Posted: June 21, 2017

Why did you choose to study abroad with SFS?
Ever since third grade I would tell people I was going to be a marine biologist when I grew up, I never really thought that would happen but now I’m a junior in college doing a dual degree in Marine science and Psychology. Growing up I had no big bodies of water around me. I’m from the Midwest and for some reason I have always felt like the ocean was my home. I traveled over 1,000 miles for college just to be near the ocean. I didn’t know I wanted to study abroad until I saw the brochure at my school and I instantly fell in love with TCI. The idea of being in the ocean and actually doing hands on work intrigued me and I just knew right then and there that this was the program for me.

What are your first impressions of the country?
When we first landed in Provo I couldn’t believe my eyes. I just kept thinking that this wasn’t real because of how beautiful it was. I had never seen water with so many different shades of blue in it. It was honestly breathtaking and I will never forget my first encounter with the island.

What are your first impressions of the field station?
When we first walked into the center the very first thing I noticed was all the artwork on the walls and then the ocean view. Once I saw the view I no longer cared that we only got one freshwater shower a week, I mean hey I’d give up all my freshwater showers as long as I get to look out onto the water like that!

What do you think the biggest challenge will be for you this semester both academically and culturally?
I think the biggest challenge culturally will be just adjusting in general. When we first arrived to TCI we had some time to settle in and we were told “don’t vacation in someone else’s culture”. That really stuck with me and sometimes we forget that we’re just guests and we can’t act the same as we would at home. Academically I think the hardest challenge will be the level of academics everyone is at and finding a balance in that since there is such a wide diversity of schooling backgrounds.

What are you looking forward to the most about the semester?
The thing I am looking forward to most about the semester is being out in the field and getting to experience brand new things. I’m always up for an adventure and this is a once in a lifetime opportunity that I wouldn’t trade for the world!

Give three words that best describe how you are feeling right now.
Adventurous, Inspired, Home

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