Alumni Spotlight: Paul Brooks


Paul Brooks is a 29 year old male from Michigan City, Indiana. He attended Purdue University, receiving a B.S. in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, with minors in Wildlife Science and Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. He then went on to West Virginia University and received a Master of Agriculture in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design. He currently works for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management in the Office of Air Quality.

What made this study abroad experience unique and special?

What made this study abroad special is the fact that a study abroad like this allows you to really visit and explore a country better than you would on a vacation. We started the trip off in Darwin, a city that that has an Asian feel due to it being nearer to Asia than some other cities. We did a lot of cultural things up here, and learned a lot of the Aboriginal Culture. We then went to the Red Centre, Sydney (staying at the Univ. of New South Wales) and ended in Cairns. How nice to go to all those locations?

Tell us about any interesting cultural tidbits you noticed about your country.

I just enjoyed the people in general. There is no language barrier, and most everyone was friendly. It is a nice place to be, and you can really immerse yourself in the culture by going to sporting events, plays, museums and etc.

What made this study abroad experience unique and special?

I would simply just say the best souvenir I have are the photos and the memories. All the photos you take on this trip will make you remember what an awesome time you had. You will make lots of friends while you're there, and a couple of them might stay your friends for a lifetime. I will however encourage you to enjoy every moment that you are there because seeing the study abroad locations you've been to will make you quite nostalgic (and even depressed potentially!).

Describe your favorite must-have food that you tried abroad.

On certain nights Darwin would have a food market and craft set up. It was a great chance to seemingly be a "local." They sold seasoned potatoes that were drenched in salsa, sour cream and cheese. It was very good! The rest of the food was pretty standard, though the snack you must eat and take back would be the TIM TAM cookies. Oh, and if you enjoy trying crocodile I'm sure you could find some.

Do you feel you got a chance to see the city from a local's perspective?

I do because as stated above I was able to attend local markets, museums, plays and etc. We spent time at the University of New South Wales along with local students. Our class attended Australian rules football games as well as Rugby matches. There was even one weekend where I was able to go scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, river rafting, in a hot air balloon and even skydiving (the last two were on the same day!). This was a great trip.