Why did you choose to study abroad with SFS?
I was looking for a chance to conduct field research while abroad. The SFS program allows me to learn about a niche in my desired field while experiencing life in the field under the guide of experienced mentors. The fact that I would be living in the tropics and diving weekly was definitely influential in my decision, as well.
What are you first impressions of the country?
When I first landed in Provo, took a boat to South Caicos, and again when I looked out of my dorm room window, I was overwhelmed by the aqua ocean. It was by far the clearest, brightest water I had ever seen. Once settled in, I was struck by the friendliness of the locals, the damage left over from hurricane Ike, and the simple beauty of the island.
What are you first impressions of the field station?
Walking into the field station, you are met with murals of sea life and landscapes painted by former students. These, along with the hammocks, flags from home schools, local plants, and a swimming pool (all overlooking the always beautiful ocean) prompted all of the students to exclaim repeatedly how lucky we were to be studying/living here.
What do you think the biggest challenge will be for you this semester both academically and culturally?
I think my biggest challenge academically will be getting myself to focus and apply myself when there is such beauty, exciting activities, and wonderful people around me. Before I came here I would have said that living without internet, and the basics we take for granted in America, would have been my biggest cultural struggle. But after being here for a week, I’ve come to love embracing the simplicity of island life.
What are you looking forward to the most about the semester?
I am beyond excited to explore all the natural life the island has to offer. So far we’ve seen sea grass beds, reefs, mangroves, and the beauty that sits in our own front yard. I look forward to the day trips and overnights that will allow us to see as much of the islands as possible.
Give three words that best describe how you are feeling right now.
Blissful. Itchy. Curious.