It's been almost two weeks since landing in Sydney, and I think I can speak on behalf of all of us on the program by saying that it has exceeded all of our expectations thus far. Last weekend, about 8 of us decided to take a weekend excursion up to Cairns to get the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit the great barrier reef. Sydney is absolutely tremendous, but the great barrier reef was something that we knew we needed to see while we were here. The flight was cheap, and under 3 hours, so it wasn't a bad trip at all.
We booked an all day snorkel and dive tour through "down under dive" that took us out to the best spots in the reef that visitors are allowed to go to. Some of us were diving certified and were able to scuba, while others just decided to snorkel, both providing state of the art views that none of us will ever forget. The tour was extraordinary, providing both live entertainment and complimentary food and drinks. I feel as though it is important to say that even though the reef was incredible, it was also extremely evident that climate change has definitely left its mark on the once thriving reef and marine life. The 2,300 km reef is currently noted to have over two-thirds of it devastated by coral bleaching. Even a small one degree celsius change can drastically hinder the survival rate of oceanic life. Smimming over the once flourishing reef was both surreal and a huge reminder that we need to protect our oceans. This is why I am a huge advocate of climate clange, even more so after seeing the very tramatized great barrier reef.
With all that being said, I wouldn't take back my experience at the great barrier reef for anything. I brought my GoPro camera with me, allowing me to take the memories of what is left of the reef with me forever. We were still able to see some unbelieveable oceanic life, including a few sharks. I highly recommend every single individual who has the opportunity to go to the reef to visit sooner rather than later, and to also do your part to detain the astronaumical issue of global warming.
As far as life in Sydney goes, I have nothing to complain about. We are staying in a really nice hotel in Chatswood, in which the trains provide the easiest possible transportation to and from the city. Even though it's only been two weeks, I feel lke I've lived here for years. Work and class is going very smoothly, and I could not be more excited for the rest of the Summer!
More Blogs From This Author
<p>My name is Haley Straub and I am an animal sciences student at the University of Florida aspiring to be an exotic animal Veterinarian. I also have a huge interest in international studies and dance, both of which I am receiving minors for. I could not be more excited to travel to Sydney this Summer and gain a ton of new life experience, both in and out of the workplace!</p>