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Where are they now? IHD Catch-up

Annie flew into 2018 Orientation week, taking out the all-competitive ‘friendship bingo’ on Semester 1’s Welcome Day. From that moment on, Annie’s involvement with the IHD Community during her semester exchange continued to grow.

This courageous Canadian’s decision to travel to Darwin was made easier by the advice of a friend who had also participated in a CDU exchange program.

“I chose to do an exchange at CDU because it was a small, community-based university,” Annie said. “I talked to a student at my university in Canada who did a semester abroad at CDU, and she absolutely loved it. She said that the environment was so friendly, and welcoming. I also looked into units that CDU offered, and saw that there were units in the field of study that I was interested in.”

What Annie found to be the most rewarding about on-campus living at IHD is exactly what she expected. Well, that and some new-found recipes.

“IHD is a close-knit group of people, and everyone is so welcoming, especially the Resident Leaders,” she said. “I met so many people from different countries that I am happy to call my friends. I also loved that there were so many events that we could sign up for and participate in!”

“My favourite memory of IHD was my first day. I was super jetlagged, and there was an event to go to the Dripstone Cliffs and have fish n chips. I still remember meeting some of my closest friends that day, especially Tess, who I thought was a bit crazy at first because she was so nice and outgoing.”

“IHD taught me to be more outgoing, and not be as shy to meeting new individuals. I learned to make different cultural dishes, especially Indian ones thanks to Rakesh, Rahul and Aman.”

After saying farewell to IHD and her friends, the then 20-year-old took advantage of being on the opposite side of the world to have some downtime.

“After leaving IHD, I travelled to Bali with some of my friends,” Annie said. “[Then] I met up with my parents in Brisbane, drove down the east coast all the way to Melbourne.”

Now in her fourth and final year of a degree in Human Kinetics, Annie is back in Canada. For those who met Annie, they know how easy-going and fun-loving she is. Annie’s also known for putting everything she has into whatever it is she’s working on. Recently, USports, a nation-wide platform in Canada, recognised Annie’s hard work.

“I am currently a part-time personal trainer at a local gym,” she explained. “I’m involved in a program called APEX (Adopted Physical Exercise), which plans exercise programs for Adults with Autism.”

“My biggest achievement [so far] was being named an Academic All OUA and Academic All Canadian, which is an achievement for academic excellence while competing at the highest level of a sport in Canada.”

There’s just no stopping Annie and her passion for succeeding. Her professional ambitions and ‘bucket list’ items are nothing short of inspiring.

“In five years, I see myself with a master, and post-doctorate degree,” Annie said. “Hopefully [I’ll be] working for a professional sporting team in Canada, looking at improving the mechanics of an athlete in their particular sport.”

“The top five things to do on my bucket list are to explore all continents in the world, including Antarctica (I only need three more!); skydiving; go to Europe to visit WWII sites; explore the far north of Canada; and backpack around Europe with my sister.”

While looking to the future, Annie hasn’t forgotten the friendships made at IHD. She’s also left us with sound advice for future residents.

“I keep in touch with my friends from IHD,” she said. “I actually was on Facetime with Rakesh while writing this. I miss you guys, and I want to come back ASAP! I hope you guys are cooking up some spicy curries for everyone to try!”

 “[Time] goes by super-fast, so make sure you enjoy it while you can! Get out and be as social as you can, because you never know who you’re missing out on.”