Study a-broaden your horizons

Four UA students recap their summers spent studying abroad

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Alex McIntyre and Alex McIntyre | The Daily Wildcat Visitors gaze at frescos inside the Duomo di Orvieto in Orvieto, Italy on Wednesday, May 27, 2015. The church draws visitors from across the globe. (Photograph by Alex McIntyre)

College is the age in which we challenge our ever-growing awareness of ourselves, our personal surroundings and our world. Amid this period, we become more open than ever before.

Studying abroad serves as one of these eye-opening opportunities.

Four UA students, studying a mix of different majors, voice their excitement and recap their time spent studying abroad during summer 2016.

A senior and first year graduate student in the Accelerated Master's Program for Soil, Water and Environmental Science, Katie DiBene, traveled to Namibia with the Desert Ecology and Conservation Biology program.

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DiBene talked about her adventures of touring a Cheetah Conservation Fund, as well as developing her own research papers while she enjoyed learning about a culture beyond her own.

“I enjoyed being immersed in the culture and learning about different perspectives on life,” DiBene said.

DiBene said she has the ability to look at the big picture and apply her learning to real world issues. She said studying abroad provided her a wonderful outlet to do so.

“Studying abroad, in my opinion, is the most enriching way to learn because it takes what you learn and applies it to real life situations,” DiBene said.

Leah Kaplan, a chemical engineering junior, studied abroad with the IDEAS program in Guatemala, which she learned about through the UA Study Abroad website.

Kaplan explained that not only did this program allow her to work more with her major, but she also became exposed to the rich and complicated history of Guatemala.

“You live with a homestay family in Antigua, Guatemala, which is a beautiful colonial town,” Kaplan said. “I volunteered on an organic farm and helped teach English at a local school.”

Mallary Parker, a junior studying molecular and cellular biology, went to Australia with the Environmental Conservation program. Mallary explained that because she loves the Earth and nature, she wants to conserve it through studying and researching genetics.

“I wanted to study abroad for the experience," Parker said. "I needed to expand as a person away from home — I'm born and raised here in Tucson — I was very interested in the genetic studies that have been done on Aborigines and wanted to have an interaction with them myself.”

UA graduate of 2016and Arizona Public Media reporter Valeria Flores studied in Spain with the Arizona in Segovia program. Flores explained that her program offered a six-week course in the “home of the Roman Aqueduct,” Segovia.

“I think that what I enjoyed the most about Spain was the people I met and the experiences I had with them,” Flores said. “There [was] a total of about 40 people on the trip and you just get so used to seeing these people every day and meeting up with them.”

Flores also talked about the importance of having an open mind when trying out new foods.

“The best thing you can do when traveling abroad is to keep an open mind,” Flores said. “As much as you might want to eat food that you’re used to, don’t. Try the food that is specific to that specific region and travel while you’re abroad.”


Follow Maryam Sobhani on Twitter.



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