Tellus: (tel’us), n. 1. [Latin] earth, soil, and the land; a country; the world. 2. a collection of Willamette University student’s insights, stories, photos and thoughts from their experiences studying abroad.

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Karinjini National Park


This photo accurately sums up my absolute awe for the natural beauties of Western Australia.

Although much of my experience in Perth, Western Australia consisted of the beach, studying, and being enveloped by my residence’s ominous planned activities, I was fortunate enough to embark on a ten-day road trip spanning from Perth all the way to Karinjini National Park, traveling roughly 1,500 km just one-way with twenty other international students. I would say that the road trip was one of my most favorable and memorable experiences. It was at times a challenge to live in camper vans, often going without showers for ten days, with little privacy but the sights I saw were of upmost beauty.

Often when people ask me why I would want to study in Western Australia, over the more popular and touristic areas on the East Coast such as Sydney and Melbourne, I can comfortably refer to the unique challenges and rewards that the West Coast offers. Since so much of the national parks and tourist attractions are spread out and difficult to access, it comes as a long-awaited gift when I find a place like Karinjini after driving in the outback, surrounded by dry shrubbery and red dirt for nearly 10 hours straight.

Karinjini is one of many of the natural wonders of Western Australia. It is the second to largest national park in Western Australia, and consists of layers of rock formations and sediments, interspersed with refreshing pools of fresh water just waiting to be explored and celebrated.

Since Karinjini was the final stop on the ten-day road trip before driving back to Perth, it holds much sentiment in my heart. It was a fun and celebratory place, and symbolized the end of my emotional transition from the U.S. to Australia, since it marked the half-way point of my semester there and at that point I felt truly comfortable and happy.


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