Monthly Archives: May 2011

Looking for fresh faces to represent the embassy!

The Embassy of Australia education team is happy to announce that we are seeking semester 2 bloggers and student ambassadors!  What does this mean?  Allow us to clarify:

SEMESTER 2 BLOGTASTIC STUDENTS

After the success of the relaunch of our semester 1 blogging program, we are looking for students studying abroad in Australia for semester 2.

We want fun, creative, responsible and motivated students to blog about the academic, cultural and social aspects of living and studying in Australia.  If interested, visit our blog page on our website here and download an application.

Find out more about our bloggers by reading this blog post!

STUDENT AMBASSADOR PROGRAM

2010-11 Student Ambassadors

Student ambassadors are US and Canadian students who recently studied abroad in Australia who will promote study in Australia through campus events, peer advising and online social networking. 

This year, we are also seeking 10 Australian students currently studying in the US or Canada. By participating in the program,  students gain skills like public speaking, organisation and leadership – all attributes sought by employers and graduate schools. The Student Ambassador Program runs from August 2011  to May 2012 and student ambassadors will be provided with event management training, a small budget to cover event expenses, materials and fun giveaways.

Visit here to find out more and how to get nominated! 

See current student ambassadors here.

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A world without koala kuddles

With great sadness, we are writing you that The Koala Research Network (KRN) revealed a devastating fate for our tree-hugging friends.  Habitat loss, disease, urbanisation, dog attacks and climatic extremes, the future of the koala is a question mark.

KRN is a group of over 60 researchers that work with koalas studying biology, ecology, health and disease and conservation.

Some of the statistics gathered:

  • 51% decrease in under three years in population and a 64% decrease in 10 years since monitoring first began
  • Populations in Mulga Lands have seen declines from 50-60,000 in 1996, to 10-12,000 in 2009 due to drought
  • As human population increases, koala populations decrease
  • A koala retro-virus make koalas more susceptible to cancer and prevalence of this virus have gone from 0% in 2004 to 15% in 2006 and up to 36% in 2009

The koala may become listed under The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act shortly, however, the key to saving the koala is education.  For more information visit the KRN website at www.gpem.uq.edu.au/krn.

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Phone home

Both a big deterrent and a big incentive to studying in Australia is the distance from home.  From the west coast of the US to Sydney can take about 14 to 16 hours in a direct flight.  From the east coast to Sydney, well, without the layover to the west coast, it’s going to add another 5 to 6 hours.  As students, the cheapest options often involve some layovers, pre-arrival airport time of 2+ hours, plus driving to the airport, so it’s no easy feat.

Tack on the time zones, and it is certainly difficult to arrange visits and talk time to family and friends back in North America, however, in this modern day of internet and teleportation devices (ok, not there yet) it really isn’t so difficult to maintain connections and avoid homesickness all together.

Innovations such as MSN Messenger, Gmail chat and calls, Skype, Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites keeps you connected no matter where in the world you are.  Aside from texts and decent long distant phone plans, you can see your family and friends via webcam.  The world has never been smaller!

Occasionally, as you sit in class listening to the twang of your Australian professor, look right-left-right as you cross the street, pay $4 for a coke and sit on one of the beaches of a coastal city of Australia, you may feel a twinge of sadness.  Truly, no one is ever so far away, and you are experiencing the adventure of a lifetime, so soak it in.

You’re studying in Australia–a country full of amazing opportunity and a great culture–life is good.

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