Hello everyone!

My name is Kelly and I’m a third-year Entomology and Biological Science major at UGA. In the near future, I will be boarding a plane for Ecuador and the Study Abroad of my dreams. Armed with a packing list, itinerary, and a field guide, I have been preparing to go and am so, so excited for this opportunity. I’ll be posting more as the trip continues, but here are some things I am looking forward to or am nervous about.

Nerve wracking:

  • Flying without family for the first time: While I have flown a handful of times, I’ve never flown out of the country solo. Others from the trip will be there too but having to deal with customs and declaring items in another language adds a new level of stress.
  • Navigating life in another country: Even if you ignore scenarios that involve an emergency or getting lost, doing everyday tasks will be a little more challenging. I took years of Spanish in high school so I’m hoping it all comes back to me. Right now, however, I’m not even sure I remember how to ask where the bathroom is.
  • Spending 18+ days with 15+ strangers: This could go under both categories, because while the possibility of making so many new friends in my field is exciting, it’s also pretty intimidating.

Super exciting:

  • We are going to the Galápagos Islands! I have wanted to go to the Galápagos since middle school, so this trip is truly a dream come true. Not only are these islands bursting full of history, biodiversity, and volcanoes, but they are also full of opportunity with the 2nd largest Marine Reserve in the world and lots of passionate people dedicated to the preservation of this wonder.
  • Studying lots of bugs: This may sound strange to some, but insects are my chosen field of study, so I am really excited to learn more about tropical bugs up close and personal. While on the trip, we’ll be creating our own photography collection of all the incredible species we find.
  • The chocolate and coffee tours: These are small outings in the grand scheme of the trip, but in addition to being about two of my favorite things, I think these tours will provide an interesting glimpse into the agricultural processes in South America as well as the economies and cultures that accompany them.
  • So much more!

Who knows what surprises are in store for us? Who knows what random moments or adventures will bring the trip to life? I can’t wait to experience it all and will keep you updated along the way.

If you’re interested in learning more about this Study Abroad or going on a trip yourself, please check out the CAES Study Abroad website! https://students.caes.uga.edu/current/study-abroad.html

Hasta luego!