Rachel Levin Ocean

My time in Australia made me feel as if I was on top of the world. I have included a list of the top ten moments that I experienced while studying abroad in Australia. They really did change my life and have been etched into my memory forever.

1. Taking a Kangaroo Selfie

The first selfie you take with a kangaroo will be forever cherished. They’re quite photogenic and probably the nicest and most outgoing Australian-native animals.

Rachel Levin Kangaroo Selife

2. Climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge

We climbed to the top of the Sydney Harbor Bridge during the TEAN orientation and got to see all that the city had to offer. I was able to see three different weddings happening, boats cruising near the Opera House, and remnants from the New Years Eve fireworks celebration on the bridge.

Rachel Levin Bridge Climb

3. Staying in my First Hostel

This experience was absolutely life changing. I got the chance to meet people from all over the world and hear the different stories from these individuals. It was humbling and a fantastic social experience.

Rachel Levin Hostel

4. Skydiving over the Great Barrier Reef

Cairns is a quick flight north of the Gold Coast. It is an excellent destination for activities such as skydiving, bungy jumping and snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef. I could see the beautiful crystal clear water from the sky.

Rachel Levin Skydive

5. Cliff Jumping

Springbrook National Park is located in Queensland. It is absolutely beautiful and includes waterfalls, some hiking and natural springs. My friends and I found an awesome (and safe) place to jump from the rocks into the water. I would NEVER have done this at home, so I guess Oz makes you fearless.


6. Seeing a Professional Surf Competition

The Quiksilver Pro is a professional surf contest and was held right on the Gold Coast. It’s just a bus ride away from both Bond and Griffith Uni. I got to see THE Kelly Slater shred it up as well as some amazing female surfers.


7. Meeting Royalty

Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, just so happened to be doing an Australian Tour and stopped in Brisbane. We managed to be in the same spot at the right time. Boy, she really is as beautiful as the pictures make her seem, and a sweetheart at that.

Rachel Levin Royalty

8. Snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef

One of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World, there is nothing quite like the Great Barrier Reef. The colors were breathtaking. The fish were beautiful. It was the most calming and serene experiences of my life. A must do in Australia.


9. Camping Overnight on Moreton Island

The second largest sand island in the world, Moreton Island is literally only made of sand. There are no roads. You can only drive cars specific cars that can handle the sand. We spent two days camping, hiking, snorkeling a shipwreck, and sand boarding. It was probably my favorite excursion that I went on during my time in Australia.

Moreton Island

10. Making Friends from All Over the World

I came home to the US, after my semester, having not only made friends from Australia and the United State, but also people from Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, and across Europe. I have since continued to talk to these new friends at least once a week to catch up. I now have couches to sleep on all over the world!

Rachel Levin Friends

Rachel Levin is a TEAN program alum and Global Ambassador at The University of Maryland. She studied abroad with TEAN on the Gold Coast, Australia.