Studying Abroad In Australia- 20 Days to Go!

Having recently returned from working my seasonal hours at Walt Disney World, it’s hard to believe that 2 years have already passed since my internship. One adventure has given way to another, and now, approaching my final year of college, an 8 month hiatus to Australia quickly approaches!

koala bear

koala bear

As a part of the Marine Biology program at UW-Whitewater, students are required to attend 2 semesters at Deakin University in Warrnambool, Australia. I’ve got my passport set, visa in order, classes confirmed, flight organized (after some alterations), insurance in order, and looked into some “must-see” attractions. My flight leaves on February 19th, with an arrival date of February 21st. I’m not looking forward to the jet lag from that trip, but I’m sure it’ll be worth it! Thank goodness everyone there speaks English! That makes this whole transition much easier! Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to travel to Spain or another Spanish speaking country, but it’d be a difficult transition at first (and it’s been a while since I’ve had to pull out my Spanish vocabulary).

warrnambool

Deakin University- Warrnambool Campus

When I arrive, I’ll be staying on-campus in the dorms. Each individual has their own room (yay!), and shared living, bathroom, and laundry areas. The seasons there are opposite of those in the United States. So, in essence, I’ll miss summer this year, but being somewhat used to Wisconsin winters, I’m sure I’ll survive. From the temperature averages I’ve looked up, it seems unlikely that it’ll get much below the 40s. Everything is in the metric system, so I’m sure that’ll take some getting used to, but I’ve got a free conversion app downloaded on my iPod. I’m good to go! I still feel completely unprepared, but I usually do before leaving home for trips like this. Once I get there I’m sure I’ll figure everything out and get settled in.

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Hopefully that SCUBA diver will be me in the future! I really wanna see one of these guys… giant cuttlefish!

Soon after I arrive, 2 of my classes involve a field trip that begins on February 25th. It’ll be interesting to see what that’s all about. I’m super excited to finally be taking classes that directly focus on Marine Biology! In my first trimester, I’ll be taking Aquatic Ecology, Marine Biology, Marine and Costal Ecosystems, Geographic Information Systems: Uses in Aquatic Environments, Human Impacts on Aquatic Ecosystems, Marine Biodiversity, and there’s a Laboratory and Fieldwork Safety Induction Program. My second semester will be Aquatic Pollution, Aquatic Life, Freshwater Biology, Diversity of Fishes, and Comparative Animal Physiology. Talk about a few science classes, huh? I can’t wait! I talked to several Australian families while I worked my seasonal Disney hours, and they all said that Warrnambool is absolutely beautiful and a great place to study Marine Biology. They said the town was small, but I’ll like it. Everyone seems to agree that public transportation is a breeze too, so I’m looking forward to getting out and exploring everything Australia has to offer.

I know I want to get to Melbourne and Tasmania at some point and have been told that I MUST check out Sydney.It would be awesome to check out New Zealand too or maybe even fly to Disneyland Hong Kong! It might be my best opportunity to do those things. My goal this week is to make a list of all the places I want to see and all of the things I want to do. I’m pretty sure that will end up being quite the list.

We’ll see how many things I can get to! I’ll post my list when I have it completed. I’m hoping to actually keep up with my blog too, and keep everyone posted with my experiences. It’ll also serve as a way to journal my travels. If anyone has any tips or recommendations, or questions let me know in the comments!

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