Exploring Australia

Sami Long at the Great Barrier Reef
Sami Long at the Great Barrier Reef

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Junior softball player Sami Long spent three weeks this summer exploring Australia with the Belmont's Study Abroad Program.  The Springfield, Illinois native recently spoke to BelmontBruins.com about her experience "Down Under."


Where did you study abroad this summer?

Australia: Brisbane, North Stradbroke Island, Townsville- Magnetic Island, Cairns, Sydney  


What classes did you take?  

Chemistry: Pick Your Poison (It looked into why some of Australia's animals are so dangerous!)

Third Year Writing (online)  


What was your favorite memory?

I was in complete awe of the Great Barrier Reef. There is a reason the reef is considered to be one of the seven wonders of the world. It was saddening to see an area of the coral bleaching with all the vacant homes of different fish, but it left an impression on me to change some of my life choices to help in the efforts of saving this great wonder. I have never seen such colorful fish in all my trips to different aquariums. The best moment of this whole experience was seeing a shark!!


Is there a specific place that you would go back and visit?  If so, where and why?

I would go back to Sydney in a heartbeat. There were so many things that I wanted to do but was only able to accomplish a small section on the list due to the short stay in that city. It was great that Sydney's transportation systems had numerous options that covered the whole area, which allowed us to explore to our heart's desire all throughout the neighboring areas of Sydney.


What was the thing that surprised you the most about the culture and surroundings?  

Australia was blessed with numerous natural beautiful landmarks so they are much more in tune with nature. The Australians I met were very aware of their personal waste footprint they were leaving on our only planet, which has made me strive to become more aware and change my wasteful habits.


How was the food?  What was your favorite meal?  

The food was amazing!!! Australians are very fit and they tend to eat healthy as well. The food tasted fresher without all the preservatives that are normally be used here in America. The biggest change I could tell was in their granola bars because they are tons healthier than ours so they do not have all the sugar and things that make them taste so delicious. I cannot decide on a favorite meal but one of my favorite restaurants served "chips" (french fries) as their unlimited complimentary appetizer.


After being overseas for this period of time, what did you miss most about "home" (U.S.)?

I honestly did not miss that much about America except my family. I would go back to Australia any day of the year but if my family was willing to move there then I would be gone in a heartbeat.


Would you recommend other Belmont student-athletes (or students) go on this trip?