I didn’t do the whole travel-blogging thing this semester because I was really busy and it seemed better to reflect back once it was all over. So now that everybody’s gone, here are the highlights of a life-changing term with some amazing people on the bottom of the world.
The very first day of the program, we took the group straight from the airplane to the University of Queensland’s research station on North Stradebroke Island in Moreton Bay. We had a lot of lectures about marine biology, material that at the time seemed impossible to learn given my lack of science experience. What stood out about this week was the people. 31 other students met us at the Brisbane airport that first day. I hadn’t met any of them before, with one exception. As the outsider in the group I really had to go out of my way to be outgoing and friendly, and I was extremely nervous the day they showed up. And at no point did any person in the group made me feel as if I didn’t belong there – a political science and economics major from a different school whose dad was the professor among biology students from Union College and Hobart and William Smith. As we body surfed at Cylinder beach that first afternoon I knew that it would be an amazing semester.