Best biological and geographical eye opener I have ever seen! Past Review

By (Conservation Biology., Trinity University) - abroad from 06/03/2013 to 07/01/2013 with

The School for Field Studies / SFS: Turks and Caicos Islands - Marine Resource Studies

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned things about myself, the people around me, and the world in general. This summer I saw how a lot of puzzle pieces fit together in conservation biology. I had some amazing nature related experiences in swimming with animals I have never seen before. I am very grateful we spent so much time in the water scuba diving and snorkeling both during the day and night. Also having the ability to go out with faculty and help them with their research projects was incredible. This included capturing and tagging juvenile lemon sharks and sleepy sea turtles!

Review Photos

The School for Field Studies / SFS: Turks and Caicos Islands - Marine Resource Studies Photo The School for Field Studies / SFS: Turks and Caicos Islands - Marine Resource Studies Photo The School for Field Studies / SFS: Turks and Caicos Islands - Marine Resource Studies Photo The School for Field Studies / SFS: Turks and Caicos Islands - Marine Resource Studies Photo The School for Field Studies / SFS: Turks and Caicos Islands - Marine Resource Studies Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Even though this program was only a little less than a month long, I discovered just how strong my passion for science was. If a student is questioning if they want to do field work, this program along with other SFS programs is the perfect place to start. Being able to learn something in class and then immediately apply that knowledge in the field was immensely satisfying for understanding the logistics of how conservation biology works.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Everyone was extremely nice and very much acquainted with the lifestyle of the Island. This program is extremely close to the locals. It was nice to see the faculty being so encouraging to engage with the public. They were very aware of keeping the Admiral's Arms in tip top shape for both the students and faculty use.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The living arrangements were camp bunk bed style, sharing a room with three other people. I had not problems with my roommates and living arrangements. The only thing that takes a while to get used to is the mosquito nets, the heat, and the occasional visiting bugs from outside. I had roof over my head and a bed to sleep in. That's all I was really looking for!.

* Food:

I had a restricted diet that did not include diary or mushrooms. For my experience, the food was a bit boring and repetitive since I couldn't eat most of the options. Yes, they did provide an option for people that had certain needs, but there was less variety. On the days I could eat something, the food was delicious! Snack time was my favorite! I did start to eat more and more fruit though thanks to snack time.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I am not a children person, but this program definitely made me push my boundaries in a good way. The CRMS (Center for Marine Studies) always head weekly activities that included the public to interact with faculty, staff, and students. It was nice to be able to walk down the street after dinner with a group and have the locals stop and talk to us. While visiting the local stores there was always a strong interest from the locals to talk to us. I found all my encounters very enjoyable and never threatening.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Drink water! That was the most common phrase I heard. I did not have any health problems minus a headache the first day I arrived. They did have supplies and showed the group all the emergency kits that they had available to everyone.

* Safety:

I felt safe walking anywhere on the island at any time of the day. They kept us extremely safe during our boat outings and in water investigations. I was also a scuba diver, and we spent plenty of time in the morning to make sure that all our gear was suited up correctly and there was no problems. My only concern is they never gave any information on dealing with animals in the water that could potentially become aggressive. I saw several sharks on my trip and they did not acknowledge me, but I've always wondered what their protocol was for an aggressive shark was.

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


* 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)

I did not spend a lot of money on this trip. I ate mostly what was available on site and sometimes bought some snacks from the local stores. Soda pop was only 1 dollar US and there were several other treats that did not cost more than 2 dollars US. Drinking was not expensive at all, depended on which drinks you were buying. I don't suggest going out every weekend because then most of your money will be gone. Once or twice I would get dinner from in town, which was generally very cheap. In total for the entire month I spent close to $200, but that included buying souvenirs, food, and going out.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $200
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Find the sweet deals like one dollar sodas or chips. There was also a nice icey treat that was made from fruit juice and ice that cost only 25 cents from Shamby's. I ate a lot of those! They were a very nice treat to cool off with in the evening!


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Hotel
* 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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Scuba Diving/ Snorkeling
  • The people both from the island and SFS program
  • My peers!
* What could be improved?
  • Food options for people with dietary issues
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? You are going to be in the heat the entire time. Bring things to keep yourself cool!

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.