Kayelyn Simmons, USA


Hello Everyone!! I have successfully survived my first week abroad in the beautiful community of Townsville, Australia!! My first impression of Australians is that they are very welcoming and free spirited people!

My first glimpse of Townsville from the plane was of the lush green mountains and beautiful coastline.  The JCU International staff that graciously took me to my temporary accommodations at the Civic Guest House happily greeted me. As a person who has never stayed at a hostel, I had no idea what to expect. Fortunately, this hostel was well known and the staff also was very helpful with giving directions on where to eat and wander around in the heart of Townsville. 


The next day I knew I had to tackle the task of finding a permanent home off campus. Of course, I had looked up a few roomshares before on easyroommate.com so I did have a few viewings lined up. Its awesome the JCU International staff also offers to take you around for viewings. A much more reliable and safer option in my opinion than trying to use the bus to get everyone, especially since I had no idea how the bus system works here! I was able to find a nice home in Annadale, a neighborhood close the University “Uni” as locals would say! And it also is pretty close to the shopping mall here Stocklands! I pretty much got everything from Stocklands I needed like groceries, “thongs” aka flip flops for us Americans, and it has great places to eat!

I was surprised to see Dominos, Subway, KFC, and “Macca’s” aka McDonalds here!! Trying my best to not eat at any of these places yet, but we’ll see how long I can last without fried chicken and McDonalds French fries in my life!! After my first visit to Stocklands, I still had not purchased a bike so I decided to take a leisurely 2 mile walk along the Ross River in Rossiter Park back to my house in Annadale. It was AMAZING! As a person that lives for outdoor activities and hopes to never have an office job, I was totally in awe by the enormous trees, variety of birds everywhere, and I even had turtles in the river come right up to the bank to meet me! At the end of my walk, I came to a bridge that crosses into Annadale and Weir Park. The view was breathtaking!! There were people jogging, biking, and fishing off the rock jetty, and the mountains in the background gave me a sense that I made the right decision to venture to Australia. I did get a used bike now off Gumtree, a website much like Craigslist so there will be more adventures to come!

Ross River lookout3

Ross River

As far as studying abroad at JCU, I know this is going to be a life changing experience for me. I have a diverse group of roommates from Kuwait, Norway, Mexico, and Australia and I have met a few Americans as well. We all had a good time at the Toga Party! The JCU campus itself is full of life and I’m always stopping at Wadda Moolie Creek, the landscaping and the sound of life (birds) brings about a sense of nature and peace. I can’t wait to start my courses in Fisheries Science, Conserving Wildlife: Sea Mammals, Birds, & Reptiles, and Conservation Biology. We’ll see what all studying abroad at JCU has to offer!

Toga Party_OWeek

Best Wishes,


13 thoughts on “Kayelyn Simmons, USA

  1. Jason says:

    Amazing, so proud of you!!! Keep pushing and chasing your dreams, never give up. You are no longer representing just you, you are a role model at this point inspiring many people around you.

  2. Ari Halperin says:

    Wow Kayelyn, I am so happy for you, so glad you are having so much fun over there! Brings back a ton of awesome memories hearing about the jogging along the Ross River, going to Stockie’s and Wooly’s, AND toga parties at the Uni Club!! You have to go to downtown Tville soon and see the little bar strip there – the Cry has $2 tuesdays where drinks are super cheap, and I think they even have a wet t-shirt contest on Sunday nights ha ha! Have a blast missy!

    • Kayelyn Regina Simmons says:

      Hey bruh!! Yes the Ross River is so beautiful and Stocki’s is somewhat of a lifesaver! Thanks for the tips on spots to go to in downtown Townsville, I probably won’t partake in the wet t-shirt contest though, thats your thing right? Lol! Thanks for the support!

  3. Renita Santos says:

    I am so happy for you Kayelyn…you are an amazing women. I really enjoyed you blog and looking forward for more to come!

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