Hey everyone! My name is Jessica Mulligan and I’m a junior at Montclair State University in the United States. I spent my junior year spring semester studying abroad at the University of the Sunshine Coast. I have always dreamed about going to Australia one day and I was lucky enough to come study here for 5 months. I have had the best times in Australia and I am so sad it is coming to an end. I met so many great people and formed so many friendships that will last a lifetime. I met people from all around the world and learned so many new things from living in another country. I made so many friends in Australia that live in the United States and I am excited to continue those friendships when we return.
One of my favourite places I went during my study abroad time was the Australia Zoo. I purchased a season pass the first time I went and it was the best decision I made. I went to the zoo all the time with the friends that I met here. I held a koala, feed kangaroos, met a tortoise up close, watched the Irwin Family feed the crocs during Easter weekend, fed a giraffe, took some photos and meet the dingos and pet a cheetah. I showed my friends and family that visited the zoo as well, and they loved it just as much as I did. Every time I went to the zoo I was able to see something different.
I also had the opportunity to travel all along the east coast of Australia throughout my time here. I hung out on the beach in Mooloolaba, hiked to swim in the fairy pools in Noosa, spent a weekend in the Gold Coast with my friends, went on a trip to Byron Bay with Adventure Dudes and went skydiving. I spent mid semester break in Airlie Beach, Whitsundays and went to Whitehaven beach to see the swirling sands. I went to a Post Malone concert in Brisbane with some of my friends and spent the weekend there exploring the city. My best friend from home came to visit me in Australia and while she was here we went to Melbourne for the weekend and toured Great Ocean Road and the Twelve Apostles. My boyfriend from home came to visit me in Australia as well, and we went scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef in Cairns. I explored Fraser Island for a weekend and saw so many beautiful things and my last adventure was traveling to Sydney to see the Sydney Opera House with my mom before we head back home to the US.
I am so grateful that I was able to have the opportunity to study abroad in Australia at the University of the Sunshine Coast. I met so many new people and formed some great friendships over the few months that I have been here. I saw so many beautiful places and experienced some pretty amazing adventures along the way. I had the time of my life and I will always remember this experience for the rest of my life.