First Impressions of SFS Australia

Posted: February 8, 2016

Why did you choose to study abroad with SFS?
I chose SFS because I wanted a field-based study abroad experience in which I could become familiar with ecosystems that I don’t have access to at home. I have always wanted to live in the rainforest, so this program is a dream come true for me!


Photos: Lucy Portman

What are your first impressions of the country?
So far, Australia has been amazing! All of the people that we have interacted with this week during our visits to town for the community tree planting have been very friendly. Also, everything is so beautiful here that it would be hard to not love it.

What are your first impressions of the field station?
After almost 24 hours of travel, we met the SFS staff at the Cairns airport and drove in vans to the field station up the windy Gillies Highway. Watching the forest transition from eucalyptus savannah to tropical rainforest was amazing. Then, we abruptly turned right down the dirt access road and plunged into the rainforest. Ever since that moment, everything at the field station has been dream-like. It is such a beautiful and fun place to live filled with so many new plants, animals, and friends!


Tree planting demo


Tree planting for a wildlife refuge area

What do you think the biggest challenge will be for you this semester both academically and culturally?
I can already tell that the biggest challenge for me will be leaving at the end of the program. I am looking forward to facing the other challenges such as living with such a small group for three months and keeping up with school work and assignments.

What are you looking forward to the most about the semester?
I am looking forward to understanding more about the Wet Tropics ecosystems, especially the plants. Also, I am so excited for the trips that we have planned! Next week, we are going camping in the Mandingalbay Yidinji Indigenous protected area, which should be awesome. I am pretty much looking forward to the entire semester!

Give three words that best describe how you are feeling right now.
Happy, excited, content


Geology of the Tablelands field lecture

→ Tropical Rainforest Studies Semester Program in Australia