on beach

Received some pretty cool news from James Cook International! James Cook International were after student bloggers. I figured I would apply since I’ve already got this little blog documenting, however rarely, my experiences in Australia. They got back to me letting me know that I’ve been accepted so I’ll be an official student blogger, hoping to attract more students to the wonderful program I have been experiencing this last month. I figured it would give me a bit of an incentive to keep up on the written aspect of my blog and give everyone a better idea what life is like being a student at JCU.

During the study abroad application process I came across so many different emotions and curiosities that were difficult to solve and settle because it’s nearly impossible to know what you’re getting yourself into before your arrival in a new country. All I had to refer to was Google Images, (one of the main reasons I chose Cairns over Townsville; the locals here call it Brownsville). For those of you who know me can attest to my affinity for bikini wearing weather and a laid back beach environment. Growing up on the northern California coast has shaped my need to be by the sea. I’m reassured just about everyday that I chose the right place to study abroad. It’s those little moments where I catch myself cracking an ear to ear smile and thinking to myself, “I’m living in paradise,” that act as reminder of how surreal and awesome it is the be experiencing this. That pretty much describes what it’s like to live in Cairns. Australia is a truly unique and absolutely beautiful place to be and I have seen myself grow, learn, and develop so much since my arrival only a month ago.

In terms of life at JCU: things are busy. This will be my first semester taking a full course load of science classes. I am a 3rd year Uni student, the first two which I completed at Humboldt State University (go Lumberjacks!), in Northern California. I would have to say the three best decisions I’ve made in my young adult life have been 1) choosing to study at HSU directly after completing high school (secondary school if you’re an Aussie), 2) deciding to study abroad 3) deciding to study abroad in the wet tropics of Queensland.

I think it’s safe to say that if I hadn’t already completed two years of Uni, I would be drowning right now in this heavy course load. Time management is obviously very important, and is a skill that any successful university student learns quickly. I’m enrolled in Applied Soil Science, Tropical Marine Ecosystems, Introduction to Ecology, and Introduction to Geographic Information Systems. They are all stimulating and fast paced courses that require time and lots of effort, but nonetheless, are very interesting. JCU puts students in the field right away. I’ve already been on a field trip to Green Island to study species richness and abundance of benthic organisms and substrata, a trip to the Mangrove boardwalk to observe ecological relationships, and on various trips all around campus to collect and survey soil samples and various insects to demonstrate trophic feeding relationships.

For those of you who have been previously following, I’ll be doing some recap on the first few weeks at Uni. Orientation week, meeting new friends, exploring the beaches and doing some bushwalking&adventuring. I’ll also be writing a bit more about JCU and what types of activities we are doing in my practicals, tutorials, workshops, and lectures!

Stay tuned!

Love & Light,


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