Australia was not only a blast, but I learned a ton! The course was Sports Marketing and the length of stay was 10 days. We had many guest speakers from the Sydney Swans, Australian Rugby League, Warratohs, Rabitohs (Russel Crowe’s team), MLB, US Consulate, Commonwealth Bank, and speakers from the University of Technology Sydney. OE also had a professor on staff who was a member of our group for the duration of the trip.

The OE professor oversaw our project and made sure we were on the right track. The project was in conjuction with the Sydney Swans, an AFL Team. We broke into teams and designed surveys to gather data from local SydneySiders to poll their opinion on both the AFL and The Swans. There were three different days to survey the SydneySiders and on the final day, we asked these questions at a Swans game. At the end of the trip, we presented our findings to the Swans.

Outside of class time, we toured Australia. Our Hostel was right across the street from Central Station so we mostly used the train as transportation. We went to both a AFL and Rugby game, toured the opera house, walked across the harbour (Australia Spelling), visited Manly Beach, shopped downtown, and spent a few hours touring on our own.

As part of the trip, we traveled to Cairnes (pronouced “Cans”). Cairnes is more of a beach flavored town and was very laid back, something you might expect while in Florida. In fact, it was so small the airport didn’t have gates. You simply walked off the plane onto the tarmac. While in Cairnes we visited a wildlife reserve which allowed us to take a duck tour of the rainforest, watch Aboriginals throw spears, teach us how to throw a boomerang, finally watch them perform aboribinal dances while playing the didjeridoo (which is the “Sound of Australia” and is pronouced “did-jer-e-do”). The highlight of the wildlife park was of course the zoo which held kangaroos, Koala bears, crocodiles, and other species. We were able to spend a long time on petting the Kangaroos and even got to hold a Koala.

The next day in Cairnes we went scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef. The boat ride was 2 hours and was very rough, but it was so worth it. When we got there, we had the option to scuba or snorkle and many of us did both. Scuba diving did not need certification and we went down in groups of 4 with a guide. It was awesome! We were inches from the reef and I almost got eaten by a giant clam! Snorkeling left you about a foot from the reef and you could stop to take breaks at the beached island. Lunch was on the boat and it led to a very relaxed afternoon.

The very next day in Cairnes was our last and we spent the afternoon finishing our projects. After we finished our projects, we ventured up into the rainforest to bungee jump. The bungee was set up above a small pond which you would later touch after almost reaching the ground. Great fun!

We traveled back to Sydney after Bungee jumping as the next two days would be the remainder of the trip. We spent that time touring and on the last day, prepared to give our presentation.

This trip was very well planned out and the director was very connected. The tuition for the trip seems expensive for 10 days, but it includes 3 meals a day, accomodation, travel while in Australia, and all activities (unless you wanted to purchase something extra). If you enjoyed your time in Australia, you had the option to continue your experience to both New Zealand and Fiji.

This trip would be perfect for Freshmen or Sophmores interested in Marketing. I am a CIS Major but still had fun!

Italia-I can’t believe I’m here.


Happy to be leaving the states!

I started my study abroad on August 18th along with Regina Amundson. Before arriving in our city of study, we made our own plans to travel to Ireland and London. Ireland was amazing and one of my favorite countries that I have visited. We stayed in Dublin at the Fleet Street Hotel, it was nice and in the CENTER of everything that we wanted to do. We also stayed in Galway for a night, in order to visit the Cliffs of Moher, a.ka. the most beautiful place I have ever seen. London was a very big city so we used one of those very touristy tour busses to see things and get around. This was the first time I had ever experienced the Metro and we successfully mastered it in the first try. It seems confusing at first but you just have to figure out which line goes to where you are going, and change lines when needed to do that.

Cliffs of Moher

The program that I chose to go through was ISA-International Studies Abroad. This is because UofL doesn’t have an exchange program in Florence, Italy. The staff is amazing and goes out of their way to help you do anything and everything. We arrived at the Rome airport where they picked us up. We stayed in Rome for a few days for our first excursion with the program and then moved on to Florence where we stay. I really liked Rome and would have also had an amazing time if I had studied there. Top three things that I did there: made a wish in the Trevi Fountian, climbed the Spanish Steps and looked at Rome from the top, and visited the Colosseum!

Trevi Fountian
View from the top of the Spanish Steps
Colosseum with some of my roommates!

They had our apartments picked out for us which is pretty nice because I know that some people who study abroad have to find their own. My apartment was a surprise because it is much bigger than expected! It also has air conditioning and a washer which not many Italians have. There are seven girls in total in our apartment. We have three bedrooms and three bathrooms, and a kitchen. What we don’t have is a living room but we have all gotten over that fact because we don’t really like to lounge around in the apartment much, we would rather be out enjoying the beautiful city. Italians like to conserve energy, so we have to keep in mind to turn off lights, take short showers, and we hang our clothes up to dry considering we don’t even have a dryer to use.

Dining Room
LONG hallway
My Bedroom

The only class that is mandatory to take is Italian. I didn’t, but I recommend you taking a year or two before you come abroad. I am in the beginner’s class and it isn’t too much of a challenge but would have liked to know some before I came. It is incredible how many Italians can speak English. Some are more fluent than others but almost everyone can understand some. It makes me so jealous. All of my teachers in my other classes also speak English pretty well; I haven’t had any barriers with the language difference at all. The other classes that I am taking are: Love, Sex, and Marriage in the Renaissance Italy, Italian Culture through Festivals and Feasting, Wine Appreciation I, and Fashion, Media, and Culture. I absolutely love my Food class! If I could go back– I would have taken a lot of different cooking classes instead of taking a variety of things (even though I do enjoy all of my classes).

Variety of Fish-had to take out their insides and ALL!
Cooking Class!

Besides Rome, ISA has also taken us on many different excursions, and have events planned for us throughout the semester. They’ve taken us to museums, on day trips to other places in Florence, a soccer game, had cooking lessons, and then we also have a Thanksgiving dinner planned and we are going to an opera! All of these things are optional but I have done most of them and they were great experiences. My favorite was the soccer game and a visit to Cinque Terre beach-another one of the most beautiful places that I have been!

Roommates and I before the game!
SOCCER GAME! had to buy a jersey!
Swimming in random rocks during a hike in Cinque Terre!
Kayaking in Cinque Terre

We have already had a few visitors from home, Matthew Case and Jacob Huff which are friends of ours from UofL. We are also going to have Regina’s sister visit us and Jenny Blake, who also went to UofL. Having them come makes it feel like a little piece of home is here for a week! While Matt and Jacob were here we visited Venice. This place is absolutely amazing! While there we took the obvious gondola ride and I even got to get up with the gondola man and help drive it!

With Matt and Jacob in Venice

In the past few weeks a lot has happened- Midterms and Fall Break! Midterms all went well as planned. AND FALL BREAK WAS AMAZING! During the break some of my roommates and I planned to go to Barcelona, Paris, and Interlaken. You might not be as familiar with Interlaken as the other cities, but it is in Switzerland and is the adventure capital! It looked like a post card and was so pretty! I went canyoning in melted glacier water–cold but totally worth it! You can youtube it, but basically you hike up to the top of some canyons and then make your way down them by jumping in pools of water and sliding down rocks–forwards and backwards! I was so much fun. The highlight was SKYDIVING over the Swiss Alps. It cost a small fortune but I do not care in the least bit and want to go again. While in Paris I did the usual….sat on the lawn of the Eiffel tower and climbed it, saw the MONA LISA, etc. In Barcelona I saw a lot of Gaudi architecture and went to his park, which was awesome. I did more things in this one week than I have done in my entire life!

SO PRETTY!On top of the Eiffel Tower!yay!Roommates and I looking at the tower!Gaudi Fountian-BarcelonaGaudi Park-Barcelonaamazing of course-Switzerlandwe are in a post card! -Switzerlandgetting ready to skydive!here we go!explains it all!

So now it’s back to school mode! Thinking about the papers and presentations that I’m going to be working on over the next month and lastly the finals! Then moving back home–so sad. Time has been passing by WAY too quick for me. It seems like yesterday when I was just arriving in Ireland. The environment over here is so much more laid back than in the states. I’ve been taking the time to sit back and enjoy the atmosphere while waiting on the check at dinner rather than wondering how fast it is going to come. I feel as though I have been more lucky than others because yea I miss my friends and family, but I haven’t had or taken the time to even think about it. This is a once in a lifetime experience and I am trying to do everything possible to make it the most amazing time of my life. When am I ever going to live in Florence, Italy again? Probably never. I LOVE THIS PLACE!! Thanks to the COB for giving me this experience.