Why did you decide to study abroad with SFS in Australia and New Zealand?
Jaimi: I have always wanted to travel to Australia. It seemed like such an interesting place, and I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to go there. Plus, I am terrible with other languages, so being able to speak English didn't hurt.
What made your study abroad experience unique and special?
Jaimi: I got to live in the rainforest; no joke. It was like being at camp: living in a cabin with other people, doing weekly chores,and knowing everyone else in the group really well. I saw so many incredible places on the field trips we constantly went on. The professors always took us out to show us what we were discussing in class, so it made learning a lot of fun. The range of habitat types that I was introduced to was incredible.
Besides living in the rainforest, we went to the Outback (Chillagoe), the Daintree, the Great Barrier Reef, the Mamu Canopy Forest Walkway, and towns like Mission Beach. I saw so many animals that are endemic to Australia and tried numerous unique foods. The faculty and staff at SFS are all amazing and supportive and really helped make our stay the best we could.
How has this experience impacted your future?
Jaimi: I have really grown as an individual from the experience. For one, I travelled to the other side of the world and experienced a different culture on my own, without knowing anyone before I left. I learned a lot about the rainforest and how a community can thrive and still protect their natural resources. Since I had to come up with and put into action a directed research project, I learned a lot about myself, what my interests are, and about how to develop a project in a short amount of time.