Saturday, January 05, 2013

Travel: Day 0 - Australia - The Land Down Under beckons

One of the advantages of teaching at a small liberal arts institution is the freedom to design and offer courses that are close to one's heart. 

In January 2011, I taught Tropical Ecology  and, for one of the class activities, I took a group of students on a 10 day trip to Puerto Rico. (Click here to read about the trip to Puerto Rico). 

This January (2013), I am teaching Ecology of Australia and, naturally, it entails a field trip to Australia! What follows is a travelogue of our adventures together, the sights we have seen, the things we are doing, and the lessons we are learning while exploring a land far removed from home.

A couple of years ago when the trip to Puerto Rico was winding down, during a long road trip the students began discussing where I should go in the the next travel-related course I offered.  After nominating and discarding numerous candidate nations, they finally decided that I should offer a course that would require students to spend some time in Australia. They christened it Ecology of Australia and, now having done the hard work, entrusted me with the simple task of actually designing and implementing it!  Not one to shirk such responsibilities I duly went ahead and began preparing for it.  Apart from reading about Australia and its unique environmental and ecological attractions, I also decided that I needed professional help if I was to provide a proper experience for the students. So I contacted many organizations that specialize in student-based travel trips and study abroad programs.  After listening to what many of them had to offer, I finally selected CISabroad as the organization to partner with.  CISabroad was the be the organization that offered the best mix of on-site offerings and quoted fairly reasonable prices.

So, a course two years in the making finally bore fruit and a group of 8 Midland University students left cold, freezing Omaha on January 2nd.  As always, an obligatory group photograph was taken just after we checked-in at the airport.

(C.S. Manish 2013)
Standing (from left to right): Craig, Alexa, Christine, Richie, and Sue
Kneeling: (from left to right): Fred, Marie, and Leann

In the coming posts, I shall describe some of the highlights of each day as it unfolded during the trip.  So, until's a brief preview of one of the things that is to come on Day 1.

(C.S. Manish 2013)

Our first stop in Australia was in Sydney. I leave you, for now, with a view from our plane as we prepared to land at Sydney airport.  The Harbor Bridge and the Opera House were clearly welcoming us and we were ready for it!

(C.S. Manish 2013)

1 comment:

Devashish said...

well, you have whetted our appetite after that spectacular pic of Sydney harbor - and then no more updates.

how is the adventure going?