I felt like an actual scientist and did exactly what someone who is researching out on the Masai Mara, or any reserve, would do. It was an incredible experience to put my knowledge and experience to use and create an interesting research project and then also present my findings to others. I can't wait to apply everything I learned on my study abroad to my future career, and my life.
I’m sure that I could go on forever about the impact that my time in Kenya had on me, but that would distract from the point. I learned many things on my time abroad. Some academic, others far more personal, but because of Kenya I will always remember to thank my body, hug as many times as I can, and to always let my heart feel free.
The next day while everyone was playing in the courtyard, the same girl came to me and asked if I would walk with her, we walked for a couple of minutes and then sat down away from the noise of all of the other children. I then asked her why she had asked me to come with her; she said, “I’d like to tell you my story.” I willingly sat and listened for the next fifteen minutes fighting back tears...
It was sunrise, and the sky was a beautiful purple, then pink, orange and finally brilliant blue. Below us stretched the Mara for as long as we could see, ribbons of wildebeest and zebra treading along on their annual route to and from the Serengeti.
This study abroad program changed my perspective of the world in ways I never thought possible. I saw the most beautiful landscapes, learned about fascinating animals; I met amazing people from my own university and others across the country, as well as Kenyans that I will forever consider my friends.
The instructors get the students ready for the course, let them know how difficult it will be to stay focused and get all the work done, but they don’t tell the students how hard it will be to go home.
First off, academically I felt as if I learned in a much better, more realistic way. Instead of sitting through a lecture and learning about the natural geography of the land, animal behavior or the possible ways that an individual could collect data on a group of animals, which is typically dry and boring I was physically able to observe and understand animal behaviors, witness these different ways to collect data, and I could visually see the natural geography of the
We had lecture in an open tent and spent most hours outside. In our free time, we relaxed outside and did homework.
At the conclusion of our interviews, the women were given the opportunity to ask us questions about our culture. It was shocking the questions we received, such as, how long it takes us to milk our cows and collect our firewood.
I never thought I would have the chance to go abroad but thanks to financial aid from MSU and the encouragement from my friends, I was able to fulfill a lifelong dream. Growing up, my dad used to tell me stories about his trips to different countries while he was in the airforce. This led me to dream of someday going abroad as well.
As a child I received Discovery Channel VHS tapes and Zoobooks instead of regular cartoons and books. Now, I attend Michigan State, while studying zoology in the hopes of getting into research. After three years of undergraduate research and classes, I feel as though I have learned a lot in the field of zoology, but it wasn’t until my course in Kenya that I felt like I understood anything.
Seeing the joy on the children’s faces when we played with them and helped in their centers gave me hope that their future will be one that they actively shape and that a lack of opportunity, access, or choice will not hinder them from achieving their dreams.
"An indescribable experience! A college must-do! I would do it all again in a heartbeat!" After recently returning from working with Kenyan orphans, I can personally testify to the validity of these and all the other cliché statements surrounding Study Abroad. It was so far beyond all of my wildest expectations, fully immersing me into a real-life textbook scenario.
Studying the interactions of animals and their environments within their natural habitats gives you a new understanding, and a new sense of wonder, about how each one of mother nature’s marvelous designs works in such a precise and delicate manner that it helps to balance everything around it.