Posted: February 17, 2022
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First Impressions of the Turks and Caicos Islands

Turks and Caicos Islands

Why did you choose to study abroad with SFS?

I have always been an environmentalist, but I knew four years sitting at a school desk learning about environmental issues wasn’t going to give me all the skills I needed to make an environmental impact. During my COVID-19 quarantine, I did some self-reflecting and decided I want to get out into the world and get real-world experience ASAP. When I found SFS, I knew the work in the field, connections with the local community, and education on real-world issues would set me on a path to make a positive change and reach my environmental goals!

What are your first impressions of the country?

South Caicos is remarkable and different from my hometown of Los Angeles in all the ways I hoped (it is so cool that donkeys, horses, and dogs roam the island freely!). But what is truly special about the island is the people. I was hesitant about encroaching on their community and livelihoods, but they are all incredibly welcoming and kind. The kids on the island are especially lively and fun to hang out with!

What are your first impressions of the Center?

One thing that attracted me to SFS was the simplicity of life we would experience during the program. I appreciate the limited cell-phone usage, emphasis on freshwater conservation, community living, and overall rough-and-tough aspects of being here. What I didn’t expect to discover was the personality that is so apparent within the center. The caring staff, university flags and murals lining the walls, five dogs, and overall friendly atmosphere truly make the Center a home!

The author and fellow Spring 2022 students.

What do you think the biggest challenge will be for you this semester both academically and culturally?

I struggle with the hard sciences, so I am nervous for our Tropical Marine Ecology class, but I am eager to finally be able to identify animals in the ocean! More importantly, I think it will be a challenge to ensure myself and the rest of my cohort are continuously mentally stable in this new environment. There may be ups and downs while we are here, but I am hoping we can all rely on each other for support and comfort.

What are you looking forward to the most about the semester?

Already, I can tell that I am meeting life-long friends. I am looking forward to learning more about the backgrounds and individuality of each person here and getting to know my cohort – through everything from class activities to bonding games to exploring the island!

The author.

Give three adjectives that best describe how you are feeling right now.

Supported, eager, and content.

Curious to learn a bit more about the SFS Turks and Caicos 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.

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