Exploring The Land Down Under

by Vanessa Arieno on April 3, 2017
Exploring The Land Down Under

Hello, NU! I hope everyone had an awesome spring break and is ready to finish off the semester strong. It’s been a while, but I am excited to let you know what I’ve been up to in the land down under. 

First, I want to share with you all that I am officially a student ambassador for the Study Sunshine Coast program! Study Sunshine Coast is a program targeted toward high school and international students to encourage them to study on the coast for college instead of moving away. In the beginning of this process, I had no knowledge of there even being a program like this until a woman, Kelsey, reached out to me and told me I needed to apply because I would be a great fit. After a group interview and an anxious week of waiting, I finally was contacted and told I was accepted. 

Study Sunshine Coast will allow me to travel throughout Queensland, Australia, to help promote the Sunshine Coast and encourage students to live and study here after graduation. I also need to blog a few times about my experiences on the Sunshine Coast, which is exciting for me. Along with traveling, I get to make connections with employers here in hopes of securing future internships or career opportunities. Hopefully, I will have some stories for you guys about this program soon. 

Aside from this program, I have been traveling almost every weekend. So far, I have traveled to beaches in Noosa and others on the coast, I have been to Brisbane and next week, during our break, I am going to the Great Barrier Reef and flying to Sydney afterward. 

While I was in Brisbane, I got to hold a koala and pet and feed kangaroos – it was amazing. I even saw my first platypus, which was a dream of mine with how obsessed I was with Phineas and Ferb growing up. I have gotten to try some pretty amazing food as well, which I have been super happy about and I wish I could take it all back to the states. 

Aside from traveling, the Sunshine Coast has been quite the experience. I finally learned how to surf...or at least tried. That was the only goal I had coming here so being happy that it happened is a huge understatement. It's way harder than it looks in the TV shows I've watched, too, but I at least got a full-body workout from trying to balance so hard. 

Vanessa enjoying the sunset at Mt. Coolum.

Last weekend, I climbed Mt. Coolum with a few friends to watch the sunrise. I never thought I would be so excited to wake up at 4 a.m., but I knew it would be worth it. The view at the top of the mountain was absolutely breathtaking. The only bad part about it was that we forgot bug spray and I woke up the next day covered in mosquito bites. It's been over a week since so they are gone now but I think next time I go, I'm bringing three bottles of spray and the clip-on repellant to be safe!

I have also started "café hopping" to kind of bring that feeling I have back home to Australia. If you know me well enough, you know I love spending my time in different coffee shops so it's nice to bring that feeling of home here during my last few months of this program.

So far, Australia has truly been an amazing experience. The people are very nice and it has been fun learning all of the Aussie slang. 

Stay safe, NU. Talk soon! Xx.

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