James Cook University: Part 1

Marisa Etzell James Cook University, Australia


August 8, 2018

Being an international student and having already completed 2 years of college back home, I can’t help but compare JCU to Pacific Lutheran University. For one, I am used to going to a small private school with less than 3,000 students. Here at JCU, there are upwards of 15,000 students! So the size of the campus and the amount of time it takes me to get from my dorm to my class has been quite the adjustment. I used to walk to class, which took 15-20 minutes, but now I have a bike, so it takes me 5-10 minutes. Rather than drone on about the differences between PLU and JCU, I’d rather list some of the highlights I’ve experienced here so far and give you insight into what my world has been for the past 3 weeks or so. Each point corresponds with a photo above:

  1. The River: Ross River is one of my favorite places to be. I absolutely love walking, biking, or running along the river. It’s a great way to decompress after a long day.
  2. Market on Campus: Every Thursday, there’s a market at Education Central, which is kind of the central hub of campus, and there’s a wide variety of fresh fruits and veggies to choose from. It’s so convenient that these healthy options are offered right on campus, and for a decent price too! So far, I’ve enjoyed some super juicy mandarin oranges, ripe bananas, and crisp green beans.
  3. Outside study spots: There are some pretty cool study spots around campus. With the weather being as nice as it is here, the majority of the good study areas are outside too, which makes it so much better! This one pictured above is just outside the library and as you can see, there are tables with red seats, fans in the ceiling, and a little pond so that even the birds can take part!
  4. Misters: These oddly shaped towers in the sky appear as if they’re from another world! At first, I thought they were pieces of random artwork, but then I discovered they’re so much more! Not only are they artsy, but they also have a practical use--they’re misters! I’m not sure if they’re on some sort of schedule, but every once in a while, usually in the middle of the day, they’ll start spraying mist in the air. What a nice way to cool off after class!
  5. Submarine Library: The picture is of the side of the library. Its official title is The Eddie Koiki Mabo Library, which I have yet to learn how to pronounce correctly. For some reason, it reminds me of a submarine. I think it’s the combination of the circular windows and the concrete.
  6. Fish!: The Science Place, a building in which I don’t have any classes, has a super cool circular tube filled with sea creatures! If you’ve ever seen the movie Finding Nemo, there are a bunch of “Dorys” and lots of coral, sea anemones, and starfish. It’s pretty mesmerizing to just sit there and watch the fish do their thing. There’s also a lizard and snake in a glass case down a hallway in the science building, but I didn’t snap a photo of them since they weren’t as nice to look at as the fish.
  7. Turkeys!: Believe it or not, there are wild turkeys walking around everywhere. And yes, there are signs that advise you to close the door behind you and to keep the turkeys out of the buildings.
  8. Wallabies!: It’s a daily occurrence to see wallabies on campus. Usually, they’re in a field, nibbling on the grass. If you get lucky, you might even be able to see a mom with a baby in its pouch!

I could go on and on about JCU and the many things that make it unique, but that will come later, in Part 2 :)


Australia Summer