I had very low expectations and was so tempted to cancel. The only reason I didn’t is because I know that it was hard work for the people organizing it and didn’t want to give them extra work. Even when the time came for me to leave, I had it in my head that I would hate the place so bad and I would leave early. My mum dropped me to the airport and I told her I won't continue, and she told me I can do it and I said I'm not staying if I am not happy.
I imaged Sheffield was going to be very dirty, ugly and a lot of homeless people and that I was not going to feel safe. But that is not how it is at all. Now I am so happy and proud of myself that I have made it to the end, and also proud of the other girls I have met as this trip wasn’t easy and we have had some very stressful days. Being on this tour I have met amazing people. And that was what frightened me most is that I didn’t know anyone personally. But now come to think of it I am actually glad that I didn’t because it gave me the opportunity to make friends with so many wonderful people.
I feel like we all became close in this short time, and leant on each other for emotional comfort and support, we all experienced the same ups and downs at the same time. And I think that this has brought us closer together.
I come from a very different background and even though I have been studying in Melbourne for about 4 years I have felt like I don’t fit in with the locals and would always make friends with people from the same background as me. I could never sit down and be myself and have a good time with the locals. Just because we are so different. I felt like there was a barrier and I didn’t know how to break it, but this tour has opened me up and I feel like for the first time I am able to have fun and be myself with the Australian students, which has been really nice.
- Mariam Al Maskari (Bachelor of Urban, Rural and Environmental Planning)