Sydney Jones: Employment while studying

So you want a job in Townsville while studying?

Whether you just need a bit of extra spending money or want professional experience, getting and having a job in Townsville, while you’re studying, may be more difficult than you think.  It is difficult because of a couple of reasons.

  • As you are a student studies come first and it makes you less available
  • More than likely you don’t have a car and on campus jobs are scarce
  • Since the minimum wage is high employers expect more from you, especially when it comes to prior experience

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Sydney Jones: New Zealand Starter Pack

gNew Zealand starter pack!

I’m so very excited to be writing a post about my favorite place on this planet…. New Zealand. New Zealand is a magical land where everywhere you turn there is something beautiful to look at with a chill relaxed but adventurous vibe to compliment it. Wanting to go to New Zealand was what actually brought me to this side of the world in the first place and since being over here I have been three times. In this blog I hope to give my best advice on where to go and what to do based on my experiences over there, obviously you don’t have to listen to anything I have to say. Continue reading

Sydney Jones: JCU Townsville Packing List



Packing to live in a different country for a while is difficult, especially when the weather and climate is entirely different to where you are from (shout out to those who come to Townsville from the Northeastern part of the states or even Scandinavian countries, y’all are the real MVPs). I’ve grown up in extreme heat my whole life being from Texas so I’m fairly used to it, but let me be real with y’all… Townsville/ Far north Queensland is HOT like scorching hot. This is especially important for those who come here in February, which is still very much summer here. Starting in February the humid heat lasts until about May, from May to September is basically the equivalent of spring/ autumn in the states (hot during day, nice breeze at night) and somewhere in July there is about a week of winter, this is the tropics after all. Even though the temperatures don’t seem that extreme until December/ January you can just feel the sun here so much more and the humidity just makes it pretty rough at times. Continue reading

Sydney Jones: A post to bring home to the parents


I am the physical example of most parents’ worst nightmare, losing their kid to Australia. The idea of me, an American who transferred here to finish her degree, show study abroad students that it is a possibility and option. As much as we are adults in university we will always be our parent’s children and they are a huge part of our experience here. My parents have always been very supportive of my time spent here. My whole life they have raised us to be aware of the big wide world through hosting four exchange students and traveling. I love my parents and other parent’s who are supportive of their kids having international experiences and especially to JCU. I thought it would be special to have my parents comment from their end what they value about my time here in Australia, from one parent to another. So without further ado here is a note from my parents John and Catherine Jones!  Continue reading

Sydney Jones: A personal comment on friendships

syddFor starters this is going to be a bit of a personal post. I’m not going to lie being an international student is as hard as it is rewarding. Actually it is probably so rewarding due to how hard it is sometimes. Having this experience has the tendency to accelerate finding out who you are as a person and becoming comfortable in your own skin. This starts the second you land in an entirely new place knowing no one and being surrounded by nothing familiar. You have the luxury of putting your entire past behind you and starting over. While this sounds nice, which it is, it means that you start from square one with friendships. A problem I see often is people latching on the first people that are nice to them/ show an interest in hanging out with them and losing all focus of why they themselves came here. Obviously you are meant to meet new people but you do need to be cautious and not afraid of it taking some time to find those people who will truly enrich your experience here, basically be selfish, it is the best thing you can do for yourself while you’re here. To be honest I made the mistake of opening up to people too early and latching on and it did not end well for me. I recently realized that because I was afraid of not having friends it actually pro longed me finding my real ones or at least people I truly clicked with. Continue reading