I just spent ⅔ of my summer living yet another winter. Location? Australia.
The purpose of my travel was for an internship in a research group in the Australian National University (ANU). The reason I picked such a far destination was so I could test my limits and reassert my independence, whilst getting the chance to explore such a beautiful country. I had never travelled outside Europe, so this was a true challenge for me.
One of the issues of going so far away is the expence, which made me question if I could take the risk or not. However, thanks to the Principal’s Go Abroad Fund everything seemed much more possible.
My degree is ‘straight Chemistry’, thus I chose to work in a Biochemistry lab to expand my knowledge and try something new and different. Indeed, I learnt an incredible amount of new techniques involving mainly the field of molecular biology alongside chemistry. My research encouraged independent thinking and work, whilst testing something completely new. This made it exciting, interesting and relevant. I felt passionate and motivated to work.
Canberra, view by the lake
As I worked Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm, I barely had any time during the week for exploring. So I used my weekends wisely by going on roadtrips outside Canberra or by exploring the Capital itself.
My first trip was to Sydney, the closest city to Canberra (about 3 hours on the bus that is). It was the last weekend for the light show Vivid, so I wasn’t going to miss it. It was beautiful and I got the chance to go whale watching as well as that. I managed to see 3 whales and some dolphins, out of which one of the whales was a calf (highlight of my trip).
Sydney, the classic Opera House photo
My next trip was Sydney again, but this time it was for the Blue Mountains. A beautiful area just outside the city centre, that feels completely isolated. Its name originates from the blue tinge the light shows once reflected on the eucalyptus oil and water vapour in the area.
Blue Mountains, the famous Three Sisters
The next weekends ahead I spent going to the Coast and visiting the nearby wineries of Canberra. I got to pet kangaroos and see koalas have a scratch. My experience had peaked.
Kaima, by far my favourite town
Jervis Bay, the world’s whitest beach according to Guinness Book of Records (squeaky too)
Once I finished my research project, I decided to go to Melbourne for 10 days before heading home. There I visited some of my relatives I had never met before and got the chance to relax.
Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne
Centre Place, one of Melbourne’s numerous little lanes
Overall, my Australian adventure was an amazing experience. I’m now back in Europe and I feel like I have gained much more than what I was hoping for. I feel confident with my work and skills, strong and independent as a person. I met loads of new people and made some lifelong friendships.
Thank you for reading.