Why study abroad with SFS in Australia? To answer this question, we asked current student Emily Calder (Saint Michael’s College) for her top five reasons. Here’s what she had to say.
1. Great People
From the students to the professors and staff, everyone that I have met here at the Centre for Rainforest Studies has been enthusiastic and friendly. There are many moments when someone spots something cool, like a rhinoceros beetle or a kookaburra, and everyone gets up from what they are doing to look at it. It is wonderful to be surrounded by people who are as curious about nature as I am.
2. Getting To Know the Community
A big part of SFS Australia is being involved with the surrounding communities. Earlier in the semester we spent a couple of days learning about cultural history from local Aboriginal rangers. We often volunteer at tree plantings. Not only are we helping save the rainforests — we are also able to sit down with the locals during smoko and chat over cake and tea.
3. Amazing Field Trips
When was the last time you were able to say that you had class on the beach or under the rainforest canopy? Living in the wet tropics, we have a unique opportunity to learn in a special environment. The curricula of the classes are focused on field-based learning and experience. We recently did a canopy walk and a crocodile cruise in one of the most diverse rainforests in the world and explored limestone caves in small mining town in the outback.
4. Getting Away from Everything
In this day and age, it is easy to get caught up in the internet and social media. Living in the rainforest, with limited wifi availability, is a great way to escape and immerse yourself in your surroundings. On a given Sunday afternoon, you can find students reading, playing cards, hiking, playing ping-pong, lounging in hammocks, playing instruments or baking.
5. Interesting Wildlife
The Wet Tropics of Northern Queensland are home to many endemic species of plants and animals. Every morning I wake up to the laser-like call of the chowchilla bird and walk to the Centre to the songs of the black-faced monarch and the pale yellow robin. Some of my favorite plants and animals that I’ve seen here include pademelons, tree ferns, pythons, strangler figs, and Ulysses butterflies.
These five reasons only just scrape the surface of why you should study abroad in Australia. I love this place and am so happy that I decided to come here.