Michaela McCarney

Michaela is in her final year of Bachelor of Education (Primary) at JCU Cairns

Michaela McCarney

“I went on holiday to Australia with my family when I was 16 and we drove past the JCU campus and it struck me that this would be the absolute perfect place to study! How could you not want to go to university in such an idyllic location? The lifestyle here in Queensland also really appealed to me; it’s so relaxed and chilled out, quite different from my home on the Isle of Man.

“I absolutely love Cairns and I would definitely recommend it as a study destination. How many students can say that they live only an hour from the Great Barrier Reef?! Everybody is so friendly and welcoming and I have made lots of friends with local students. That has definitely been one of the highlights of my time here as I have been able to go and stay with them in different places that I wouldn’t have had the chance to see otherwise. Plus I have insider knowledge on the best waterholes, beaches and bars!

“The JCU campus at Cairns is quite small, but there is always a lot going on in Cairns itself as the town is quite touristy. There is a Party Bus that takes you to lots of different pubs which is heaps of fun and a great way to meet people.

“I do four subjects per semester. For each subject that I am doing in my fourth year I have about three hours of lectures and tutorials per week, plus you are expected to do 10 hours per week of independent study and reading for each subject.

“One of the great things about the Bachelor of Education at JCU is that you go out into schools from the first semester of your first year. I started in February 2010 and by April I was already on placement. I enjoyed this as it helped me to understand the concepts we had covered in lectures. The course has remained practical throughout which has been great.

“There are times when I do get homesick, but I just look around at this gorgeous place and think how lucky I am to be here – that usually puts the smile back on my face. This is the best thing I’ve ever done!”