When we were first starting our journey to San Salvador, I was really nervous. I’d never traveled out of the country for a class before, but I was excited to learn and be surrounded by people of different cultures. I wasn’t sure how I would respond to being in a new place and learning in a different country; I wasn’t entirely sure what we would be doing on the trip as there wasn’t a strict schedule given to us beforehand; and I was scared that I wouldn’t have food because I’m vegan. There were a lot of thoughts running through my mind, but as we landed for the first time in the Bahamas, excitement overtook any apprehension that I had.
Once we landed in San Salvador, it became real for me—I was officially studying abroad and even though it was a topic that I wasn’t necessarily an expert in, that made me even more excited to learn. The first day at the research center was full of fun time on the beach and the beginning of an understanding of our projects for the week. We were supposed to, with our respective groups, begin to edit a trail guide that is about 20 years old. This meant that we were supposed to tour the trail guide, look for all flora and fauna that was present on the trail guide, and then work to add or delete from there. My birthday just so happened to be over spring break, and on my birthday, we began our journey down the trail.
The trail was about 2 miles in total, but it was divided into 4 sections that 4 groups had to study. The trail was beautiful—full of different flowers, both poisonous and not, mystery trails, and a few caves and lakes. When we weren’t in the trail, we spent time on the campus of the Gerace Research Center. The campus contained a cafeteria, which had delicious food, dorms, a library, a computer lab with wifi, labs, and faculty dorms. The fact that we didn’t have wifi on the trip was actually something that I enjoyed because it really allowed me to enjoy myself without being surrounded by other distractions. It also allowed me to focus on the research that we were doing.
Overall, the trip was a wonderful experience for me. I really enjoyed being surrounded by flora and fauna and researching them. The food was great, the research center’s campus was great, and when we went into town to explore, that only added to the whole experience. I truly enjoyed myself, and I left knowing a lot about the different plants and animals native to San Salvador, Bahamas.
NinaSimone Edwards is working towards a Bachelor’s degree in International/Comparative Studies. She participated in a faculty led trip to the Bahamas during Spring Break, 2018. Simone had the following to say about her experience in the Bahamas, “At first, I never thought of myself as an “outdoor” person. After this trip, I can say that I not only enjoy being outside and studying nature, but I want to start taking more science classes as I’ve enjoyed the entire experience.” During the Summer 2018 semester she also studied abroad through EF Language in Playa Tamarindo, Costa Rica.