I am currently in my third year studying a Bachelor of Civil Engineering at UTS, University of Technology Sydney. But first, my back story and where my love for France first came from!
I’ve always sought experiences outside my comfort zone, in 2005 at 14, I completed a student exchange in Tokyo, Japan which saw my Japanese level go through the roof and left me as the least capable French student. In exams, I would start my sentences in French and without noticing, my brain would convert into Japanese. So I made the decision to focus on one before the other. In 2007, I completed extension Japanese (very advanced level) for my high school certificate and dropped out of French.
From a young age, I was a competitive surfer. Travelling on the Australasian Pro Junior Tour, missing a few days from school every now and then and weekends filled with competitions interstate. Once I had finished school my dream to become a professional surfer was all that mattered. With my British passport and support from my sponsor O’neill, I took off to Europe to try my luck on the European Pro Junior Tour. I spent 3 European summers travelling along the Atlantic coast to competitions in Portugal, Spain and France with the O’neill Europe team. We were based in France’s surf capital, Hossegor which became my home away from home.
Each year I would leave possessions at friends’ houses (surfboards, wetsuits, clothes – were scattered across the garages of Hossegor throughout the winter months). At the end of the season I would return to Australia to replenish my financial funds and train at AIS, Australian Institute of Sport with an exercise sports scientist and nutritionist.
In 2012, I had an accident while surfing my local break – Whale Beach, which resulted in a hip operation and missing a European summer. ‘La belle vie’ of never ending summer had ended but my love for France lived on.
It wasn’t until 2014 that I finally got back to Hossegor and collected my belongings (sorry friends). I then went home and knew it was time to start my studies because after 8 ‘gap’ years I had finally worked out what I might like to do with my life.
I remember in our final year of high school in 2007, we were all looking at what university degrees were on offer and there was no way I was going to choose a degree that involved maths. 8 years of travelling around the world and in the end, I missed maths!