From March 8th to March 17th I went on a study abroad trip to the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador along with my classmates and professors for a class over Evolution and Darwinism. During the semester we learned about the various animals that inhibit the Galapagos Islands as well as Charles Darwin and his findings which led to the discovery of the theory of Evolution.

Within the eleven-day period which we spent there, we visited the islands of San Cristobal and Santa Cruz and observed the ecology and various animals that inhabit the islands such as the Giant Tortoise, Marine Iguanas, Sally Lightfoot Crab etc. At the beginning of the semester we were assigned animals that we had to observe and create research papers on, mine being the Sea Lion.

One of my favorite parts of this experience was learning about our animals and observing them in their natural habitat. The Sea Lion tends to travel in groups of harems and at night they would all congregate in one location so I was able to see them fairly easily. Another favorite part was just to be able to experience a new culture and environment. Being an American, I was not used to being around majority Spanish speaking people in a Spanish speaking country. I definitely experienced a culture shock, which I did not expect. But I believe it is important to be exposed to different cultures in order to expand our view of the world.

There were a lot of physical excursions that involved hiking, swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking. All of which I have never been inclined to do but after the trip I definitely gained an appreciation for outdoor activities like those. I enjoyed how this course took traditional classroom and lecture learning and made it hands on where we could actually apply our learning and appreciate the material that we have been taught all semester. All our activities allowed us to gain a deeper understanding of our learning, which many people do not get to experience.  This trip definitely took me out of my comfort zone and I am thoroughly pleased with how everything turned out.

Evann Bailey is majoring in Integrated Studies and spent Spring Break 2019 in the Galapagos, Ecuador as part of a faculty-led trip through the Honors College. Evann  had the following to say about studying abroad, “Keep an open mind about every new experience. Studying abroad helps broaden your perspective of the world.”

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