Q&A Spotlight: Ebonie Ravenell

Name: Ebonie Ravenell
Major: Animal Behavior and Biology major with a minor in Psychology
Grad Year: December 2015
Program Abroad: University of Tasmania in Hobart Tasmania via the TU Exchange program

Great Barrier Reef in Cairns, Queensland

Q: Food, your favorite subject & ours. Best dish? Worst dish? New recipe you picked up?
My favorite food from Australia were biscuits, what Americans called cookies. A brand called Tim Tams! I brought home 20 packs…I’m sort of like an addict. I have tried every flavor, some are better than others. My least favorite thing about Australia was Vegemite. It looks gross and tasted even worse.

Q: Did a local point you to a market, pub, or park you didn’t know about? Pass it on.
Some spots to definitely hit while in Hobart is Salamanca Market, Telegraph and Daci Daci. They have some of the best foods and drinks in the city!

Q: Weekends, full of travel. Where did you go? How did you choose? Was it difficult to plan?
I only had classes three days a week so a four day weekend was amazing. I went on a lot of hiking trips! It was awesome, seeing all the beautiful views never got old. I went to the mainland and visited Cairns, Melbourne and Sydney. I knew for a fact that I wanted to go to Cairns because that’s where the Great Barrier Reefs are located. It was something I have wanted to do since I was seven years old. It was definitely a dream. It wasn’t hard to book, it was more of trying to find the cheapest alternatives of getting there. You never want to spend  too much money if it’s not necessary. It’s really important to have a good budget for those sporadic trips with your friends.

Painted Cliffs meets the coast line at Maria Island

Australia: Just the Beginning

It has been just a little over a month since I have been studying abroad, and it has been filled with great adventure and new experiences. My flight over was very long to say the least. First it was to Texas, then to LA, and then a 14 hour flight to Brisbane, Australia. It wasn’t as bad as I thought and my excitement started to kick in. I sat next to another study abroad student on the way over which was great because neither of us knew what to expect. Once I got to Brisbane, I took another 3 hour flight up to Cairns, Australia which is where the Great Barrier Reef is. We had a bridging cultures program where we would have meetings in the morning and go over Australian culture and customs which was very helpful. We played ice breaker games that was fun and gave the opportunity to introduce yourself and become friends with a group of unfamiliar faces. I made some great new friends in just the first day of getting to Australia which was very nice, as I knew no one going abroad. We then got to take a boat ride out to the Great Barrier Reef where we went scuba diving and snorkeling which was out of this world. The scenery and reef were amazing.

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One of our other trips was to the rainforest were we had the chance to feed kangaroos and hold a koala bear (kangaroos are fun and really awesome animals!!). We then flew down to Sydney were I am living and going to school. My university or “uni” as the Australians say is a 15 minute walk from my apartment which is right in the middle of Sydney! The first few weeks of class have been going good and adjusting to the customs of schooling here. Instead of just class, they have big lectures once a week for two hours that is roughly 80 to 100 kids and then each class has a tutorial once a week for an hour to two hours that has about 20 kids and is more personal learning time where you ask questions and do group work. The campus at Sydney Uni is huge and am still trying to find out where everything is! But that is the fun of it. One last thing is the beaches by Sydney, Bondi and Cooggee being the main ones are a great sight to see. I did a walk along the coast line from Cooggee to Bondi beach where the scenery was breathtaking. It has been an exciting, adventourous, learning, and fun first month studying abroad in Sydney, Australia!

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Spring 2013

Sydney, Australia

Curtis Sample