Daily Archives: January 31, 2016

Thunder from Down Under – Law student from Texas takes in Sydney’s New Year’s Eve Fireworks and more

“This is the stuff of bucket lists, mine anyway. Being a weekend-only student and commuting from Texas to Michigan each week following a 40+ hour a week full-time job for the last four years, I jumped at the opportunity to fulfill a life dream of traveling to Australia. New Zealand was an added bonus” – WMU-Cooley Study Abroad Program student Stephanie Samuels

Stephanie Samuels and her mom living the dream Down Under!

Stephanie Samuels and her mom living the dream Down Under!

And talk about a bonus trifecta – this trip just happened to coincide with the world famous,  much watched, New Year’s Eve fireworks of the planet’s first celebration each year in Sydney, Australia! Since the New Zealand classes started on January 4, with my mother in tow, we decided to leave the United States a few days early to arrive in Sydney just in time for New Year’s Eve. Sydney had two firework displays.

One was at 9:00 p.m. and the other was at midnight, which was the BIG one that everyone can catch on television. We were lucky enough to book a last minute harbor cruise, and from a boat in the middle of the harbor, in the shadow of Darling Harbour Bridge, live and in-person, we experienced the ushering in of 2016 amid the thunder and glare of fireworks bursting all around us. It was all that, and more.

Our visit to Sydney, Australia was amazing. The weather was perfect. The water and sky could not have been more blue and the landscapes more brilliant green.


Our travels to see Bridal Veil Falls in Raglan, New Zealand was equally magnificent. Viewing the Falls was an easy walk up to two viewing platforms, both with spectacular views of the plunging white falls. I owe ‘livin’ the dream’ to the WMU-Cooley Down Under Study Abroad Program.

Stephanie Samuels

JD Candidate, Jan. 2017

WMU-Cooley Study Abroad Program student Stephanie Samuels

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