Study Abroad: Passport to Australia
Hometown: Wooster, Ohio
Study Abroad Location: Australia
Why did you select this Study Abroad program?
As a biology major, I have a career goal of going to veterinary school. The University of the Sunshine Coast had an internship program that allowed me to get experience with exotic animals. I worked at the UnderWater World Aquarium, where I got to be an assistant aquarist. I performed duties that included rehabilitating injured sea turtles. This opportunity allowed me to substantially improve my resume for veterinary school.
What benefits did you gain from this experience?
I learned to become more independent and live on my own. Because I had limited funds, I had to learn to budget myself. In terms of academics, I was able to finish the requirements for my major. I took Immunology, which is a class offered at BW, and Restoration Ecology which is not offered here.
What three words would you pick to describe the experience?
Adventure - There were so many things to do and see that I never had a dull moment.
Amazing - I learned so much about myself, Australia, and gained knowledge in my field of study.
Unforgettable - It was an experience I will never forget.
Some people think Study Abroad is a vacation. Would you describe it that way?
Most of the time it was not a vacation for me. I had to focus on my classes, which had labs, as well as work at my internship twice a week. I definitely worked hard while I was there, but even the work was fun and exciting. It felt like I was on vacation during the two-week, mid-semester break when my brother came to visit me. We went to Brisbane and the Whitsunday Islands, where we were able to snorkel and scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef.
What was your most embarrassing experience?
While transferring a sea turtle from one tank to another, I put the turtle in the tank in a way that enabled her to splash me, soaking my uniform. It was quite the rookie mistake.
What was your most heartwarming experience?
Being kissed by a dingo while visiting the Australia Zoo.
Are there any ways you are making this experience continue?
I used my experience working with the sea turtles at the aquarium for my senior seminar. As a biology major, I have to give a 30-minute presentation to the faculty in order to graduate. I also used information given to me by the aquarium as well as case studies having to do with individual turtles.