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Dea's Weekly PSA

Environment Program student Dea Devlin, ENVS is sharing a weekly Gilman Scholar Blog Post about her experiences in Rockhampton, Australia.


Dea's Weekly PSA

Made Possible by the Gilman Scholarship


First Week in Australia

March 3, 2018weeklydea

Hey All!

It has been one week exactly since I touched down in Rockhampton, Australia. Traveling was a lot, but I came out on the lucky side–with all of my luggage in one piece. Some of the other people who were traveling to CQUniversity were not as lucky. It took two days for their luggage to arrive, and they had to wear an airline outfit for two days. It is humid and my hair has not had a good hair day, but that’s okay. Every day I have showered at least twice. In my first week, we have had a myriad of orientation activities, arranging of classes and more! We visited the Rockhampton Zoo, and were able to see kookaburras, wombats, and other native animals. We did a slip and slide! There are 18 different countries represented in the CQUniversity International Program! I got stung by a wasp, which hurt but it didn’t swell up or anything. My computer broke the third day, so editing video clips together became too complicated, I will instead post a blog with photos every week. I will be taking classes where I learn how to identify plants, and point out how law, health and the environment interact. I am meeting lots of people from Australia, Canada, Europe, and more! There have been lots of welcome parties, last night was a Carnival party! There is an outdoor pool at our university gym, which is LIT. Here are some photos of my first week!

This was all made possible for me by the Gilman Scholarship! The Gilman Scholarship is a federally funded program. The only things needed to apply is you must be an undergrad in college, you must be a U.S. citizen, who receives the U.S. Pell Grant. If you are interested in studying abroad but doing it on a budget, check out their website at

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Second week in Australia

March 9, 2018weeklydea

Hi all!

It’s my second week in Australia and all Uni students are getting down to business. All of my classes seem good, although I am a bit nervous about my terrestrial botany class because it does seem difficult. All of my lecturers (I was told NOT to call them my professor) seem well versed and qualified for their fields. I can tell that I am going to be learning new and important things this semester.

Apart from that, I have stayed busy. Residence students took a bus ride down to the beach in Yeppoon after three applications of sunscreen, it still wasn't enough, and I got a little burnt. The beach is beautiful though, and I look forward to going back. On Monday, I participated in a casual game of soccer led by the Sports Complex, with my friend Camilla.

Something funny I have been noticed while I’ve been here is the slang that Australians like to use. Breakfast is brekky, university is Uni, air-conditioning is air-con (AC makes more sense to me still). My American and Canadian friends are starting to use some of the slang, while also getting the Australian friends we have made to start using ours. Our friend Nikki has started accidentally saying ketchup and the mall (usually called a shopping centre) and she is not happy about it!

I was only able to go on this semester abroad through the support of the Gilman Scholarship. The Gilman Scholarship grants awards based on an essay competition, one being a personal statement and the other on a project that will be completed to further outreach on the Gilman. If you are interested in studying abroad but doing it on a budget, check out their website at








Third Week In Australia

March 16, 2018weeklydea

Hey all!

This week was an especially exciting one. A couple of friends and I threw together an impromptu road trip. We drove five hours north of Rockhampton to Airlie Beach. This little town is full of backpackers and travelers. We stayed in a hostel for two nights and met some girls from Germany and France and then stayed in a Caravan Park.

On Monday (I do not have class on Mondays), we went on a tour of the Whitsunday Islands. The sand there is compromised of silica, one of the finest sands in the world. We took about an hour long boat ride out into the Great Barrier Reef as well, and dropped in the water twice to snorkel. I saw huge fish and schools of tiny ones. There was one beige colored fish with blue spots and one that looked like a leopard. I saw burrowing clams in pieces of coral, opening and closing, in colors of violet, green and blue. We saw sting rays as well. Unfortunately, I noticed here were significant portions of dead coral, even just in the area I snorkeled in.

I have been learning the proper way to diagram flower structures in my botany class. We are currently learning to dissect and identify the different parts of the flower which is really interesting, but I am a little nervous because the textbook reading contains so many words I have never seen before in my life.

Today, Friday, I also went canoeing on the causeway lake with many of the other international students. It was a hot and perfect day to canoe.

I was only able to go on this semester abroad through the support of the Gilman Scholarship. The Gilman Scholarship was funded by Benjamin A. Gilman, a Congressman in the House of Representatives in 2000. Almost 3,000 scholarships are awarded each year!

If you are interested in studying abroad but doing it on a budget, check out their website at