Diana Diep - CFANS Study Abroad Program
Term: May 2017
And in what seems like a blink of an eye, one of the most wonderful & humbling experiences have come to an end. Being a part of the Wildlife Medicine and Conservation in Belize study abroad program has not only allowed me to capture a slight glimpse of Belizean local life, amazing food, and diverse culture, but it also allowed me to learn and grow as a stronger and even more culturally aware individual.
The wonderful opportunity has also made me become more adaptable, flexible, appreciative of the diversity that there is around the world. Through everything that the trip entailed, I found myself often smiling during all of the activities that we completed everyday. Being in a new country definitely made me step out of my comfort zone, sometimes making me step 10,000 steps in a day out of that zone, so I’d come back at the end of the night a little more knowledgeable and satisfied.
Not only was this experience stimulating for cultural appreciation and personal growth, it also allowed me to delve deeper into a field that I have always had the strong desire to explore: Wildlife Medicine. Although I adored and valued all of the hands-on work that we were able to obtain during the trip, it also gave me the very important realization that the schedule and pace of working in the wildlife veterinary field is something that would not ideally fit into the future that I envision for myself. However, it did strongly confirm that the veterinary field is still the field that I am extremely passionate about and I would never be able to imagine myself pursuing any other career.
I am also extremely thankful for the grants that I have received for this trip abroad, as it made the journey much more possible to afford, and I was able to focus more on the educational experience itself rather than the cost of the experience.
For those reasons and many many more, this trip abroad will forever hold a special place in my heart.