Skip to Content

### Embark on an Epic Adventure with Studying Abroad

One week ago (as of the current date), I embarked on a lengthy 13.5-hour flight. You might wonder, why would anyone subject themselves to such a journey? Well, the reason behind it was my summer escapade in Australia! The desire to partake in a study abroad program had been brewing within me for quite some time. Last year, I made the decision that this summer would be the opportune moment to turn that aspiration into reality. After researching various programs in Australia and carefully assessing my financial resources, I took the leap to fulfill at least one of my dreams.

On June 1, my journey commenced as my parents drove me to the Memphis airport, marking the beginning of an 11-week adventure. The peculiar aspect of crossing time zones was evident as I seemingly skipped June 2 entirely during my travel, departing on the first and arriving on the third. However, this temporal anomaly was balanced out by the unique experience of reliving Friday, August 14 twice on my return journey. Despite the arduous flights, the ensuing jet lag, and the financial investments, I would readily embark on this journey again without hesitation. Undoubtedly, it was a transformative experience that left an indelible mark on my life. Having never been away from home for an extended period exceeding a month, the challenges I faced during this trip contributed significantly to my personal growth.

During my time abroad, I undertook an internship at Sydney Wildlife World, an indoor sanctuary showcasing native Australian fauna. Working closely with kangaroos, koalas, and a myriad of unfamiliar species such as the quoll, bilby, dunnart, rose crown fruit dove, little pied cormorant, inland taipan, huntsmen spider, and the Sydney funnel web spider, provided me with a wealth of knowledge and insight. Witnessing an autopsy on a Mulga Snake revealed the intricacies of its demise, attributed to a section of its intestines that had necrosed, impeding proper digestion. Additionally, observing the internal workings of a rainbow lorikeet during another autopsy proved to be a fascinating educational experience, offering a glimpse into avian anatomy.

Beyond the enriching aspects of my internship, I had the opportunity to explore the vibrant city of Sydney, renowned for its vastness and diversity. Every weekend was a new adventure, yet the city’s expanse meant that there was always more to discover. From historic structures dating back to the 1700s to contemporary architectural marvels and lush green spaces, Sydney offered a tapestry of experiences. Venturing to the markets on weekends yielded unique finds, while a brief sojourn to Melbourne provided a more intimate exploration of its attractions, easily traversable on foot. Prior to commencing my internship, I spent a week in New Zealand, traversing both islands and visiting iconic filming locations from “The Lord of the Rings,” showcasing the country’s breathtaking landscapes. By the journey’s end, I had amassed a collection of 864 photographs capturing the essence of my travels.

Studying abroad undeniably stands out as a transformative and unparalleled experience. For those who have yet to embark on such a journey, I urge you to consider it earnestly. The opportunity to immerse oneself in diverse cultures and perspectives is invaluable, shaping one’s worldview in profound ways. Personally, the sojourn to Australia has left an indelible mark, and I eagerly anticipate the day I can return. I encourage you to explore the myriad programs offered through MSU for a similarly enriching and unforgettable experience.

Hannah Kaase is a senior majoring in animal and dairy science. She can be contacted at [ppp1].