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Junior plans to study abroad in Australia

Courtesy Janie Devoll

By Bailey Kreszswick, Staff Reporter

Putting a spin on his everyday classroom experience, junior Justin Cuevas is taking his education overseas to collaborate with fellow sea cadets and the Australian government in an international program.

A study abroad program selected junior Justin Cuevas among thousands of applicants to visit Australia this spring. Cuevas, as well as four other United States cadets, will travel from April 10 to 27 with the International Exchange Program for Sea Cadets.

The exchange program, which the United States Naval Sea Cadet Crops oversees, offers students the chance to visit a foreign country and interact with other students from various nations while serving as an ambassador for America. Cuevas and fellow cadets will work alongside the Australian government and experience the country’s culture.

“I’m interested in seeing different cultures and different people around the world and being able to see what they do, how they live and how it’s different from here in the U.S.,” Cuevas said.

Cuevas has been a sea cadet for the last four years, and has worked with the U.S. Navy firsthand.

Prior to the study abroad program, Cuevas taught younger cadets seamanship, military, boating, aviation, medical and science, technology, engineering and math skills. He has worked with various craft-sized boats and has sailing experience on the Barque Eagle, a 295-foot ship. Cuevas will take the skills he learned on the trip and apply them while representing America.

When applying to the program, Cuevas obtained various certifications and participated in multiple training programs, including the Petty Officer Leadership Academy Program: a week-long leadership training program in which cadets learned from other leaders in the fields of the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard.

“They can’t make you a leader at that academy, but they can provide you with the tools. They then know that you will be a great leader since you have experienced it,” Cuevas said

In preparation for his trip, Cuevas has studied the life and culture in Australia to familiarize himself.

“I’m talking with the other people that are going to see what information they got,” Cuevas said. “I’m also watching some history documentaries and looking at the Australian news to see what’s going on there. I’m getting a feel of what Australia might be like so when I show up there I’ll have a good idea of what’s going on.”

While traveling, Cuevas will get exposure to different cultures through museum tours, talking to locals and sightseeing. He will also work with the Australian government and to see how it operates on a day-to-day basis while also training in seamanship and military service.

“I’m excited to experience something that not many other people get to do, which is something I love doing,” Cuevas said. “Being one of the few to be able to do something is a great feeling for me.”

Bailey Kreszswick can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Bailey Kreszswick
Bailey Kreszswick, Co-Multimedia Editor
Bailey Kreszswick is a junior and Staff Reporter for The Spoke. For the past two years, she has been covering stories focused on sports and student life in Conestoga and the greater community. Outside of The Spoke, Bailey enjoys sailing for the Conestoga Sailing team.