(The past two months, I’ve been getting that response a lot.)
“What are you going to be doing in Australia?”
(I’ve always wanted to make up a fun story about fulfilling my dream of becoming a professional kangaroo rider or something.)
After explaining that I’ll be studying in Brisbane at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) from February through June, I typically get a lot of questions that I have few answers to: “Where will you be living? What’s the weather like? When do you leave the country? Will you come back with an accent?”
You may be wondering how I don’t know any of these answers because it’s the middle of January but currently, my soon-to-be classmates are on summer break. Yes, summer. Because Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere, their seasons are the opposite of ours. Consequently, I won’t be starting classes until February 29. Because of acclimation and orientation, however, I must be in Brisbane by February 15.
From now until June, I will be blogging about my Australian adventures for the university, so I feel that it’s important for any readers to know a little bit about me. My name is Hunter and I’m a junior at Alabama, pursuing dual-degrees in Communication Studies and Business Management with a specialization in Real Estate. I’m from the Panhandle of Florida (right near Destin, if you’re familiar with that area). As my girlfriend says, I’m going from one vacation destination to another (Brisbane is right on the Great Barrier Reef).
So what made me want to study abroad? Lots of reasons. I want my college experience to be unique and unlike anybody else’s. I want to create stories that I could tell my kids someday. Finally, I’ve always wanted to go to Australia. Growing up, I loved animals and would read books and do school projects on different animal species. Naturally, I read a lot about some of the bizarre animals found only in Australia, so as a kid, I wanted to go check them out. When I entered middle school, my church’s youth pastor was an Aussie and because I looked up to him so much, I was enamored by the stories he told of his homeland. Now, with the exchange program QUT and Alabama have to offer, I’m able to use my scholarships at Alabama to study abroad in Australia, giving me a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I just couldn’t pass up.
To be honest, words can’t describe how excited I am. There’s still plenty of planning left to do and several aspects that I’m anxious about. But more than anything, I’m looking forward to whatever the next six months hold for me. Thanks for taking some of your time to follow my adventure. I’m glad to have a friend (er, mate) to share it with!