First Impressions of Tanzania

Posted: September 7, 2016

SFS students in programs around the world have arrived, and as they begin to settle into their new homes, we asked them to give some first impressions of the program. Here’s what Abby Bohman had to say about Tanzania.

Why did you choose to study abroad with SFS?
Despite it only being my second time in a foreign country, I wanted to do something extreme for my time abroad. Going “off the radar” to participate in an intensive research project and working in the field of a developing country was exactly the kind of out-of-my-comfort-zone experience I wanted to have. The opportunity to study some of the richest wildlife in the world and get college credit for it was one that I couldn’t pass up. The field experience and school outside was a huge draw for me too.

What are your first impressions of the country?
The expansive rolling hills, kilima in Swahili, offer amazing views. The foliage of agriculture and natural land is really cool, especially in contrast to the bright red soil paths. The culture is so colorful and the people are so kind! Always smiling and greeting us.


Photo courtesy of CJ Aprea

What are your first impressions of the field station?
We have many more accommodations than I anticipated. The bandas are nice with a couple bunkbeds and a good shower (with running, clean, hot water) in a relatively spacious bathroom. I like that we live in camp with all of the super great staff and even our professors. It is beautiful and there are lots of great places to hang out and the daily volleyball games are really fun.

What do you think the biggest challenge will be for you this semester both academically and culturally?
I have never done a true large-scale research project from start to finish so it may be a little challenging as I go through it for the first time. So far this still feels like summer camp with the awesome sightseeing, fun times and exploring, so balancing work and play and getting into the school mindset may also be difficult. I’m mostly just excited and grateful to participate in a different culture for a while, but I’m a little nervous that I won’t be able to communicate with the local people as much as I want to.

What are you looking forward to the most about the semester?
Settling in enough so this doesn’t just feel like a crazy awesome dream!

Give three words that best describe how you are feeling right now.
Excited, grateful, curious


Photo courtesy of CJ Aprea


Photo courtesy of CJ Aprea

→ Wildlife Management Studies in Tanzania