Tabitha: Autumn in Melbourne

Tabitha Baca is a University of Florida student studying abroad in Melbourne, Australia. If you want to learn more about her program, click here: La Trobe University.


  • What is your year and academic concentration? I’m a Senior working on a Microbiology Major with a Minor in Humanitarian Assistance and International Development.
  • Have you traveled abroad before? If so, where and for what purpose?
    I’ve grown up traveling thanks to my mom and my scattered family. However, my passion really grew during my freshmen year when I went to under resourced areas of Honduras through Global Brigades to work on a health project. I fell in love with sustainable development. I then spent a month in Ghana, Panama and before I knew it took a whole year off from school to work with Global Brigades in their international office in Esteli, Nicaragua. I’ve travelled quite a bit for someone my age and it’s been driven by my passion for international development.
  • Have you studied abroad before? If so, where and what did you study?
    Not technically, but during my month in Ghana I spent my time there learning about their healthcare system and the disparity that puts low-income families at risk not only for their health but for their socioeconomic status. The next year I spent a month in Panama and I immersed myself in the indigenous culture and learned about how marginalized they are by their own government. So, although I didn’t technically study abroad I did learn abroad!
  • Where are you studying abroad and why did you choose to study there?
    I’m currently studying abroad in Melbourne, Australia! Australian culture is so similar to the US yet there’s so much diversity. I wanted to remind myself that even if you think you’re familiar with a culture, you’re not. Also, I heard the food is amazing!
  • What are you most looking forward to during your study abroad program?
    Everything really- food, my classes, the people, the city (but if we’re really being honest Kangaroo sightings).
  • What are some of your interests and hobbies?
    I love all things outdoors, especially when they involve mountainous structures. Trekking, rock climbing, cliff jumping are all in my top list. I’m also a beach junkie- beach volleyball is my thing but so is just soaking up the sun. I love scuba diving and find so much peace by the ocean. Food is a hobby of mine: cooking, eating, good restaurants, etc. Reading on a hammock is also on my favorite things to do. Basically, anything adrenaline related has my name on it but I’m also a fan of naps on the beach.

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