Danielle Brown - CFANS Study Abroad Program

Term: 
Winter 2017

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Choosing to study abroad in Thailand was one of the best decisions I made for myself academically, professionally, and personally during my time at the University of Minnesota. Through this experience, I discovered different methods of field research with top biologists, gained a greater understanding of international conservation work, observed the behavior of wildlife in their natural habitats, learned to interact with people of a culture different from my own, lived in and explored breathtakingly beautiful jungle and wetland landscapes, and developed close relationships with my program leaders and fellow students. I recommend that anyone who has even the slightest bit of interest in this program speak with a former student or the leaders of the program. Without the grants I was awarded, justifying studying abroad would have been difficult. So, speak with those at the study abroad center to see what financial help you can receive. It won’t take much to convince you after that, I promise.

I’ve thought about my time in Thailand nearly every day since returning home. There are reminders everywhere, from the camera trap photo of a tiger that serves as my phone background, the friends I made while in Thailand that I sit next to in class, and the dishes I make for dinner that are Thai inspired because my taste buds cannot get enough. The memories these reminders evoke are bittersweet as I am both happy that I have them but also sad I am no longer there to make more. However, I plan to use the invaluable connections I made during this experience to return to Thailand one day.

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