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UGA - Warnell - Discover Abroad: Maymester Australia and New Zealand: Natural History of the South Pacific (Purple) : Testimonials (Aoraki)

The following program testimonial responses have been selected for publication by Education Abroad
Final Reflection Questions
What were the most significant take-aways from your experience?
After having visited Lady Elliot Island, I now understand not only why but how people fall in love with the water. I feel that I am also awestruck by coral reef ecosystems , for honestly I had never before seen so much vigor and diversified life compacted into a space. You feel as if you have returned to an ancestral home (despite the dearth of humans) unbeknownst to you before immersion of both mind and body into the water.
Also, this course studies sustainability, and without a doubt you will learn of local communities' efforts across both NZ and eastern Australia to mitigate local social and environmental conflicts. The more stakeholders involved, the more perspectives and grounded opinions that are too. We as students study these issues, learning to view them at different angles and to negotiate. This asset, negotiation, is a dire thing to learn today in our political world, because it calls for compassion and grassroots exchange of ideas among people. We learned in this program again and again that grassroots organizations do have the power to make a change at the city, state, and federal level. I now realize the helpfulness of city council in such situations.
— Martinique Edwards, Maymester 2016
What were the most significant take-aways from your experience?
I learned how much more vast the world is than just myself. It honestly gave me a new perspective on life and made me think in ways that I never have before.
— Erin Harman, Maymester 2016
What were the most significant take-aways from your experience?
My most significant takeaway was a new perspective on the world and the natural beauty of the world. Before this trip, I couldn't have imagined how huge and naturally beautiful this world really is and I never would have thought about our need to conserve and protect it. Now I have a new sense of responsibility to protect the earth and become more sustainable. Also, it has opened my eyes to traveling the world and I now am looking for the next place that I can go. I have a new desire to travel and experience the world and different cultures.
— Jordan Einstein, Maymester 2017
What were the most significant take-aways from your experience?
Some of the most significant take-aways from my experience were making new friends and seeing a part of the world I have always wanted to see. A trip is only as good as the people you are with, and the people in my group were awesome. I went on the trip not knowing anyone and came back with 31 new friends. My favorite experiences were being able to scuba dive in the Great Barrier Reef and star gaze. When we were scuba diving, there was so much to see. It was a world of its own and I felt like I was a part of it as I swam around taking in the view. Star gazing was also really cool. We got to see different constellations and we even saw the Milky Way in the sky with multiple shooting stars. That view was unlike anything you will ever see at home.
— Christopher Johnson, Maymester 2017
How did the experience impact you and your future educational/career/personal goals?
It just changed my perspective and gave me the desire to travel and change my lifestyle. It helped me learn a lot about myself and helped me find new passions and opened my eyes to the world around me. Until you travel around the world, it is impossible to grasp how big and special of a place it truly is.
— Jordan Einstein, Maymester 2017