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Shania Bolen (USA)

When choosing where to study abroad, I wanted to be as close as I could to the rainforest and the reef while still getting the best education for my degree. JCU provided me with the best location possible in the tropics, along with a great research reputation. It also allowed me to take courses that let me fully learn and explore topics that I was passionate about. I loved it so much that I transferred to finish my degree here! JCU easily allowed me to change my major from a marine science background at my previous institution to tropical ecology and zoology!

The research field trips in my courses have been really amazing. We get to go out in the field and conduct research in the oldest tropical rainforest in the world, how cool is that! The biodiversity of plant and animal species we have been able to learn about and even monitor for course work with different methods and sensors/resources has taught me so much. Likewise, the hands on learning has made me much more confident in the field.

The volunteering opportunities in the area and the relationships you make with people from all over the world is so special. I have gotten the opportunity to help with sea turtle rehab, aquarium husbandry, and wildlife rehab of native animals. Plus, I have made friends from more countries than I can count! If you try new things and go to events, JCU will help give you heaps of life experiences, help you see the world through different perspectives, and help you make connections that you will cherish forever.