By Kate Bowmar (The University of Queensland, Australia)

So with only a month left at the University of Queensland, Australia, I thought I would update you guys on what I have been up to in the past month.

Firstly, I just wanted comment on how fast a semester abroad goes. For anybody wondering if they can manage 6 months away from home, YOU CAN! A semester abroad goes buy in a second and you will be wishing you were away for longer (trust me, I’m currently wishing I was in Oz for a year!). So my advice to anybody who just isn’t sure about whether to go abroad… please do! You will love every minute of it, no matter where you go.


Heron Island

So in the mid-semester break I finally went to one of the reasons I came to Australia in the first place – The Great Barrier Reef. At UQ I take a class named MARS 2005, Australia’s Marine Environment; anybody from Life Sciences, I highly recommend you take this course! For 5 days we traveled to Heron Island (i.e. paradise) as a part of the course and spent the whole time snorkeling and sunbathing (with a little bit of work added in). Heron Island is located on the southern Great Barrier Reef and supports a wide variety of marine life. On my many snorkeling trips I saw animals such as sharks, turtles, rays (as shown below), plenty of fish, coral etc. Pictures of my trip are shown below.

Shipwreck on Heron Island - the perfect snorkeling site!
Shipwreck on Heron Island – the perfect snorkeling site!
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Night Snorkeling!
Sting ray on shark bay, Heron Island
Stingray on shark bay, Heron Island

Fraser Island

So after arriving back from the first trip at 6 pm, I had a few hours to wash my clothes, get something to eat and then head back to Uni for 11pm to get the bus to Fraser Island! The second half of mid-semester break was spent on a field trip for a course named BIOL2001 – Australia’s Terrestrial Environment and, once again, for anyone from Life Sciences I highly recommend this course! The course covers all the aspects of Australia’s fauna and the diversity of the animals found. Fraser Island is the worlds largest sand island, found off the coast of Queensland. Each day on the trip we hiked through rainforests and sand dunes, went swimming in fresh water lakes, camped on the beach, and ate the most delicious food!

Lake McKenzie
Lake McKenzie
Sand Dunes!
Sand dunes!
Rainforest hike on Fraser!
Rainforest hike on Fraser!

The best part about these trips is that you get to spend 10 days with exchange students just like you, who want to have as much fun as possible while in Oz!

So now mid-semester break is over, I look forward to a months worth of exams and assessments! (Contrary to popular belief, we do actually have to do some work on exchange).


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