USC student Melissa, is currently studying on an exchange semester at one of USC’s partner universities in Mexico – Tec De Monterrey- Queretaro.
This blog and her amazing photos, show the beauty of the people, landscape and architecture in Mexico and are a record of her travels through the region… take a look!
The East Side Gallery, in my eyes was one of the most iconic aspects of Berlin. The amount of history and character that this one tourist attraction holds was definitely a highlight of my Deutschland experience.
It never fails to astonish me where you can find a Kombi…shortly after arriving in Germany having journeyed a long 31hours including planes and trains, high expectations and a little uneasiness started to kick in…But finding a bright orange VW Kombi Van on the main street of my city Remagen made me feel right at home!!!
Carnival in Germany begins on November 11th at 11:11 a.m. But it’s not what you think…. It’s where everybody and anybody gets dressed up in the wildest costumes imaginable and heads out to the street for a tonne of fun! The “crazy days” of Carnival are celebrated with parties on the streets, in public squares and in pubs. Closing times for all pubs and bars are suspended for the duration of the festival!!!
I was lucky enough to be accepted into Grand Valley State University. My time there will be one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. The campus and the people were beyond any of my expectations and I found myself a place that I consider my second home. This photo was taken at the Allendale campus where I lived.
This photo of me was taken by a friend upon arrival at Times Square in New York. This was my ‘a-ha’ moment, that moment when you finally realise that you’re on the other side of the world, in one of the most famous cities in the world and something you once only dreamed about was actually happening, right then and there. Being part of the Go Program gave me so many opportunities to travel and experience all the things that make America great. My road trip from Grand Rapids, Michigan to NYC was unforgettable.
This shows some of the members of my GVSU family. While studying abroad you make connections with people that are so unbelievably strong and they become your family, your life, while you’re overseas. Sometimes those ties remain even when you return home. I met so many wonderful people who contributed greatly to my happiness and made the journey something that was beyond my expectations. Events like University football games and watching the Ice Hockey, with these newly found friends, were among some of the highlights of my trip.
After my intensive 6 week language course it was time for some relaxation. I wanted to visit the Island of Komodo where the world’s largest lizards live. It was no longer tourist season so the only way to reach the remote island was by local fishing boat. This photo was taken as I was travelling from main land to the island. My boyfriend and I slept 3 nights on-board this rickety boat.
For Indonesian farmers life is hard, many live ‘hand to mouth’ and spend countless hours of back braking work in the rice fields far into what is the Australian standard of ‘retirement’. In Indonesia, thousands of farmers, such as this man, have been evicted from the fields they have cultivated for generations, due to national authorities giving concessions tolarge companies to exploit their lands. Local farmers are replaced by large plantations, including palm oil and rubber plantations, food estates, mines, roads and other infrastructure projects. However, regardless if his living situation this happy go lucky farmer was overjoyed to talk with me, and have his photo taken.
The local markets in Indonesia are guaranteed to assault the senses. Smells (both good and bad), tastes (also both good and bad), colour, noise, arguments over prices, herbs and spices stacked so high you wonder how it is they never fall from their arrangement. Women beckon you to visit their occupied space and offer you their best price (usually five times the amount of a local) but hay does it really matter, especially when the price is only about a buck? The market place is where I go whenever I fell like killing time and practising my language skills. It is 2 always a busy place and people are forever happy and amused to see a ‘bule’ (Indonesian slang for tourist) inspect the local products.
Doing my overseas work experience at Kruger Park I had some quite extraordinary experiences. In this first picture I am helping Kruger Park scientists and veterinaries performing a health check on a captured wild White Rhino as part of a research project to eradicate tuberculosis among the park animals. For me this was a win-win situation. The Rhino got a free health check, and I got an awesome and unique experience that I will never forget.
This second image captures the essence of Kruger Park’s natural landscape: a picturesque scenery of Africa with a touch of life. While having lunch along the Sabie River all of a sudden out of the clearing a herd of elephants started crossing the river. The herd was led by the matriarch, the oldest, wisest female of the herd. It was a out of this world experience and it felt like watching a animal documentary on TV.
In Kruger National Park the main inhabitants are not people, but animals. I believe the only way to showcase this unique culture is by portraying these magnificent and unique creatures. This elephant was quenching its thirst from a waterhole near the Satara Camp. The elephant was waving its ears to cool itself in the scorching heat. After having a drink the elephant started spraying water on its body before throwing dry dirt on itself to get protection from the sun. A truly magnificent sight, which is rarely experienced by a student on a study trip.
USC student Leela, studied her GO Program semester in Rio De Janeiro – read all about her adventures at:
The views in the above blog are entirely the author's and do not necessarily represent those of any other induvidual or organisation.
In this photo you can see two young participants of the Jidai Matsuri （時代祭）while they were marching in the parade. This festival is very famous in Kyoto （京都）and is one of the top three biggest in Japan. This festival is also known as the Festival of the ages as it has a lot to do with the history of Japan. It was held in the Imperial Palace grounds, Kyoto.
This photo was taken on the Island of Miyajima （宮島） located in Japan’s well known Hiroshima（広島）. The photo was taken from up the back of the shrine further up the mountain side. It shows a good display of natural Japan along with the Shrine tori gates and even a priest doing his duties around the inner shrine.
I like this photo because it shows quite clearly the different steps taken in traditional Japanese Kyudo. Kyudo, as the picture shows, is Japanese archery. I was lucky enough to be taught by a very good teacher all about this art. Kyudo is a very traditional and spiritual art and works toward ones spiritual energy rather than hitting the target perfectly every time. The kanji, or Japanese symbols, for kyudo literally means bow art. （弓道） I am positioned as third person in the line with all of my Japanese Kyudo teachers and fellow students. This photo was taken at a very old Dojo（道場） in a old Japanese Shrine.