Contact Dawn Insanalli, director of Public Relations, at (914) 637-2726 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Steven Aldrich
Ionian Staff Writer
Of all the cultures this world boasts, there is nothing quite like the laid-back, quirky sarcastic and worry-free atmosphere that defines Australia. Students who seek to study abroad in Australia will find themselves in its largest and arguably greatest state, Western Australia. Populated with just over two million people, half of which live within the Perth metropolitan area, the small town friendliness combined with the warm Mediterranean climate will immediately relieve any New Yorker expecting to find a stressful environment. Although the time difference will range from 12 to 14 hours, depending on daylight savings, one will find that halfway across the world is the complete opposite of New York. Immediately upon arrival, the site of vast Eucalyptus trees, which smell so pleasant, and maybe even a kangaroo hopping on its way, will set the stage for the continent containing 90 percent of the world's marsupials and Eucalyptus trees. The port town of Fremantle, where study abroad students will find themselves living, is the largest port on the west coast and boasts a famous cafe strip, maritime museum, Notre Dame University and ruins of the Roundhouse, which was the first building in Western Australia and is ironically a prison. The streets are always filled with people and entertainment from dawn to dusk. The beaches often remain secluded and the local restaurants will challenge even the strictest taste buds. Just a short ride on the Transperth, the light rail train, will take you to the settlement of Cottesloe. The white sand and clear blue water of the picturesque Western Australian beach spot will astound those who are used to the yellow sand and murky waters of the Jersey Shore. Continuing up the line, Claremont and Subiaco will offer shopping and contain the famous Subiaco Oval, home of the Fremantle Dockers Australian Rules Football Team, where those unfamiliar with the sport will be baffled by the lack of pads and the amount of injuries. The last stop on the Fremantle line is the city of Perth, a modern city that is closer to Bali in Indonesia then it is to Sydney. It contains Kings Park, which offers exciting views of the city's skyline, as well as art museums, shopping, fine dining and endless entertainment.The travel opportunities from Perth will astound students as the south boasts the Valley of the Giants in Walpole, where Karri trees stretching beyond 200 feet shade the sky above, in addition to caves and the famous wineries of Margaret's River and the meeting of the Southern and Indian Oceans off Cape Leeuwin. West of Fremantle, take a ferry to Rottnest island, where no cars are permitted and bikes are the mode of transport. This spot is also where the only Quokkas, or small wallabies, can be found. North of Perth, in Cervantes, contains the Pinnacles, or vast limestone formations that look like tombstones. Even further north is Broome, a gateway to the West Kimberly's, which boasts Cable Beach where camel rides at sunset will astound anyone. Students who study abroad will stay with Aboriginals in Cape Leveque, north of Broome, where they will sleep under beautiful starry skies and live like a hunter-gatherer; this experience will last a lifetime. If Western Australia is not enough, nearby travel opportunities include Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore, as well as Melbourne, Sydney and New Zealand in the east and the Great Barrier Reef in the northeast. Regardless of where a student goes, they will go home with the desire to return to Australia.The study abroad program that Iona offers in Australia is a life- changing opportunity and opened the eyes of five Iona students in the spring semester of 2009 to the culture of Australia and beyond. The adventure was a once in a lifetime learning experience for all involved.
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