Choosing this study abroad program was hands down the best decision I made during my college career. It was such a unique experience and one that I felt perfectly encompassed what studying abroad is all about. While traveling and living in Tanzania undoubtedly pushed me out of my comfort zone, I could not speak more highly of the students, staff, and locals I had the pleasure of spending those 3.5 months with. The many relationships I developed with those people really made camp a home away from home and have continued even after the program. I was completely engrossed by the Tanzanian culture and way of life-- something I'm quite sure is just as unique as the country itself. Having the opportunity to learn Swahili and get exposure to a variety of cultures was truly an immersive experience that speaks to the many positives of this program.
Now of course, the wildlife this country had to offer was one of the main draws for me. The safari drives and overnight expeditions in and near the national parks were always something I looked forward to and will surely never forget. Each drive was a new experience, whether it was seeing new animals or scenery, or simply being with a different driver or group of students. There was also a great connection between class and lecture material with activities we did in the field (habitat assessment, species ID and behavioral observations, wildlife census techniques, etc.). And the best part was that fieldwork never felt like actual work--I mean how often do you get to ride around in open-top Jeeps collecting data on Tanzanian wildlife?!
I could go on and on about how absolutely amazing this program was. I can't say that I have one favorite memory or moment, because the program in its entirety was more than I ever expected it to be. I've missed the tiny village of Rhotia every day and know this country and its people forever have a special place in my heart.