The Study Abroad Newsletter

Six Weeks Abroad In Australia

Maiya Smith | Marine Science Major - James Cook University, Australia

Maiya Smith with a friend in Australia

My name is Maiya Smith and Australia is a place I've always dreamed of and never thought I'd get the chance to visit, let alone go to school. First touching down in Australia and getting smacked in the face with heat and humidity will be forever engraved in my mind. James Cook University is located in Townsville, Queensland which at the end of summer (February) is surprising green and tropical. For some reason before arriving to Australia, I expected it to be a bunch of red sand and primarily desert like but it was quite the opposite. One of my favorite memories was going on a 45 minute drive with my roommate and some of my new found friends to a place called Crystal Creek. With a short hike you can find a multitude of fresh water ponds to spend the day at and plenty of natural waterslides/waterfalls.

Even though I was only in Townsville for 6 weeks it quickly felt like home. The people are all so friendly and inviting. Living on campus allowed me to become so close with everyone and we would always go out as a big group into town or to school events at the on-campus bar, for example. The campus and classes at James Cook were so amazing! It feels like a very large school because the campus is so spread out but the class sizes are actually pretty small for the most part which is super nice. I was able to get to know the teachers and most of the people in my class. I am a major in marine science at UH and the classes offered at JCU open up so much opportunity for hands on experience. You can go out and see the great barrier reef with your own eyes and classes often have field trips to the islands that are a short ferry ride away from Townsville. Even though I had to end my experience abroad early, I fully intend on returning hopefully soon after I graduate. I feel like this will be possible because I feel like I was able to make lifelong friends and I'll forever remember my 6 weeks studying abroad.