Reports from Abroad – Week of Oct. 10

Study Abroad Advising:
If you are interested in learning more about study abroad opportunities, stop by the honors college seminar room to meet with Joseph Rasich, Study Abroad Specialist. He will be available every other Thursday from 2 to 4:30 p.m.

Student Study Abroad Scholarship Testimonial:
Tropical Biology in Belize by Aisha Deme

Visiting Belize was my first time in the tropics, and it was breathtaking to experience so many different landscapes at once: rainforest, savannah, island, mountains, rivers and the ocean. I experienced many firsts on this trip, one of which was hiking. It was glorifying to hike between six and nine miles every day, all while wearing long pants and a backpack. Other firsts included being in the ocean, snorkeling and diving from a cliff. While on Lime Caye, I was able to watch the sun rise and set over the ocean which is something I have never experienced. 109 feet in the air, at the top of an observation tower, I was able to conquer my fear of heights and watch howler monkeys interact in the rainforest canopy, all while being surrounded by the vast and seemingly endless peaks of the Maya Mountains.

I learned so much about Belizean culture, thanks to Nelly, a friendly and extremely knowledgeable woman who was our guide throughout the trip. Nelly was patient with me and answered any and all questions that I had. I appreciated her willingness to teach me and the rest of the group about Belize, and I hope that I can one day be as knowledgeable as she is. Everyone that I encountered in Belize was kind and welcoming, which restored my faith in humanity. As our time in Belize came to an end, I was dreading the return home and found myself wishing I could stay. Early in the morning on one of our last days on Lime Caye, I went fishing with Nelly, Kenny, and two other students from our group. We caught lots of huge fish, and it was rewarding to know that dinner was caught by us.

My goal for the trip was to get out of my comfort zone and become more environmentally conscious and in touch with nature. Before going to Belize, I had an appreciation for nature but was not an “outdoorsy” person. After being immersed in nature for so long, I am proud to say that I am now interested in outdoor activities, and I would like to take up climbing. I have also become less of a “picky” eater, which I know will benefit me for years to come. I am now interested in traveling and am considering joining the Peace Corps. I am grateful and fortunate to have had this experience in Belize, which would not have been possible without the scholarships I received from the Lee Honors College, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Haenicke Institute for Global Education.

belize-photoSunset over the Caribbean Sea, photographed by Aisha Deme in Lime Caye, Belize

 

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