Why did you choose to study abroad with SFS?
I love being outside, hands-on learning, and cohort-type programs (like camps and trail crews), so field work has always been very appealing to me. I also want to do biological research and knew directed research would give me valuable experience applicable to my future career. I saw flyers at my school and it seemed like a good fit and more interesting than other programs. I had only been planning on doing the summer program in Bhutan, but it was cancelled due to Covid along with the semester program, so I ended up applying for the full semester here in TCI!
What are your first impressions of the country?
Turks and Caicos is beautiful! Its atmosphere is simpler and more laid-back than that of the US. The people are so genuine and friendly. I’m inspired by how resilient and proud they are, especially after having struggled with hurricanes and the pandemic.
What are your first impressions of the Center?
It’s very homey because it’s covered in art and has a lived-in feel. I feel very minimalistic not taking freshwater showers and having no cell service–it’s nice! It’s easy to get everywhere and we have everything we need. The layout facilitates socializing because the common spaces are so nice and central, but you can also get privacy. I love the ocean view most of all.
Our Fall 2021 CMRS cohort at the Community Walk-a-Thon for Caribbean Wellness Week. Photo by Katrina Orthmann.
What do you think the biggest challenge will be for you this semester both academically and culturally?
Academically, I think the biggest challenge will be getting used to a new school. For example, they use different statistical methods than what I’m used to and have different assumptions about what we know and don’t know than my home school. Culturally, the litter and stray dogs are just hard to see.
What are you looking forward to the most about the semester?
I’m most looking forward to bonding with the cohort and having special, fun moments with them. Getting to know new friends is what I’ll cherish most, I think.
Give three adjectives that best describe how you are feeling right now.
Happy, relaxed, thoughtful.
Curious to learn a bit more about the SFS Turks and Caicos Islands Center? Click here to read about why we’re based there, our environmental research focus, how we connect and support the local community, and even take a tour of the Center.