Follow Our Scholars' Study Abroad Experiences
Galapagos Islands: Ecuador
In the summer of 2021, I got the incredible opportunity to go on the trip of a lifetime to the Galapagos Islands. Visiting this place is a dream of any biology major, and I am very thankful that I got to live that dream. My USF group partnered with Ecology Project International (EPI) to travel between several islands and do a combination of touring and research. We assisted on several active ecology projects, including helping to remove an invasive species (the giant African snail) and helping with a monitoring project with the giant Galapagos tortoises on Santa Cruz. We saw many incredible species, including several species that are endemic to the islands. The giant Galapagos tortoises, marine iguanas, lava lizards, sea lions, blue-footed boobies, and many other species were common sights. I greatly enjoyed the hikes through the Galapagos national park, snorkeling in the incredible lagoons, and seeing the amazing giant tortoise breeding centers. This is certainly the trip of a lifetime, and I would encourage anyone who has the chance to go to do so.
Canada: Montréal and Québec
This past May, I got the amazing opportunity to travel to Montréal and Quebec City with the Honors College at USF. The theme of the trip was expressing Social Justice through Art which we were able to explore through a tour of the art throughout the streets of Montréal, exhibitions in Canadian museums, and experiences with prominent figures in Québec’s intersection of social justice and different mediums of creativity. As an aspiring French major, I also got to practice the language in an immersive and challenging situation. Between our two weeks in Canada, we were able to spend a few nights in La Forêt Montmorency, the largest research forest in North America. In between our amazing scheduled experiences, our leaders were sure to allot time for us to explore the vibrant, diverse cities in which we lived and eat amazing food at local spots. Whether it was learning about Canada’s rich history or canoeing in Montmorency Lake, the entire experience was enriching for both my academic future at USF and my career aspirations!
Studying abroad could not be matched by any other travel or educational experience. The opportunities that USF created for us, such as business visits, private tours, and travel to historic sites made the experience as memorable as it was. While we did get to visit many well-known landmarks and tourist attractions in London, we also got a broad views of British culture by going outside London to Dover, Oxford, and Brighton, all at least two hours outside the city. The diverse culture and foreign lifestyle that England has made every day unforgettable.
Soufriere, Saint Lucia
What a time spending 2 weeks with Dr. Chantale Begin conducting research on the coral reefs around Saint Lucia to become certified through USF as a scientific diver! I am so thankful for the opportunity to help contribute to a brighter and healthier future for our oceans! Follow the link below to see our group's field work blog!
After spending 5 months in Australia at Deakin University, I'm convinced that no experience could ever top it! From zip lining through the Daintree Rainforest and diving the Great Barrier Reef, I found a passion in trying new things and taking the road less travelled! Check out the link below to follow my adventures in the land of koalas and kangaroos!
Fulbright Summer Institute & USF in London
I spent the summer of 2017 in England participating in the Fulbright Summer Institute at the University of Bristol and USF London. We focused on Slavery and the Atlantic Heritage along with Public Health.
I'm not sure where to begin as the story has yet to end. Our trip to Chiang Rai, Thailand is one that I will never forget. In fact, my career goal has been inspired by this service project and the phenomenal students and staff I met abroad. For context, this service project was created to teach primary and secondary school students, living in an all-girls shelter, English, financial literacy, and other life skills. Many of the students we worked with were far more advanced in their knowledge of these topics because the shelter provides similar trainings at least once a year. The students also learn English and Mandarin Chinese in school.
Teaching English and life skills development was challenging and exciting. But, I wish to convey a more profound takeaway from this experience that many people may not consider when they think of Thailand. The country of Thailand (or Kingdom of Siam) is not a tourist destination- it is a country at the hub of technological innovation and social change. Even though we lived and worked in a more rural province, Chiang Rai, the University students and staff there were creating new apps and building new relationships with the local government to improve the lives of their children overall. These social good changes include human trafficking prevention. No system is perfect, but I believe the Thai child welfare system is growing fairly close. There are many things we can learn from Thai people and their local government systems, and vice versa. So I hope to continue sharing this experience with colleagues at USF and leaders in the Tampa Bay community.
USF Florence, Italy
For 6 weeks I had the opportunity to attend the USF Science in Florence program. As part of the program I took two courses, Organic Chemistry & Physician Observation. During my time in the class I served as the Student Clinical Leader, supervising the student trips to hospitals in the area. Those in the class were able to observe Italian Physicians in hospitals around the country. We were able to observe eye surgeries, sports medicine consults, robotic surgery, dermatology appointments and many more. As part of the trip I also conducted research on the Italian Medical Ethics that persist in the Italian Healthcare model and write a paper comparing it to the medical ethics currently found in the United States. When abroad I absolutely fell in love with the Italian culture and cannot wait to go back some day soon!
During my first year, I had the amazing opportunity to travel to the Dominican Republic as part of an Honors College Medical Service trip. With the opportunity to live with a Dominican family and engage with many locals on a daily basis, I recognized that we were more similar than different. Many of us shared a love for food, music, and story-telling and developed friendships that still continue today. Having volunteered in the local clinics and alongside physicians and fellow USF students, this experience abroad shaped my perspective in a way that has made me further value relationships, diversity, and love- lessons that I will never forget.