During your program search you will be faced with many questions that will help you make the final decision on choosing which program is best fit for you. Through independent research, advice from your peers and personal interests you will create your ideal experience abroad which will ultimately gear you towards your decision.
So, Why Tasmania?
Tasmania shares the clean, cold air that comes from Antarctica putting the state in the top 3 for having the worlds cleanest air. This also gives you a clue as to how natural , green, and sustainable the island is. It is Australia’s most southern state and is detached from the mainland by the Bass strait making it the step brother to the rest of the states. Tasmania is unique in that it is an island with remarkable dolerite formations (a geologists paradise) and pristine white sand beaches providing lots of opportunity to bushwalk (hike), rock climb, snorkel, dive, and much more. The islanders hold the environment dear to their heart which reflects their stress-free personalities and hippie-habits.
If you’re looking to get away from the busy life and are tired of being a city-slicker, Tasmania is the place to go! Although the island itself is very large with a population of about 500,000 people (equivalent to 5 UT stadiums), the towns are relatively small compared to cities such as Austin or Dallas. Although I made plenty of friends and shared a house with 9 flatmates, I found myself with no agenda towards the end of the semester (May/June). Tasmania was getting into its peak winter season, so for a mountainous island there isn’t much to do in the winter except for the Salamanca Market every Saturday (my favorite past time). Stores close early, town is quite empty during the week and we all know everyone likes to hibernate during the winter. I had to learn how to make the most out of my free time. I learned to enjoy my alone time and go on adventures in town rather than sitting at home waiting for something/someone to come to me. Groups of students would also plan weekend trips to discover new parts of Tasmania, there is a lot to see!
The University I attended was in Hobart, Tasmania’s capital City (although being from the city, I see Hobart as a quaint town). Classes were small and professors were very friendly. They were easily accessible and they make every effort to get to know you. Never did I feel like a number and they even go by their first name! Classes were at times difficult, but nothing I hadn’t dealt with.
GOING OUT OF BOUNDS
During my trip I made sure to make time to travel to the mainland. I visited Sydney and Cairns, Australia. I didn’t make it to Melbourne (closest city to Tasmania) but I heard it is very similar to Austin, Texas. I had enough money for one last trip before I headed back to the U.S and decided to sacrifice Melbourne so I could go to Thailand. Once school ended, me, my flatmate from Canada and a local Australian friend hopped on a plane to Thailand. That’s a whole other blog in itself but the point of sharing this is to emphasize the importance of getting out of your comfort zone and seeing all that you can. My study abroad trip brought opportunities I had never fathomed. Traveling with an open mind, a passion for experiences and becoming good friends with peers around me I was able to take advantage of those opportunities. I advise you do the same!
Not knowing one fact about the island in the beginning lured my interest towards the program. Tasmania provided more than I hoped. I encourage students to go out of their comfort zone and choose a place you’ve never heard of. Studying abroad is supposed to provide a once in a life time chance and its up to you to make that happen.