At the beginning of the fall semester, we asked student Lexi Zanger about her first impressions of Australia. Now, as the semester comes to a close, she shared her thoughts with us again.
What did you like most about the SFS experience?
The people I met – they definitely made the experience what it was for me. My classmates and the staff were all amazing and I don’t think I could have spent this much time with any other group of people.
You’ve been in the country for a full semester – tell us your impressions of it now.
Australia is amazing. There is a wealth of biodiversity here of while I’ve only seen a small portion. The people here are laid back and livin’ on island time.
What is life at the field station really like? What are the best and the most challenging parts of living at a remote field station?
Living at a field station is crazy. All fifteen of us share a small space where we live and work: it’s amazing and makes you a little kooky. Spending every day with the same fifteen people was the best part and the hardest part of this whole experience. By the end of this experience, I think I will miss the isolation from society and the fun antics it has brought on.
What ended up being your biggest challenge this semester both academically and culturally?
I think the biggest challenge was dedicating time for academics when Australia was right outside my door, waiting to be explored. But, the course work was interesting and it was applicable to the things I was experiencing in my day-to-day life in Australia. Culturally, the marshmallows were hard to accept and chew. They were not at all what we accept as marshmallows in the US.
What is the best memory you have from the semester? Give some highlights.
My best memory from the semester would be seeing the Daintree rainforest. Thinking about its amazing biodiversity and cultural significance was thrilling. Another highlight was the Great Barrier Reef, one of the other World Heritage Areas Far North Queensland has to offer. Overall the best parts of Australia were the interactions with the environment that I was able to have.
Give three adjectives that best describe how you are feeling right now.
Successful, emotional, exhausted