“I chose to study in Australia because I felt like Australia would offer a really neat experience. A lot of American students go to Europe, but I felt like Australia had a great environment where you can go to the luscious rainforests on the coast and nice beaches, or you could explore the Outback, and I thought that was a really good contradiction which would be great to experience.
“I chose to study at UQ because I heard it was really prestigious and I think that its definitely held true since I’ve been here. It’s also very internationally focused, with a lot of international students, so you get to meet Australians, as well as people from all over the world, which I think is really cool.
“I’m doing a lot of biology courses because that’s my major back home. I’m taking the Zoology course and we’re doing a project where you track sea turtles and water dragons, which is an awesome field-based project. I’m also doing a marine science course, which lets us go on trips to Heron Island on the Great Barrier Reef, and we went to Moreton Bay two weeks ago, which was an awesome experience and it was beautiful there. I’m doing another biology course and we’re going to Fraser Island, which is the largest sand island in the world.
“From these field trips you get a real hands-on experience, so you can remember what you’re learning about. It’s one thing to just have the lecture and class, telling you (for example) about the different types of fish; but it’s completely different to go out to Moreton Bay and actually catch them yourself – it’s something you can easily remember, which you don’t get back at my home university, where you don’t have coral reefs, sand islands or rainforests.
“One of the main things that I think is good about studying abroad is that you get to meet all kinds of people from different cultures. It makes you more accepting, which is one of the main reasons I chose to study abroad, and it has helped me open myself up to new cultures. But also, the courses that I’m taking really pertain to my major in biology, and this experience gives me a step up over people who are in the laboratory all day.
“I absolutely feel at home in Brisbane. I went to Sydney recently, which is a bit bigger and more overwhelming, but Brisbane is a smaller city so you can get more of a ‘homey’ feel, but there’s also a lot more to do and it’s a really neat experience. I’m actually living at one of the colleges on-campus, so that provides another sense of community.”