Why did you choose to study abroad with SFS?
This program seemed like a dream come true from the first moment I read about it. It is an environmentalists’ dream, combined with the experience of academic growth and the company of youth that share the same thirst and passion for the environment.

What are you first impressions of the country?
Green, green, GREEN! The environmental integrity is the most apparent when you first walk outside—something that I feel more countries should focus on. The air feels crisp and fresh—a favorable alternative to the thick air of the cities I have roamed back home.

What are you first impressions of the field station?
The field station has everything we need, including incoming water from the Tasman Sea just in our back yard.  The staff here have made a huge impact on our first impression—they couldn’t be any better and more welcoming to us! Our first meal was lentil soup—my ultimate favorite, so I have some sort of bias. We have been here for 2 days and we all feel like family already.

What do you think the biggest challenge will be for you this semester both academically and culturally?
Academically, the biggest challenge will be focusing on actual homework and papers when paradise is in our backyard. Thankfully, most of our learning takes place outside, and hands-on experience will make the academic aspect of this program stimulating and exciting! There are no challenges when it comes to culture, only curiosity and appreciation!

What are you looking forward to the most about the semester?
I am looking forward to the unforgettable knowledge from this program, not only from other students and staff, but from observation and pure experience. Feeling the soil with our own fingers and star gazing at night is a stimulating and humbling beginning to this program; being disconnected from the world and being fully immersed in our environment is an experience on its own and I feel blessed and excited for what is to come!

Give three words that best describe how you are feeling right now.