Physician assistant major dives in to study abroad experience off Australian coast


Exploring new perspectives

Erin Schirra '18 is studying abroad in Australia this semester. In addition to learning about life Down Under, she is teaching residents about her physician assistant major.


rin Schirra ’18, a physician assistant major, dived right in to her study-abroad experience in Australia this semester.

Just days after landing, she found herself suiting up to go scuba diving through the Great Barrier Reef.

“I spent four straight hours in the water that day, swimming around and gazing at the beautiful, vibrant colors of the array of fish and corals that constituted the reef,” she recalls. “Swimming through it was breathtaking, as it has been growing for millions of years. Being in such close proximity to the awe-inspiring history made the experience that much better.”

When reminiscing about her time spend at Quinnipiac, Erin sometimes finds herself missing the tight-knit community.

“Studying abroad has enhanced my appreciation of Quinnipiac,” she said. “I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to study in this beautiful country, and I feel thankful to Quinnipiac for encouraging me to go abroad this semester.”

Erin regularly explains what her major entails to locals as physician assistants is a relatively new profession in Australia.

“It has been fascinating to converse with the medical students here — along with other locals — to discuss the differences of health care around the world, and to spread awareness of the ever-growing potential physician assistant opportunities.”