Joe Bushman, Class of 2014, shares some of the highlights of his winter intersession in Australia.
This was truly one of the best things I have decided to do with my life so far. Everyone in the program seemed to enjoy themselves, even though the school work was a lot heavier than many of us expected it to be. There were many nights where a large group of students from the trip would go to the school after hours to work on their essays. I know I spent a few nights in the computer lab just trying to make sure I was able to complete my work on time. This was probably one of the first times I did not procrastinate writing my papers. I felt the need to be much more organized while I was there because of the limited time we had there. That alone was a big learning experience for me because I usually put things off to the last minute.
I’ve been told for years now that I belong in either
California or because of my personal interests and personality. Because of that, I did not feel as much of a culture shock from the Australians as I did living with dorming college students. It was something that I never got to experience being a commuter student at C.S.I. Having a roommate was weird at first because I didn’t even know his name until I arrived at the apartments, but that shock faded quickly over the first few days. Australia
Outside of class, but still through the program, we all took a bus out to the Great Ocean Road where we were able to see a beautiful coast line and go surfing. I have surfed before so I was extremely excited to go surfing there. I was slightly disappointed in the wave sizes but it was a program for beginning surfers, so I wasn’t actually expecting too much. It was still fun talking to the locals and instructors about surfing here in the states.
|Surfing by the Great Ocean Road|
Later on in the trip we rented a couple cars and had a local tell us about a waterfall that was just a couple hours outside of
. It turns out that it took us almost four hours to get there, but it was definitely worth the car ride there. The waterfall was beautiful and we saw a ton of wild kangaroos and Cockatoo. I was one of four people who went to the waterfall and it was probably one of my favorite parts of the trip. On the way back home, it was approaching midnight and we were on a long stretch of road with no streetlights for miles. I looked up at the sky and told my friend Kash to stop the car. At first he didn’t want to but my other friend Jasmine convinced him to after I explained they would see something that they will probably never see again. We pulled over to the side of the highway and all got out of the car, everyone was mesmerized by the sheer beauty of the stars. We saw two ufos that were probably some kind of space rock drifting around in space. This was the second greatest moment of the trip. Geelong
|Waterfall three hours outside of Geelong|
My favorite moment was getting to do something I have wanted to do for at least the last ten years of my life. I finally got to go to the
Great Barrier Reef and go snorkeling and scuba diving. This was just unreal seeing all of the different kinds of coral and fish living in one place. On the boat I took a thirty minute lesson about some of the coral and creatures living in the reef. I already knew some of the stuff they were telling us, but I did not know that one of the most dangerous creatures there was actually a cone snail. While snorkeling I actually saw one of them and made sure to steer clear of it because its venom can kill an adult male in as little as ten to fifteen minutes. I brought my underwater camera with me for this part of the trip specifically and I was able to bring it down to thirty feet below the surface and get some pretty cool photos. If anyone is interested in doing this trip I will gladly talk to them about it.
|Clowning around in the Great Barrier Reef|
|Joe holding a sea cucumber|