Hi there! I’m Olivia O’Neil and I’m from New York City in the United States of America! I got to Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland and here at USC Sunshine Coast, I’m studying a Diploma in General Studies for 1 semester.
For years I’ve dreamed about coming to Australia, and when the opportunity to study abroad at USC presented itself, I knew I had to take full advantage!
Being from New York City, and not really being around wildlife at all, made coming to USC and Australia in general a wild transition for me. I mean, walking to a lecture and see a kangaroo hopping around is still mind blowing to me. I could just go for a walk and never get bored of the scenery and all of the beautiful nature.
Something that had been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember, was to go to the Australia Zoo, so the second I found out about the Student Guild trip, I was thrilled! The kangaroo feeding was so amazing, and the crocodile show was so captivating! I mean, to be able to feed and pat kangaroos is crazy!
One of the first day trips I took when I arrived was a hike to the summit of Mount Ngungun with some friends. Mount Ngungun is 253 meters high and was so gorgeous at the top! I could see so far out at farms and the surrounding Glasshouse Mountains.
My main takeaway from studying at USC is to always put yourself out there and try new things. Now, that may sound pretty generic, or cheesy, but it’s honestly so true. You need to just take a leap of faith and have as many new experiences as you can. At the end of the day, it’s your experiences that shape you as a person, so you need to do things that excite you and let yourself be free! Before I came to Australia, I had just been to the United States and Canada, which are very cool, but flying across the globe and going to a new institution, in a completely new country and not knowing another soul, really forced me to put myself out there and meet new people. This was totally scary when I first arrived, but now, I’m so glad I did it and feel like I’ve grown so much as a person.
– Olivia O’neil