As a biology major and chemistry minor on the pre-veterinarian track, Eva Gurian ’19 jumped at the chance to participate in HWS’ biology-centered, study abroad program that allowed her to interact with animals and marine life unique to Australia including kangaroos, camels, koalas, sea cucumbers and cuttlefish in their natural habitat.
The Queensland program, based at the University of Queensland, is organized in coordination with The School of Biological Sciences. Integrating field and lecture components, the program focuses on the marine and terrestrial ecology of eastern Australia and includes extended excursions to Lamington National Park and the Girraween National Park.
Gurian says the program afforded her the opportunity to have experiences that brought the content in her biology textbooks to life.
“Learning about the plants and animals unique to the Australian continent by experience is completely different from learning about them in a classroom,” Gurian says.
During the program, Gurian and her classmates also lived in homestays and traveled to Heron Island to visit the island’s research station and snorkel through the Great Barrier Reef.
“The whole snorkel experience was really exciting, but the best part was toward the end, just before we were about to get out of the water, when someone spotted a cuttlefish under a docked boat. They are extremely rare to see, and even some the researchers with us said they had never seen one alive before,” says Gurian.
Outside of the classroom, Gurian is a member of the William Smith cross country team and has received the Sharon Peckham Best ’62 Most Valuable Cross Country Award two years in a row. Gurian is also a member of PAWS, the Pro-Animal Wellness Society on campus.