Alyssa Florack here checking in midway through my semester in Brisbane, Australia! Abroad adventures may just be beginning for my friends in the UK, but I’m already two and a half months in! It’s crazy to think that so much of my time here is already gone, and even crazier that I’m currently on spring break! I’ve taken some amazing trips to beach towns like Byron Bay, Moreton Bay and Surfer’s Paradise, so this spring break I decided to go with my terrestrial ecology and marine biology classes and on their 5-day long field trips. On our first field trip, we went to Fraser Island, the biggest sand island in the world. You have to take a ferry to get to the island, and then when you arrive, you drive on beaches in 4WD trucks! We were flying over sand dunes and driving through the rising tide on our very first night, so I knew it was going to be a good trip. We spent the next five days hiking, jumping off of sand dunes, swimming in lakes and doing research in the Eucalyptus forests and rainforests. Once again, Australia has proven itself to combine work and play in all sorts of ways. We spent mornings playing volleyball on the beach and afternoons doing data analysis, so it’s added up to a fun week! Even our tutors (like TAs) seem to be enjoying themselves. They’re always the first in the water, and they race the trucks on the beach (it really is bizarre to be on a beach and see a speed limit sign). Unfortunately we can’t swim in the ocean here because these waters are popular with sharks and jellyfish, but nothing could be more Australian! Right now I’m riding the bus back to our university in Brisbane, and a few hours after we arrive, I’m leaving on the field trip with my marine biology class to Heron Island. It’s five more days of research, night snorkels, diving and reef walking, so I just can’t wait. It’s hard to imagine anything like this happening at BC, so I’ve just got to enjoy it while I can! Cheers!