Hornet’s study abroad in the ‘land down under’

By: Tanashie Jacquecin

During my sophomore year of spring 2016, I had the incredible opportunity of studying abroad. With dedication, I was able to study in Melbourne, Australia for five incredible months. I can honestly say I have no regrets. The long hours at work, the paperwork, and running around like a headless chicken trying to make sure everything is turned in on time; they were all worth it when I finally reached my goal.

After a long twelve-hour flight with plenty of turbulence, I was in Brisbane. The moment I first hit Aussie soil, I couldn’t believe that I made it. For a couple of days, I got to enjoy one of Australia’s most beautiful cities, and let me tell you, that place is the definition of beautiful. Brisbane is the city you go to in Australia when you want the ultimate beach vacation. The beaches are beautiful, with waters so blue and the sand so white, you feel like you are in a tropical paradise. Although the blazing hot weather made me feel like I was going to pass out, Brisbane still holds a special place in my heart.

I got to experience the Australian surf culture. I had my first surf lesson there, where I sucked horribly, but the two surfing assistants were cute. I went sea kayaking and that was an experience because I got seasick. Also, I can happily say that I survived Australian wildlife and even ate one of them. Brisbane may have not been my goal, but I do plan to go back one day. And then I finally got to Melbourne.

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Melbourne, without a doubt became one of my favorite places in the world. Brimming with culture and interesting people, I will never forget my experience there. I was an intern at Melbourne WebFest and I really loved it. I also started doing martial arts over there as well. I joined La Trobe’s University’s Taekwondo Club. There are many reasons I love Melbourne, but the main one would be the people. I made so many friends while I was there whom I still talk to, which is hard at times since there is a fourteen-hour time difference. My dorm mates were also very sweet and could out-drink anyone; I had a blast living with them.

Leaving the country has really opened my eyes and showed me that the United States is not the only place to live. By spending that amount of time in a different country, I grew to be more independent, was exposed to different cultures, and had found a passion in travel.

With that in mind, I have decided to continue traveling and am currently planning to backpack through Europe in June 2017. Wish me luck!

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