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From a Science Major...

Studying in Australia has been absolutely amazing. I've traveled all around the country and seen so many things I thought I never would. In the first week alone I hugged a koala, laid around with kangaroos, and saw an Australian Music Festival down by the Gold Coast. I also got my dream vacation of going up to the Great Barrier Reef and SCUBA diving. The feeling of being underwater at one of the greatest scuba spots was just beyond amazing.

For me, the trips have been great, but it has been the people and professors that made this semester even better. Not only have I met heaps of Australian people, I have met people from all over the world. I am currently living with two Australians, a guy from Colombia, and two people from mainland China. Everywhere I go I meet new people because it seems like the welcoming attitude of the Australian people is contagious. Australians are the definition of "chill" and just love life so much that it has really started to change my own life philosophy.

The professors and classes here match what I have been doing at USC. I am currently taking four high level classes which focus on specific topics in multiple fields of study. This was only possible because the professors have been so accommodating. They are always willing to help and they let me take these classes without all the prerequisites. The courses themselves continue to stay interesting because each class brings in lecturers that specialize in the topic of that week. Thus each professor is talking about what they are passionate about and this keeps the class fresh on a week-to-week basis.

I would like to promote study in Australia because I was always a little skeptical of the program and now I can't stop talking about it. (As you can see!) I was skeptical because I am a science major and I thought it would never work and that I would not be able to conduct research or take meaningful classes when I am abroad. I could not have been more wrong. This trip honestly has had a significant impact on my life and I believe every student should take advantage of this opportunity.

Finally, I really understand the importance of studying abroad, and I feel that my passion and experience can only help me be a more successful student.

Kotaro Uyeda
University of Queensland
Brisbane, Australia
Spring 2011