Studying abroad in Puerto Natales, Chile, is an incredible opportunity for students interested in environmental science. Nestled in the heart of Patagonia, Puerto Natales is surrounded by some of the most beautiful and diverse landscapes on Earth, making it an ideal location for students like myself to study the natural environment.
One of the most exciting aspects of living and learning in Puerto Natales is the opportunity to explore the incredible variety of ecosystems that are found in the region. The glaciers in Torres del Paine National Park, coastal fjords, and wetlands are just a few of the many different environments I was able to explore during my time in Southern Patagonia. Throughout Patagonia there is also a diverse range of flora and fauna which is incredible for learning about ecology, conservation, and other environmental topics.
Another key advantage of studying in Puerto Natales is the ability to conduct field research in a real-world setting. During my experience, I was able to work on a direct research project with another student and a professor. We focused on the hybridization between two tree species. The opportunity to do research was such an amazing experience and it allowed me and my fellow classmates to connect even more with the environment. With access to some of the most remote wilderness areas in the world the ability to work on brand new research in the region is common, especially in the fields of environmental science and biology. Through hands-on research, I was able to gain a deeper understanding of the natural world and the issues facing it, which is essential to becoming an effective environmental scientist.
Puerto Natales is home to a number of organisms and research centers that are dedicated to studying and protecting the local environment. These groups offered a wealth of resources and expertise to myself and my classmates, including access to equipment, data, and even research opportunities. We were able to speak to and work with the native people in the area for some of our research projects. Through the program we were able to make valuable connections with local scientists and conservationists, which can be incredibly valuable as they continue to pursue their careers in environmental science.
Studying abroad in Puerto also offers a unique cultural experience, Chile is a diverse and fascinating country with a rich history, vibrant culture and a wealth of natural resources. Its people are friendly and welcoming, and their way of life is deeply connected to the land and sea. Living among the locals allowed me to learn about the country’s history and culture, and gain a deeper understanding of the ways in which people interact with the natural environment.
Overall, studying abroad in Puerto Natales, Chile was an incredible opportunity for me and other students interested in environmental science. With access to some of the most beautiful and diverse landscapes on Earth, the ability to conduct field research in a real-world setting, and the support of local organizations and research centers, I was able to gain a deep understanding of the natural world and the issues facing it. Now I have a broader perspective on the world and the role of humans in it after living and studying in this unique and fascinating culture.
Uma Plambeck (BS Environmental Science) spent Fall 2022 studying abroad in Puerto Natales, Chile through The School for Field Studies. Uma had the following to say about studying abroad, “Studying abroad was one of the coolest trips of my life. Learning about different cultures and seeing beautiful landscapes every day was such an enriching experience.”
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