A rigorous and engaging experience that benefits the local community August 08, 2022

By (Environmental Science, University of Vermont) - abroad from 06/22/2022 to 08/03/2022 with

Round River Conservation Studies - Taku River Watershed Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to see the world in a different way. There's a difference between just visiting a place and knowing most of the plants, animals, culture, and history of the area. The Taku River program taught me how to go to a place and understand it, not just be there.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

This was an academically rigorous program, but since we were so immersed in the area, I felt that my classes were more interesting and more relevant than any classes I've taken in a traditional college setting.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

For being in a very remote area, the logistics were handled surprisingly well.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

We slept outside in tents. It was lovely. The only issue was the mosquitoes, and occasionally the temperature. I recommend bringing a lot of warm layers for cold nights.

* Food:

I was surprised at how well this program was able to accommodate dietary needs. Since the area was so remote, we did have a limited selection of food though, especially produce.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We met a few Taku River Tlingit members throughout the program, but for the most part, it felt like we lived by ourselves.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

We didn't have any major health issues during the program.

* Safety:

The town of Atlin is safe. The concerns are the wildlife, especially bears, and falling while hiking on uneven terrain. We didn't have any bear encounters. As long as we kept food and other scented items out of our tents, we were fine. In terms of hiking, I would recommend bringing hiking boots with ankle support and wearing 2 layers of socks to protect your feet.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

If I did this program again next summer, I would be able to further help with research Round River is conducting with the Taku River Tlingit First Nation (TRTFN) to help the TRTFN manage their traditional territory. And I'd love to see this beautiful part of British Columbia again.


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

All food and housing was covered. All expenses were optional.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $10
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? The only real expense not covered is laundry, and you can hand-wash your laundry if you want to avoid paying for that.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Field Methods course
  • Wildlife research
  • The scenery
* What could be improved?
  • Pacing of the courses
  • Hiking pace
  • Mosquitoes
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? This program involves a fair amount of physical activity, and I would recommend doing some cardio training before heading out.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.