Why did you choose to study abroad with SFS?
I choose to study abroad with SFS because of the experience it offers to college students. Not only have I heard amazing things about the program from SFS alumni, but the hands-on opportunities provided by SFS was something I could not pass up. I have always known I wanted to study abroad but was looking for something other than the “typical” study abroad experience. When I found SFS Wildlife Management Studies I knew it would not be a “typical” journey. Going to school in East Africa and working with the wildlife there I knew would be a life changing experience.
What are your first impressions of the country?
I am amazed by Tanzania. The land is beautiful and the locals are some of the nicest people I have ever met. Everything is so lush and green and the animals roaming the land are majestic. I still feel like I’m dreaming. The local community members are always willing to talk to us and share their culture. Although they sometimes laugh at our attempt to speak Swahili, they are more than helpful in teaching us.
What are your first impressions of the field station?
The field station was not what I expected. The images of grass huts and wire fences immediately disappeared when we arrived at camp. The bandas, classrooms, dining hall, and other amenities are beautiful and comfortable. The grounds are lined with trees and other plants. The sound of birds immediately filled my ears. It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before.
What do you think the biggest challenge will be for you this semester both academically and culturally?
I think for the biggest academic challenge will be accepting that I’m actually going to school and getting back to studying. Tanzania is beautiful and there is so much to do, I think making myself say no to playing volleyball or just spending time with all the amazing people here, and sitting down to study will be a real challenge. Culturally, I think communicating and interacting with the locals will be a challenge. I fear that I’ll offend someone when trying to speak to them.
What are you looking forward to the most about the semester?
I am looking forward to experiencing all that Tanzania and Kenya has to offer. I am beyond excited to interact with the people, to learn their culture, to experience first hand the wildlife of East Africa, and to further enhance my knowledge about the native animals.
Give three words that best describe how you are feeling right now.
Ecstatic, accepted, eager