Why did you choose to study abroad with SFS?
I knew I wanted to study in Australia since I was in high school. Through several changes in academic major and life plans, I decided to just do what I want to do for now and figure out what I’m passionate about. I knew I loved ecology, so I used this opportunity as a way to see if research would be something I want to pursue further. And living in the rainforest isn’t a bad bonus.
What are you first impressions of the country?
I’ve loved Australia ever since I landed in Brisbane. Even from the airport I could see birds that I’ve never seen before. I think the weirdest thing for me was riding in a car that was driving on the opposite side of the road. Round-a-bouts are especially scary. I’m getting used to it though!
What are you first impressions of the field station?
Since I arrived here, I’ve been excited for every walk around the Center. We are right in the middle of the rainforest so we’ve seen a ton of wildlife just on our walks to class. We’ve joked that being here almost feels like summer camp because of the cabins and different activities that we do every day.
What do you think the biggest challenge will be for you this semester both academically and culturally?
I think FOMO (fear of missing out) will be huge for me this semester. If I have work to do while everyone else is doing something, I will have a hard time prioritizing. Thankfully, we all have work to do and will have to sacrifice, and everything we do here is awesome. The slang is also hard for me to keep up with. It’s fun, though, to learn new words and try to use them with the other students.
What are you looking forward to the most about the semester?
I can’t wait to start Directed Research projects. I think it will be really cool to take a project of our own and have support from everyone here to get something from it. I’m also excited about the first Cairns weekend to go out and see the Great Barrier Reef.
Give three words that best describe how you are feeling right now.
Peaceful, cold, livingthedream.