Michelle Upham, Colby-Sawyer College:
As we were on the turbo prop plane on the way from Provo to South Caicos, I knew that calling South Caicos my home for 5 weeks was going to be easy. The crystal clear turquoise water out the window was picture perfect. As our plane landed on the little island of South Caicos, I was beyond excited. The airport was smaller than any airport I have ever seen. The locals welcomed us from the moment we arrived. On the short mile-ish-long drive from the airport to the center, I was surprised to see all of the waving people. All of the students that were in my van were getting excited to see the center; we would go around a corner and say “Is it that one?!?!” Soon enough, we pulled into our new home. It was nicer than I could have imagined and the view is unbelievable!!! I can’t believe it is already Thursday, and that I arrived 4 days ago. The time is going to go by so fast, but I am glad that I will be spending the next month with both amazing people and scenery. I feel very lucky.
Dana Baldini, Temple University:
So far this trip has been the best 4 days of my life! Everyone, staff and students, is so nice and the camaraderie was immediate. I’ve never been in summer school, but it’s not as bad as everyone made it out to be. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that we’re living in paradise! So far we’ve taken nature walks with primary school kids from Providenciales, gone snorkeling to ID coral reef species, and had our second day of classes… all amazing. On first impression, the SFS Center in South Caicos seems to be a little piece of perfection where you can spend your days looking out on a beautiful ocean vista, and it is!
Mindi Thurmon, Colorado State University:
I came here to the Turks and Caicos from Fort Collins, Colorado, to indulge in the summer program offered by SFS. My initial impression of this country was one of heat, and beauty! Our campus resides meters from the ocean, and luckily enjoys a refreshing ocean breeze. As the first “Student of the Day,” I was assigned duties such as laying out breakfast, lunch, and dinner. These tasks were not in the least bit challenging or seemingly any fun. However, I did enjoy the tasks after getting to know Aaron Henderson, the resident biologist and one of our morning professors. We were able to talk about ecology, local organisms, and our shared enjoyment of techno music! I’m happy I had the chance to meet Aaron before our classes started, especially because I am now comfortable sitting with him at lunch (the staff members of SFS have lunch with the group, like they enjoy dinning and talking with us! Weird, I know). The class is small and personable, and after all the fun name-learning games the group has taken part in, I feel more comfortable learning and asking questions with this group of 30 new people than the classes of 100+ people that are usually in my university classes. So, as far as first impressions go, SFS in the Turks and Caicos has my approval, and we haven’t even gone shark or turtle tagging yet!!!!