By: Gerardo Avalos, PhD

Costa Rica
Posted: February 10, 2015
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Faculty Post

First Impressions of SFS Tanzania


Why did you choose to study abroad with SFS?
The School for Field Studies offers meaningful experience in the field which I feel will benefit my future career path. I am passionate for biology and SFS catered to this interest. A lot of biology majors I know aren’t able to study abroad, but fortunately I found that I can receive credit for most of the courses here. I was lucky enough to enroll in two SFS programs, and spent last semester studying marine resource management in the Turks and Caicos Islands. It was a life-changing experience and I learned so much in such a short span of time. Furthermore, SFS is such an untraditional program, and I was intrigued by the unique abroad opportunities.

What are your first impressions of the country?
I fell in love with Tanzania at first sight. The landscape isn’t comparable to anything I have ever experienced. The people, culture, and language are all incredible and I can’t wait to get to immerse myself in this country.

What are your first impressions of the field station?
As soon as we arrived at Moyo Hill field station I was impressed with the paintings on the gate. The handcrafted art on the walls also captured my attention, which depicted African wildlife. The staff was all super enthusiastic about meeting us, I felt welcome and at home right away.

What do you think the biggest challenge will be for you this semester both academically and culturally?
I think the biggest challenge will be focusing on academic work with so many distractions. I just want to explore as well as see and experience everything during my limited time here. There is so much to do, from hiking to shopping in town. Culturally, adapting to the language will probably be the biggest difficulty. I am so glad Swahili is taught as a class, as the language barrier can be a challenge. But I enjoy attempting to communicate with the locals.

What are you looking forward to the most about the semester?
I am so excited to see the wildlife. I think that our camping trips will also be incredible. We are in such an amazing and unique part of the world, I am beyond stoked to explore and see new things.

Give three words that best describe how you are feeling right now.
Wanderlust, blissful, excited

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