Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Study Abroad Australia!

Veronica in Queenstown, New Zealand.
G'day to all my fell bloggers,

This semester I applied and was accepted to study abroad in tropical Townsville, Australia at James Cook University. I am currently a 2nd year student in the Purdue University Agronomy department. I am majoring in Natural Resource and Environmental Science and currently working on picking up a Wildlife minor.
New Zealand landscape. 

Choosing to study abroad has been on of the best decisions that I have ever made. Being abroad has taught me more about myself then I could have even imagined. I have became more independent, capitalized on my strengths, improved my weaknesses, became a better communicator, learned to step out of my comfort zone, and so much more!

I left the USA on January 9th with a fellow Purdue mate to travel early before starting my semester at James Cook University (JCU). I spent two weeks traveling in New Zealand on a Contiki tour before starting my Aussie adventures. New Zealand was incredible. I took part in some crazy activities including bungy jumping, skydiving, jet boat riding, horseback riding, and mountain climbing. I made so many unforgettable memories and friendships in the matter on a few days!

When in Frans Josef, NZ I took a helicopter to the
top of a glacier where I went hiking. 
134m Nevis Bungy Jump in Queenstown, NZ.

After leaving NZ, I began my travels down under. I stated off in Sydney were I did the Sydney Harbor Bridge Climb and stayed at a hostel on Bondi Beach for Australia Day (like the American 4th of July) before taking a 12hr train ride to Melbourne. After spending 6 nights in Melbourne, I took a 9hr bus ride to Canberra to stay with my new friend Stephaine that I meet in New Zealand and here family. Canberra is the capital city of Australia, and Steph and her family gave me a grand tour of the nations capitol.
Australian Parliament House with Stephanie and her father in Canberra. 

Sydney Harbor Bridge Climb wit fellow Purdue travel partner.
Stephaine and I took a two day road trip to the Snowy Mountains were I got to live out my dream of riding horses in the "Man from Snow River" country. This was truly and incredible experience. I then flew out of Canberra and into Townsville to where I would be stating "uni" on February 23rd, as the Aussies call it.

Riding horses in the Snowy Mountains.

My first week in Townsville was a blast. I did the new student orientation program where I got to know the campus and my fellow students. I am taking four courses at JCU: Wildlife Ecology Management, Australian Landscape and Processes, Conserving Marine Wildlife: Mammals, Sea, Birds, and Reptiles, and Tourism and the Environment.  JCU has an incredible library that I am taking full advantage of it for my research.

I am really enjoying my classes and it actually feels nice to get back into the swing of school again. My classes are all extremely interesting and involve a lot of fieldwork and practical experience. All of my courses but one have field trip off campus for further study and fieldwork. For my Wildlife and Ecology Management course I will be going a cattle station in central Queensland on mid semester break to run field test on the impacts of wildlife and invasive species on different pastures at the station.

On the weekends I go over to Magnetic Island where I work at Horseshoe Bay Ranch as a trail guide/ranch hand.

Swimming horses in the ocean at Horseshoe Bay on Magnetic Island.
I cannot wait to see what the rest of the semester has in store for me!

Until next time.


Veronica Yager

1 comment:

  1. this looks amazing! I am heading for a semester abroad at University of Sydney myself in a few weeks! I want to try to see NZ as well! This post has made me even more excited. Thanks for sharing :)