Kaitlin Casey

Academic exchange | Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

BSc Marine Biology

Where did you live when you studied abroad? In the Christ college residence

What was the hardest thing when you arrived in Australia? Not having any phone service or wifi! Also arriving early before orientation, not knowing or being introduced to anyone, and not being given all the information about the area or about logging into the wifi in my room.

What was the easiest thing when you arrived in Australia? Making friends and getting involved was very easy as I knew the language and there were tons of activities for orientation.

What did you find different about studying in an Australian University? They recorded and uploaded all classes so I really had to force myself to go to class sometimes! Also the university was on a big hill, with residence even higher, and the field I practiced soccer at even higher! My legs quickly had to get used to long hard inclines.

Best things about Tasmania? The wilderness!!! The scuba diving, hiking, and wildlife watching was amazing!!! And there were so many opportunities with the school to get out and enjoy the great Tasmanian wilderness. Seriously I saw so much amazing wildlife and I still missed out on some opportunities to see even more of it.

What do you find most interesting about Australia? The slang is hilarious and it was fun having to translate between my Canadian accent and everyone’s Australian accent.

Most memorable experience in Tasmania? Taking the ferry to Maria island national park, biking across the island and hiking up the mountain. We got up close and personal with the cutest animal to ever exist (the wombat), saw a Tasmanian devil in the wild, and conquered the hardest hike I have ever done to be rewarded with amazing views at the top.

Funniest thing that happened to you in Tasmania? I was mountain biking down a huge hill on Maria island and tried to avoid the only tree stump for hundreds of meters only to fall off my bike and hit the stump. 🙂 The scars I still have make for a good story now.

What surprised you most about Tasmania? It wasn’t as expensive to live there as I was expecting! Also there were great transportation options both within the city of Hobart and around the state.

Food you missed the most and could not get in Australia? Iced coffee 🙁

What did you miss about Canada when you studied abroad? Not much! Being gone for only four months didn’t allow me enough time to get homesick for anything.

What do you like most about studying abroad? Getting to go to amazing places and still get a semester of classes in and do it all for not that much more expensive than it would be to stay home.

How many other countries did you visit when you were studying abroad? I only stayed within Australia but I visited Melbourne and Cairns (the great barrier reef) on my break! I honestly loved Tasmania so much that I could spend months just travelling around and not get bored.

What are your future plans, and has studying abroad made you change your future plans? Studying abroad at a school that had such an amazing marine science department opened my eyes to my research interests. I would say that it's partially the reason why I am choosing to attend Memorial University in the fall for my Masters. Also it further strengthened my desire to discover as much of the world as possible and that moving away from home is not a bad thing.

Do you have any advice to future students, who may wish to study abroad? Do it. Seriously. I would go for a full year if I could go back and change one thing. Also be opened to making friends everywhere you go when you arrive! I now have friends in multiple states, the UK, Denmark, and around Australia that I could meet up with if I ever wanted to travel to those locations. Another thing is take every opportunity to explore the city and country you’re in. I will admit I did sacrifice my studies at times to enjoy my time abroad, and I would not change my decisions. The knowledge you gain through travel is just as important as the knowledge you gain from your classes.

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