to be funny.

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Dessert of the day: Oreo Mudpie, with customised birthday wordings.– another reason why I chose to dine here.

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Of course. every dinner have to end off with a photo together.

An additional art piece behind us—the bridge— which makes this place more than just the word ‘lovely’ can describe.
I will definitely revisit here again for their BRUNCH MENU.

Faith’s Food Production: Paddle Pop French Meringue

Meringues- a Swiss and French Cuisine Sweet, often known as ‘Forgotten Cookies’.

Recently, I had attempted a new recipe of baking one of my favourite dessert, Meringue.
As I am planning my 21st birthday cum farewell party next year, I was hoping some of my bakes could be on my dessert bar.

So I thought. Hmm…. Meringues, it is! Easy and fun to bake!
Before my bakes are qualified to be served on the table for more than 50 people, I had to test myself if it is even edible right? Tee-hee.

Fun Fact: Do you know that Meringues are FAT-FREE food? 

The ingredients are as follows:

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tar tar
  • 3/4 cups of castor sugar
  • Food colourings

Just 4 easy steps for making this delightful dessert!

  1. Simply, beat the egg whites in an electric mixer at high speed, until foamy.
  2. Then you can start adding the sugars gradually while beating.
  3. Beat until stiff peaks form.
  4. Bake in a 90 degrees oven for about at least 1 hr and 45 mins. — no kidding. It is easy to make but it’s baking time is a bitch. 

The colours and how it looks like is all up to you!

If you would like a more detailed explanation for each step, you can read : http://www.joyofbaking.com/MeringueCookies.html
I find this article really useful.

You can watch my video on my IG @cassandrafaith.

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It taste like mini cotton candies that is hard on the outside but soft on the inside. Crispy!
One thing to bear in mind: it melts and become soft very quickly within 30 minutes. — for this flaw, I will research and try again.

For the first time of meringue-baking, I give myself a pat on the back. 🙂