Photo by Stefanie Erickson |CIGAR| Students at URI are lucky to have opportunities to travel abroad.

Sophomore Katie Sause will be studying abroad in Australia this summer with The Education Abroad Network (TEAN) on a full scholarship.

In Australia, Sause will be participating in the Australian Environment, Wildlife and Conservation program. She’ll be receiving four natural science resource credits that will go towards earning her environmental and natural resource economics degree at the University of Rhode Island.

Sause submitted her scholarship application before March 1 and found out that she was a recipient on March 30.  

“I did not think I was going to get it,” Sause said. “I was completely shocked. I didn’t have any words but I was so excited. I’m still shocked.”

This will be Sause’s first time traveling out of the country and will be the longest time she’ll be spending away from home, apart from going to college. She leaves on June 22 from her home state of New Jersey to fly to Los Angeles. From Los Angeles she’ll be flying to Sydney, Australia where she will be until July 13.

Sause slightly nervous about going on a long flight by herself, but has a strong feeling that it will be worth it once she arrives in Sydney.

The Australian Environment, Wildlife and Conservation program that Sause will be attending will last three weeks, but the experiences she’ll gain from it will last a lifetime as well as benefit her studies. She’s unsure of exactly what she wants to do once she graduates but is hoping that her time spent in Australia will increase her interest in wanting to partake in protecting wildlife.

“I feel like interacting with these species is going to motivate me more to pursue that,” Sause said.

While she still has some research to do about everything she’ll be doing while on her abroad trip, Sause noted that she will be traveling to different parts of the South Wales region of Australia and will have the opportunity to see the Great Barrier Reef, the Blue Mountains and various nature reserves.

Sause is particularly excited to embrace the new culture she will be exposed to, as well as Australia’s wildlife.

“There’s a lot of cool wildlife there like Kangaroos and we don’t have those here so I’m excited to interact with those animals first hand,” Sause said.

For Sause there weren’t a lot of countries that she could study in where she would receive natural resource credit to apply to her environmental and natural resource economics majors. Australia’s

environmental policies and diverse wildlife is what drew her closer into wanting to travel to this country. Ultimately, Australia seemed to be the best fit for her and her decision to apply for the program and the scholarship was very spontaneous.

Going through with her spontaneous decision to apply was definitely worth it on her end as Sause’s scholarship is a full ride. She recommends that students apply for any study abroad opportunities and scholarships even if they don’t believe they will get them.

“If you have the urge just do it because this is beyond my wildest dreams. I didn’t think this would be happening,” Sause said.