25 April 2018


Hey Friends!

I've spent the last week post-program in Melbourne and tomorrow I fly home to the states!

Melbourne is AMAZING!!
View from the rooftop of my hostel (YHA Melbourne Metro)

Think New York City but a bit cleaner and smaller, a TON of diversity, and targeted towards college and post grad student aged people. It's really nice to walk around because I don't hear English as the main language and walking around the main part of downtown seeing different ethnicities of people, languages, and food. It also has an AMAZING China Town - best one I've found in all of Aus, and comparable with San Fransisco's.

Since my academic year is finished I have nothing school - related to tell you guys... so I shall give you a little insiders scoop to Melbourne and the good places to check out :D

1. Melbourne Central. Ok, so this whole inner city is like one giant mall thats about 8 blocks by 2 blocks and 6 stories tall, and anything and everything you could possibly need to buy is in there.
Queen Vic Market

2. Queen Victoria Market. BEST public market I've been to. Think San Fransisco's public market ferry station (? Is that what it's called? I don't actually live in the bay area and don't know it very well). It's a massive indoor public market in the front half and then think Portland Saturday market, but better. Huge produce venues with delicious fruit and veggies.

3. Docklands. Another mall area, there is a ferris wheel over there - it's cheap but I've heard it takes a long time to cycle through and only tourists really go on it - typical. But it's also got a ton of weird quirky indoor arcade type things like glow in the dark mini golf and stuff. Fun to go to with a bunch of friends or something :) Theres also a place called ArtVo that is like an interactive painting place where you can go and pose in paintings that look 3D.

4. St. Kilda. Theres a beach, a boardwalk and a cool food street with a cake shop every other building. Luna Park is also on the water there, it was closed when I went - but I've also already gone to the Luna Park in Sydney.

5. Hozier Lane. So I never actually got myself over there, but it's this amazing graffiti lane with tons of "instagram" options.

6. CHINA TOWN. So I mentioned this earlier, but ahh the China Town is so authentic and ahh the food!!!! Shanghai Street (restaurant name) has amazing food and dimsum.

Anyways, I was only here for a week and definitely didn't explore as much as I could have, but if you ever find your way to Melbourne be sure to check some of these places out.

That's all for now folks,
I'll write to you STATE SIDE.

Australia has been an incredible time and the semester went by SO QUICKLY! But I am very ready to go home :)

if you want to shoot me any questions you can always reach me at: ksaylor@lclark.edu

**These blogs are meant to be for the admissions office and to tell you all about school, and I'll stil do a long photo album post when I get all the pictures downloaded and organized, but if you're looking for a bit more academic and maybe less touristy stuff check out Amelia's blogs. She just started uploading again, but she was on the Aus trip too and writes much more about the science.**


22 April 2018

Before Break

Note: I’m catching up on my posting because between a busy life and a busy program, I haven’t been keeping up this blog very well.  If you get the chance to study abroad, do it, whichever school you wind up attending.  I have made some fantastic memories and seen amazing things. Plus, it breaks up the routine of school and lets you get to know new people.

After our time in Tasmania, we went straight to camping in the rain forests of Lamington Plateau.  It definitely was a rain forest, our group had the worst storms the program leader had seen in the 20 years of bringing L&C students there.  Despite the fact that there were 30 people camping with everything needed for school and travel (laptops, cameras, phones, etc.) the only casualty was a pop-up shelter which flew into a tree and a few damp notebooks.

Our time there was a lot of fun, we went spotlighting for nocturnal animals, hiking through different kinds of forest, watched many different kinds of birds, and went bug hunting among other things.  We found a bowerbird nest in the woods and found a bright blue crawfish in the stream.  Towards the end of the trip we hiked down to see a wall of glow worms.  Getting a picture was impossible, but it looked like a starry sky surrounding us.

After Lamington, we spent a few weeks in Brisbane working on our venom biology projects.  We got to use the facilities at University of Queensland and had lectures from venom experts there.  Every day we went to UQ we needed to take public transportation and I am thrilled to say I took a boat to school.  Brisbane has a ferry system called the CityCats (they’re catamarans) which run up and down the river crossing back and forth.  I really enjoyed it.

During one of our Brisbane weekends we took a trip to North Stradbroke Island.  We got to stay at a marine science center and spend our days learning about the various ecosystems that survive on a sand island.  We waded through stingray infested waters, followed a stream through a mangrove forest, watched thousands of crabs scuttle across a mudflat, and saw wild koalas for the first time.

Have questions about anything?  Feel free to email me at ameliaberle@lclark.edu

16 April 2018

FINALS and Final Days


AHHHH the program is over!!! Not officially, but tomorrow is our final dinner and we took our final exams the past two days. I'm now back in Brisbane and we're done with scheduled activities.

So let me just catch yall up...

Lady Elliot Island
SO after the near death experience on the ferry to Great Keppel we spent a few days there finally studying some awesome marine bio because we finally were on THE GREAT BARRIER REEF!!!
Unfortuntly for us though, the weather was still not cooperating and we didn't actually end up seeing anything because the sediment made the water so murky. We couldn't snorkel, but we were able to swim a little bit! It was a really relaxing time and we learned a lot about the reef, the reef structures and also all the threats the reef is facing / already faces. Since our schedule had been pushed around a bit, we ended up having a bit more of a chill time. We had a couple of lectures each day and then did a walk around the island too. It was beautiful and there were so many shells that had washed up from the cyclone. We also saw some ferrel goats!!! They're a really big problem that the national parks have been trying to eradicate since they eat all the vegetation that stabilizes the small islands from erosion.

After Great Keppel we did a bit of a ping pong travel day to get to Lady Elliot Island. Within 24 hours we took a bus, an overnight train, another bus, and a small private plane! Lady Elliot is a GORGEOUS corral cay island about 80km off the mainland. It's smack on the reef, and actually, made entirely of dead corals. It was everything I could ever imagine about Australia and the Great Barrier Reef. It's CRYSTAL blue waters and fish everywhere. LEI is especially known for manta rays too! - unfortunately we were at the wrong season, but we did see loads of SEA TURTLES and WE SAW BABY SEA TURTLES BEING RELEASED!!!!!

From Lady Elliot we went straight to the Bunya Mountains where we took our final exams. It was similar to Maria in the sense there was wildlife EVERYWHERE! There were so many pretty face wallabies! Finals weren't bad, but there was a lot to study and we had about 4 hours to cram after getting off the bus and before the next days exams. .... It was a bit rough, but all in all not bad....And now I'm FINISHED WITH MY JUNIOR YEAR!!!
In the lagoon (the shallows) of the reef!

If you have any questions you can now reach me reliably at: ksaylor@lclark.edu 


10 April 2018

RHMS Assignments

Hello All!

Now that I'm done with all the work for the IME Banquet, I have had more time to take a breathe and relax. It has been a great chance to get prepared for finals and to get everything straightened out for before I graduate. 

One thing that I have been reflecting on during this has been how I have changed my blogging style throughout the semester. In January, I started blogging for my Rhetoric and Media Studies class. In the beginning, it was a bit difficult because I have never blogged before. Fortunately, our teacher structured the class so that we would have time to talk about it in class with our classmates. I got a lot of help from my classmates and they gave me a lot of tips on how to make my blog even better. We also had blog coaches that leave us feedback every week which helps us know what we are doing right and what we can improve. 

I am not a Rhetoric and Media student and took this class just to widen my knowledge on the subject a bit, but this class has really made me wish that I had taken more time to take more classes like these. It was a very hands on class, and it really helped me put the theories that we learned about in class to practice. 

One of my favorite aspects of this assignment was that my teacher gave me the opportunity to write in Spanish. I am a native-Spanish speaker, and it is kinda nice being able to use my native tongue in a class other than Spanish class. Of course, I translate a lot of what I write, but it is still nice to be able to show my identity and my culture through this assignment in that way. 

I really enjoyed these classs, and if you all end up coming to Lewis and Clark College, I highly recommend taking a course in Interpersonal Media. It's a lot about what we use on a day to day basis, such as Instagram and Facebook and how it we interact with it. Pretty cool stuff!

Well, gotta keep working on my assignments. I'll be back next week!

Elvi Ruan

09 April 2018

Time in Tassie

Okay, so study abroad has been incredibly busy.  The Australia trip is more intense than most of the other trips so between the scheduled events and the necessary life stuff (REUs applications, job applications, housing, etc) I have been super busy and neglecting my posting duties (by two months. Whoops!).  To make up for that I’ll do a series of posts catching you all up on what has been happening here.  Kate has been more much more reliable at posting during this trip so if you’re looking for posts about Australia, don’t forget to read hers.

After our time in Sydney and the Blue Mountains, we headed to Tasmania.  (Where my REU application writing started in earnest.  Hence, the lack of posts since then).  We went to Maria (pronounced muh- RYE-uh) Island which is entirely park.  Maria Island is absolutely amazing.  The wildlife there is unconcerned about people and you can see wombats, wallabies, roos, and the adorable padymelons.  If you are ever in the area you have to go there, it was incredible.  They even have a healthy population of Tasmanian devils! 

After Maria Island we went to a little town called Maydena.  Our days there were spent exploring the local park.  We had a really amazing hike up to the alpine areas and another to Growling Swallet, the entrance to a large cave.  We also all got to look at an echidna close up!  Tasmanian echidnas are larger and fluffier than the mainland ones (because it’s colder), it was really cute.

We ended our time in Tassie (the ‘s’s sound like ‘z’s) with a free weekend in Hobart.  I’ll admit I didn’t get up to much that weekend.  I was filling out a lot of applications, but I did get a chance to go out to the market and enjoy fresh seafood by the ocean.  The seagulls provided amusement while enjoying dinner. Watch your fries!

Any questions about L&C study abroad?  Feel free to email me at ameliaberle@lclark.edu