Overseas students keen on 'Tropic' but expected Rocky to be less rocky
Published on 08 August, 2011
French student Manon Le Couedic and American Stephanie Nistico confess they planned their visit to Australia expecting a city straddling the Tropic of Capricorn to have lush, green forests. Unfortunately they have arrived during a particularly dry winter.
Apart from the lack of green, they have enjoyed their visit to Rockhampton Campus as the latest international 'intern' students at CQUniversity's Centre for Environmental Management.
Manon is working alongside koala researcher Dr Alistair Melzer and, as such, is getting the chance to view the cuddly critters in the bush around St Lawrence and Hughenden and in the unique surrounds of St Bees Island off Mackay.
The agriculture and environment student from Polytechnic Institute LaSalle Beauvais is also making the most of the chance to practice her English language skills and will holiday in Cairns, Brisbane, Adelaide and Tasmania "with some French friends in a van" before returning to France.
Meanwhile, Stephanie from the University of Vermont is helping CQUniversity Professor John Rolfe by crunching environmental data collected about sedimentation and nutrients flowing into catchments that drain into the Great Barrier Reef.
Her internship visit arranged by AustraLearn also includes the chance to travel to Fraser and Keppel islands.
"I'd like to see more of Rocky and Queensland," she said.
Stephanie also commented on the 'friendly atmosphere' and welcoming people she met immediately after arriving.
"The people I have met seem to be very trusting and have a way of making me feel at home, even when I am thousands of miles from home. For instance, Manon and I met a group of people who accepted us into their group of friends almost immediately - and we are now very close friends.
"Another thing that surprised me was the temperature range variability. For instance, the max temp is midday which can get up to be around 24 degrees...whereas the early morning and nights drop significantly to temps as cold as 4 degrees.
"I'm sure this is a normal temperature range for Aussies in the winter season. But in the region I live, which is known for its unpredictable and variable weather patterns, we would never see such a drastic range in temperature variability."