Michelle's Trip to Australia
||In July 1999, Michelle left the USA
where she completed a semester at James Cook University,
located near the Great Barrier Reef in Townsville,
Queensland, Australia. She went back for a second
semester, returning July 2000.
What follows is a record of Michelle's experiences during her
two semesters in Australia. Her "newsletters" to us are posted below. Michelle
can be reached at
. (NOTE: Some of the offsite links may be broken by now ...
July 2000: Michelle is back,
having nearly been delayed due to decompession illness
experienced while diving, for which she had to spend some time in
a hyperbaric chamber! Her planned trip to New Zealand on the way
home was shortened due to this problem, but she did spend a few
days there. She is spending her summer working for our local
veterinarian before returning to Wake Forest University in
Winston-Salem, NC, for her senior year.
February 2000: Michelle has
returned for a second (and final!) semester. Classes start
February 28th, but she had to return early for registration and
December 1999: Michelle returned
home for two months before returning to Australia for a second
semester. She worked as a veterinary assistant for our local vet.
She liked it so much, she is investigating veterinary schools!
Newsletter 1, July 28: Bush and Farm Orientation, Arrival at
Campus, Cairns Trip
Pictures From Australia! August 14
Newsletter 2, August 14: Dorm Life, Social Life, Billabong
Sanctuary, Magnetic Island
Newsletter 3, August 25: Classes, Australians,
Newsletter 4, September 7:
and Another Semester
Newsletter 5, September
Diving, and Lava Tubes in the Bush
Interested in flying to Australia or the
South Pacific? If you are a student, we suggest you
contact Peggy at Global Quest International. She was referred to
us directly by Qantas airlines. Her number is 888-336-6635. She
has been selling students tickets at best prices for years.
Here's a summary of Michelle's first
- After a grueling flight from LA to New Zealand, then on
to Cairns, Australia, Michelle and her fellow group of
students (from various colleges, headed to different
schools in Australia, organized by Butler
University Institute for Study Abroad) were
immediately taken on two field trips
- The first trip was to the Australian "bush"
(details in Newsletter 1)
- The second trip was to a typical farm (Newsletter 1),
where she milked her first cow!
- Then she was taken to James Cook University (JCU), where
she has a single room
- The room is decent sized, with a telephone and ethernet
connection (for her computer)
- There is a washing machine nearby, but no working dryer!
She complained at first of having to line-dry in her
room, but now she is content that she has a "working
system" of lines!
- Meals are served during limited times, with very somewhat
limited choices of food. She says the Australians cook a
lot in fat (yuck). She also says they eat vegemite
(yeast) on toast for breakfast!
- Michelle says she quickly adapted to the time change
(currently 14 hours ahead of EDT -- varies from 14-16
depending on which country observes Daylight Savings Time
-- remember, they are on the other side of the world and
below the equator!)
- On July 20th, she and new friends drove to Cairns (4-hour
trip) to sightsee before school registration opened the
following week. She said the treetop skyway and train
ride through the forest were wonderful. (Newsletter 1)
- During the semester, Butler encourages all the
international students to travel frequently, so she will
be some trips within Australia, some of which are
organized by the University
- We (Fred and Kathy) are planning to visit Australia in
the fall for our twenty-fifth anniversary trip, and
Michelle will join us in Sydney, Adelaide, and Kangaroo
Island for a week
- The weather is anticipated to be warm during all of her
stay (through November), as Queensland is a tropical
area, even though it is currently their winter
- Michelle has taken a scuba diving course which included a
dive on the Great Barrier Reef
- To our great surprise (since she hasn't done this in
years), she purchased a bicycle, since she says local
transportation is expensive and she needs it to get
around town! She bikes to the beach occasionally.
- She likes life at James Cook so much she has arranged to
return for a second semester!
- She completed her first semester by taking a tour from
Townsville to Melbourne to Sydney to Adelaide and finally
on to Perth, before flying non-stop (except for changing
planes) home to Raleigh (whew!).