Hi! My name is Jenna Dean and I am studying abroad here at USC through Rider University, New Jersey. I am studying to become an Elementary School teacher! Since I’m only here for one semester, I have hit the ground running trying to see everything Australia has to offer. My favourite place to explore around the Sunshine Coast is the Australia Zoo! I love being able to pet and feed the kangaroos up close. I also signed up to hold a koala and it was the best experience of my life! I’m also hoping that I will run into the Irwin’s during one of my visits.
I’ve also seen the sights in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. While in Sydney, I loved being able to see the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. Although it was very touristy, it was super worth it! For study break, I went to Melbourne. So far, it was my favourite trip. The best part was seeing Hosier Lane which has amazing street art that is constantly changing. Melbourne was the perfect city to walk around in and experience the culture of Australia. By the end of my stay at USC, I also hope to visit New Zealand and possibly the Great Barrier Reef!
Being at USC and in the Sippy Downs area has been amazing because it has so much to offer. The bus system is amazing compared to back home, so I love hopping on the bus and go on a trip. One of my favourite places to go is the Sunshine Plaza. It’s a great place to grab lunch, shop around and even pick up groceries. Another great thing is how close we are to the beach! Mooloolaba beach is right around the corner, but my favourite is hiking around at Noosa and then relaxing at the beach. I’m hoping to learn how to surf by the end of my trip!! The area is so beautiful, and I love to just hop on the bus and explore new places around me, such as the town of Buderim or taking a hike around Kondalilla falls and then hanging out in the waterfall! The highlight of my stay so far has been skydiving! Thanks to Adventure Dudes and Skydive Noosa I had the free fall of a lifetime! Skydiving was something I never thought I would do before, but it was truly amazing, plus I got to land on a dog beach!
So far, study abroad has really taught me how to appreciate other cultures and to be open to change. I’ve met so many people from a range of countries and getting to hear their stories is eye opening and exciting. I cannot wait to take everything I’ve learned and share it with my friends and family back home. To anyone who wants to study abroad in Australia or anywhere, I say, TAKE THE LEAP! It is totally worth it and will give you the adventure of a lifetime! Study abroad is what YOU make of it and is your chance to explore our beautiful world!
– Jenna Dean