Michael Kaplan ’17 casts a long shadow over the Australian Outback.

‘Nothing compares to actually
traveling to another country’

Michael Kaplan ’17 made sure that his first trip out of the country was a productive one.

During his spring 2016 semester studying abroad at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, the mechanical engineering major managed to cross these activities off his “bucket list.”

  • Exploring rainforests, snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef (see the shark he encountered at right) and skydiving in Cairns on spring break – all during “the best 48 hours of my life.”
  • Scoring his first try in a rugby game for his university team.
  • Camping in the Australian Outback.
  • Road tripping out of a van for a week along the southern coast of Australia.

As for academics, he was able to take courses in advanced vibrations of mechanical systems, electrical and telecommunications engineering, and an introduction to mining engineering (all of which satisfiy degree requirements here), and another course in marine science.

Scheduling his trip through the IES Abroad program was “relatively easy,” Kaplan says. “IES was extremely helpful with answering any questions I had and also communicated well with the University of Rochester to make the process as simple as possible for me.”

“I grew a lot throughout my experience,” he added. “I gained a profound interest in exploring the world and meeting new people. Throughout my schooling at Rochester, I had met many people from throughout the world, but nothing compares to actually traveling to a different country and meeting the locals there.”

Living in a residence hall along with 150 other students, he added, helped him gain “a greater appreciation for other cultures and ethnicities.”

From left to right: Kaplan surfed in Sydney, played lawn bowling, and took a road trip along the Great Ocean Road along the south coast of Australia.