Thirteen going on to Australia, Shayna Turbin of Livingston recently returned from her journey through Student Ambassador Program, People to People.
After receiving a few postcards from the program Turbin knew that this was an offer that she just couldn’t refuse.
“I would definitely recommend this program to anyone,” Turbin said. “There were a bunch of things you could do there that you may not have the chance to do here.”
Turbin departed from the U.S. on July 3, and arrived in Australia two days later. She and a couple of other students from around America spent about 17 days in Australia.
“When I signed up in the beginning I didn’t know anyone,” Turbin said. But for Turbin that didn’t reduce her excitement.
“After our plane ride I really got to know a lot of the other students,” she said.
The program invited students from states around the country, such as New Jersey, North Carolina and California. The students were able to explore and experience what Australia is really like besides having kangaroos. For Turbin she experienced a lot of firsts on this trip, one of them being able to work with dolphins.
While the group was there, their service project called for them to work along side researchers, who worked with the dolphins. The group helped to collect food for the dolphins and learned more about their lifestyles.
“It was my first time working with dolphins,” she said. “I’ve seen them behind glass, but this time I was able to be with them in person and swim with them.”
“That’s not something you can just do anywhere,” she added.
Turbin loved being able to try new things on this trip, such a surfing, snorkeling, and learning more about the Australian people. Turbin also had the privilege of celebrating her 13 birthday while in Australia. It was on her birthday that her favorite adventure on the trip was made. The group traveled to Morten Island and went snorkeling.
“We even got to go down a giant sand dune, which I had never done before,” she said.
Although Turbin had experienced a lot of firsts on this trip, this was not her first time outside of the country. For her bat mitzva she went to Israel with family and had also been to the Bahamas once for a cruise.
“I would love to go back,” she said. “And I definitely have plans to hopefully one day. I would also definitely recommend it to anyone. There are so many things you can do there that you may not get to do here, so it’s a great opportunity.”
Turbin added, “It’s amazing that Australia isn’t too different from America, but it still has its differences.”
Shari Turbin, Shayna’s mother, was happy that her daughter got to participate in such a great trip.
“It was a wonderful trip,” said Shari Turbin. “The itinerary was wonderful, the leadership was outstanding, and the communication was great. I was very sure they were safe and having a great time there.”
Anyone interested in the program can visit The People To People Student Ambassador Program’s website at https://www.peopletopeople.com/.