The Study Abroad Newsletter

Living in a Land Down Under

Debra Potter
James Cook University, Australia

Potter and friends

My name is Debra Potter and I am majoring in Cell and Molecular Biology and Chemistry. I had the opportunity to spend two semesters, fall and spring 2017, in Townsville, Australia. I got to spend nine-and-a-half months down under studying and exploring what the country had to offer. The memory that has stuck with me the best was my trip up to Cairns with some friends over Easter weekend. Along the way we would veer off track to see the key points causing the 4-hour road trip to take an entire day. We spent hours in the car listening to music, laughing together and trying to survive my driving skills (it took a while to adjust driving on the other side of the road). The most memorable part of this trip, however, occurred the next day when we drove even farther north to Daintree Rainforest.


Throughout the drive we saw several amazing animals and plants and went on walks through the trees. At one lookout, we met a group that had seen a cassowary. We were super pumped! We all really wanted to see the bird but it is not common to see one. So we hopped back in the car and started driving. In anticipation, one of my friends started chanting cassowary, cassowary, cassowary. Soon we all joined in as we drove, hoping to draw out the large bird. We spent several more hours in the park but we did not see the animal. Disappointed, we made our last stop. A few minutes into our walk, a cassowary stepped out onto the path right in front of us. We were super excited to see him and we all stopped for a few minutes to watch the ancient bird. It was amazing seeing the bird and spending the long drive with my friends made the memory fond.