Back in Manchester!

By Jude Wiggins, Geography, University of Queensland, Australia.

On July 15th, after a sneaky (two week) stop over in Japan on my way back from Australia I touched down in the UK after nearly 13 months away from home! My Summer was pretty blissful… I spent most of my time catching up with friends and family, went to a festival and slowly began my dissertation research. By the time September rolled around I was pretty excited to get back to Manchester as I hadn’t seen a lot of my Uni friends in well over a year. Me and my housemates alone covered Australia, America, Cuba, Colombia, France, Spain and Italy so we had loads to catch up on.  japan

My last year abroad trip to Japan! 

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Reflecting on Oz

by Jude Wiggins, University of Queensland, Australia, Geography

This blog is actually a little late as I have been back in the UK for about a month now. During the last month at UQ I was pretty busy with exams, saying goodbye too friends and fitting in sneaky trips to New Zealand and Byron Bay but nevertheless, here are some of my final reflections on life in Australia and study abroad!


My last trip to Byron Bay

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Mid Semester break on Fraser Island!

by Jude Wiggins, University of Queensland, Australia, Geography

Over the Mid-Semester break I was lucky enough to go to Fraser Island with my friends, Sophie and David. Fraser Island is the World’s Largest Sand Dune. The island is a massive collection of sand that gets dragged in by the Pacific Ocean currents and stretches about 120 km long but only about 24 kms wide. Fraser is a World Heritage site so there are no roads, only sand tracks that can be accessed by 4WD. Whilst we were on Fraser our tour guide told us that if the island did not exist, all the sand that gathers there would have traveled further North and completely covered the Great Barrier Reef, meaning that we might not know about it’s existence.


Fray-yay Island at 6am

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Edible Flower Farming on a Tropical Island!

By Jude Wiggins, Geography, University of Queensland, Australia

After my Australian Summer travelling around the Philippines and Indonesia was over I still had roughly a month of free time before I was due to go back to University. Most of the friends I’d made last semester had either gone back to the UK for Christmas or were still travelling, so Brisbane was a little lonely! A friend had mentioned to me that you can earn good money working on farms in the Outback so I decided to do some research. Through my research I was introduced to the idea of WWOOFing (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms). You do roughly 5 hours work per day on an organic farm and in exchange receive food and accommodation. Although WWOOFing isn’t paid work it was still something to do and  I wanted a new experience! I found an advertisement for an Edible Flower farm called Pretty Produce on an island just south of Brisbane called Lamb Island. I emailed the farm owner and arranged to start the next week!


flower farm.jpgPretty Produce Edible Flower Farm, Lamb Island. 

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The Academic Experience of UQ

By Jude Wiggins, Geography, University of Queensland, Australia.

Next week I return to University for my second semester at UQ after a 3 month Summer holiday. As this marks the halfway point of my study abroad experience I think that now is a good time to reflect on the Academic differences between the University of Queensland and the University of Manchester.


UQ, Australia

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An Unconventional Christmas

By Jude Wiggins, Geography, University of Queensland, Australia.


Last week I arrived back in Brisbane after 2 months of travelling around Indonesia and the Philippines. All my friends and family have been asking me why I’m not at University at the moment. Well, as I’m in the Southern Hemisphere all the seasons are opposite to the Northern Hemisphere so I am currently on my long summer holiday (November – Feburary). The end of last semester got pretty intense with lots of deadlines and exams so I was relieved to finally be able to start some travelling! First stop – Bali.


Balinese sunset!

Left: Pura Bratan Temple. Right: Ubud Rice Terraces

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Safely Arrived in Brisbane!

By Jude Wiggins, Geography, University of Queensland, Australia.

This weekend marked the 3 month anniversary of my arrival in Brisbane and I have no idea where the time has gone! (Also, sorry for the late post!) The first few weeks I was here I stayed in a hostel so that I could view houses, find somewhere to live and also sort out things like an Australian bank account and phone number. Staying in the hostel was really fun as there was always someone new to meet but it was relieving to find my own house and get properly settled into Brisbane. I managed to find a beautiful house with an amazing view of the city from the balcony- you would not get that in Fallowfield! I’m living in a share house with two Brits, two Chileans and one Australian. I did look into staying in University accommodation but it was quite expensive. Irregardless though I’m happy with my house and location.

View of Brisbane on water
View of Brisbane from the water

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Saying Goodbye to Manchester and Wales

By Jude Wiggins, Geography, University of Queensland, Australia

Even though my flight is tomorrow morning, it still doesn’t feel like I’m going to live in Australia for a year. Despite all the goodbyes, my booked flight, and my (overweight) packed suitcase I still can’t accept that I’m really leaving! I’m due to fly from Manchester to Abu Dhabi, and then onto Brisbane from there. In total it should take me just over twenty-four hours. For the first week I’m in Brisbane I’ll be staying in a hostel, just until I get onto Australian time and can find somewhere to live!

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