Plattsburgh State student studies abroad Down Under
Letter to the Editor
Published: Thursday, May 10, 2012
Updated: Thursday, May 10, 2012 23:05
My name is Conner Ferguson, and I am a 21-year-old student from Saranac Lake. This semester, I’m studying abroad in Brisbane, Australia. It has been an eye-opening experience to say the least. I have learned a lot about Australia, as well as myself, since I got here. During Easter holiday, I backpacked around by myself, visiting the Daintree Rainforest (the world’s oldest rainforest), the Great Barrier Reef and Sydney. At first, it was a little daunting traveling alone, but then I reminded myself that I had beaten the odds and not died or gotten lost on my way to Australia in the first place. I met some good people in my travels and even more at the University of Queensland. I have never met a more diverse group of people in my life, but that’s definitely one of the main points of studying abroad!
One of my first weekends here, I visited Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary with a group of kids I had met at Union College, my residence hall. At the sanctuary, you can hold a koala, hand feed kangaroos and see all sorts of animals. That was one of the craziest weekends. I had to wrap my head around the fact that technically, I was holding a bear. I also hand fed a kangaroo and just hung out in their “area.” I bought a little bag of kangaroo snacks for them and picked one out to basically stick with. The next day, I went to an Aussie barbecue and got to eat a kangaroo. I guess you could sort of consider it the circle of life. I ate some crocodile meat as well, and have even seen some wild crocodiles. I have not hand fed them though. I kind of want to keep the score at: Conner 1, Croc 0.
As I write this, I have been in Australia for more than two months. Although it’s been a while, I can truly say the hospitality is great and homesickness has been at a minimum. However, I do miss my family, friends, Wild Horses and Taco Bell. I do not miss the cold weather or the construction in Hood Hall (how is that coming, by the way?).
This has truly been a wonderful experience. I will be sad to leave at the end of June, but eager to see friends and family, of course.
I guess the moral to this little story is that if you have considered studying abroad at some point in your college career, it comes highly recommended. Even if you haven’t thought about it, just take the time to consider it. It is not nearly as painful or out of reach as you may think!
Just a little shout out to all of my friends who are graduating in a couple of weeks: I love you all, and best of luck! You know who you are.