First Impressions & Appreciations

Posted: July 23, 2012

Name: Nick Agnes
School: Albright College
Major: Environmental Studies
Program: Marine Protected Areas, Turks & Caicos

I arrived at the airport in Newark, NJ, 4 hours early as planned, feeling a mixture of tired and nervous. Attending The School for Field Studies: Summer Session II, located in Turks and Caicos, would serve as a buffet of new experiences in my life. For me it was my first time ever leaving the country, first time ever getting on a plane, and first time ever traveling out on a boat in the open sea! I applied for this program not only for the fresh adventures I would soon pursue, but also to gain a broader understanding  of marine biology through the unique program that SFS offers.

Right from the start I was impressed with SFS program’s organization. I arrived in Provo and was immediately greeted outside the door by our Student Affairs Manager (SAM) Kimbrough, with a smile on her face. Once arriving to South Caicos, where the Center is stationed, we were given a tour of both the Center and the town. I was very surprised and impressed by the positive relationship that SFS has with the community. Once we returned, we had a class meeting where we were briefed on all of the Center’s rules and given a run-down of the daily agenda.

The first day is one I will never forget. I woke up bright and early to take in the amazing view that the Center has looking out over the water toward nearby islands. Following that, we all had a freshly cooked breakfast and ate together before the daily activities. I especially like the fact that the concept of “team effort” is reflected in this study abroad program. This Center has much to benefit from the students’ help as well as the staff, and working together has helped unify the group. When reading the online syllabus, I was at first nervous because it seemed very dense; however, again I was quickly impressed to see how professional and knowledgeable the staff and professors here are. This combination of lectures and location provided us with a helpful hands-on tool that made learning these concepts very enjoyable.

All in all, being in South Caicos and attending The School for Field Studies is an experience I never could imagine. Whether it’s learning about real life domestic issues on the island or getting to hold a baby shark after a long day at sea, this trip is one that has truly opened my eyes to what amazing opportunities education can bring. I am so happy that I chose to apply to The School for Field Studies and can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!