Goals: Although this is a unique, and certainly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me, I am participating in this particular study abroad program because of the ecological field methods and skills that I will develop on this trip. In addition to the skill set I will develop there, I will become educated about climate change in an area where the intersection of highly concentrated tropical biodiversity and human development and land influence will collide. This is where I can finally put my knowledge to use (other than random factoids in daily life).
Motivation Although I feel as if I have always wanted to explore the natural world and discover the secrets it has to offer, I have always felt that lump in my stomach, the sinking motions, that pang of fear about venturing off into the unknown, but this will be the time I get over it. There is always that initial doubt the first time, but like everything else in life, I am going to make it happen. I am going to explore the natural world and learn all the secrets it has to offer. And all in one month 😉 Wow, am I brilliant. And modest too.
Previous Overseas Travel: Soon to be Ecuador. And Panama, if you count layovers.
Goals: I want to get a sample of what life is like outside of the United States, make some new friends, and improve my Spanish.
Motivation: I have never been outside of the United States before, and I wanted to have that experience sooner rather than later. I chose Costa Rica because I have always wanted to see the rainforest firsthand, and it is a country that I don’t know much about. I found the homestay aspect of this program especially appealing—I think it will be interesting to live with a Costa Rican family.
Previous overseas travel: I’ve never traveled overseas.
Goals: I am most excited to become more proficient in Chinese. Additionally, I am interested in pursuing the Culture in the Age of Globalization track of the international studies major, so I hope to learn more about the Chinese way of life, which will nicely supplement my in-class experiences back at UW.
Motivation: I have always wanted to take up a temporary residency abroad, especially in a country that has a national language other than English. I’m most looking forward to the ability to view American culture through a different lens, while simultaneously experiencing what being a female young adult means in terms of location and cultural differences.
Previous overseas travel: Aruba, Greece, Italy
Goals: I want to use this internship opportunity to hone in on my occupational aspirations while making a difference in a country on the opposite side of the world. I also want to participate in some exciting adventure sports and completely immerse myself in the New Zealand culture and lifestyle.
Motivation: I chose to go abroad because of the amazing experience I had while studying abroad my sophomore year in Italy. I have a huge passion for traveling, learning about different cultures, and interacting with the locals in different parts of the world. I chose New Zealand because it’s such a beautiful country that offers many outdoor activities and friendly people to meet.
Previous overseas travel: Italy, Spain, France, Switzerland, Greece
Goals: I’m very excited to work alongside the Buddhist monks in Siem Reap and hope to learn a lot about their daily life and religious culture. I’m also excited to practice my French there and visit Angkor!
Motivation: I was enrolled in a First Year Interest Group in the Fall semester called “Love and Attachment in Buddhist Art and Literature” with Professor Hansen, and that FIG really sparked my interest in Religious Studies and Buddhism. This trip was offered exclusively to our FIG and other specific classes and when I found out I had the opportunity to go I knew I should take advantage of this trip of a lifetime! I’m so excited to immerse myself in the culture of a religion that I’ve studied so much this year.
Previous overseas travel: This will be my first time travelling abroad!