About My Study Abroad Program
Major/Minor: Biology and Psychology/Minor in Creative Writing
Program: Semester at Sea (Colorado State University)
Location: Semester at Sea
Term: Spring 2019
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you select your program?
I chose to study abroad because I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to travel and experience the world before entering the work force. The desire to gain experience outside of the classroom, while still learning every day, was part of what drew me to Semester at Sea. I also was interested in the program because it allows you to visit countries all over the world, rather than being in one place the whole semester, and this creates a really unique global learning opportunity!
What did you learn about yourself?
I learned that I am way better at adapting and problem-solving than I thought. No matter what issue we ran into, or what language people spoke, we were always able to communicate and figure it out.
What is one of your favorite memories from your program?
One of my favorite memories from Semester at Sea isn't a single moment, but a whole day. On our second-to-last day in Morocco, my friends and I decided, on a whim, to take the train north from Casablanca to Tangier. We spent the day wandering the city, making memories together. We visited the Caves of Hercules (where Hercules is said to have rested during his trials) and saw the most brilliant blue water we had seen the entire voyage. We made our way through the winding streets of the Medina and visited an old palace, and we stared at Spain from across the Strait of Gibraltar while we ate tagine at a restaurant the Beatles once visited. When we bought train tickets back to Casablanca, we stopped for French Tacos (which are nothing at all like what you'd typically think of when you imagine a taco) and befriended the employees, who later took our picture to hang on the wall behind their counter. Spontaneity and great friends made this day one of the my favorites on the program.
What advice do you have for future study abroad students?
My advice is to go into the experience with an open heart and mind, because the world will teach you so much about yourself and others if you let it! Talk to as many people as possible, listen when they want to tell you their stories, and really make an effort to connect because studying abroad will teach you so much more than sitting in a classroom will.
Would you do it again?
Any day, any time, I'm 100% there.
How did your study abroad experience prepare you for your future career?
My study abroad experienced prepared me for my future career by exposing me to cultures and ways of living which differ from my own. Before I studied abroad I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do, but along the way I realized that I was passionate about conservation and biodiversity ecology, and helping communities by promoting sustainable practices and education. By having studied abroad I now have better ideas for how to communicate information, understand viewpoints other than my own, and interact with different cultures. No matter what career path I end up actually taking, I will definitely be more prepared for it because of my study abroad experience.