My off campus study was an experience of a lifetime. I did not grow up in a family of travelers, and I assumed that my travels as an adult would take me no farther. I had never gone farther away from home than Florida, and the only foreign country I had ever visited was Canada. However, with the help of the University of Michigan-Flint Honors Program, I was able to go out and see the world as I assisted in research in Australia. With the help of Dr. Darien Freary and the vets at the clinic, and the friends I made on campus, this trip turned out to be a terrific adventure that will forever hold a place in my memory.
The first thing I noticed as I landed in Sydney and made my way to what I would be calling home for the next month was the hospitality and kindness of each and every Australian I met, especially Dr. Darien, the vet I would soon be assisting. She picked me up at the airport, and with a big hug took my luggage and walked me out to her vehicle. She drove me to the University of Sydney’s Camden campus and got me started on the work that I would be doing for the research project. Right away I felt as if I were an important part of this study. After my work for the day was finished, I was introduced to some of the students who lived in my dorm. I quickly made friends with my dorm mates who, throughout my stay, always gave me company and allowed me someone to talk to.
All of the experiences I had were of a once-in-a-lifetime caliber. Even simple things like seeing a wallaby on an evening run around the campus were so enjoyable I had to constantly stop and thank God for having this opportunity. I would highly recommend any student at the university to get out and live in the world if only for a month of your life, because it will be a month you will remember for your entire lifetime. I feel so much more well-rounded and cultured and I am sure that I am a better person for having taken my off campus trip.