My Favorite Semester Past Review

By (Biology, Davidson College) for

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?
My semester sparked my enthusiasm for ocean conservation and marine biology. I bought home countless experiences that I could not have done while at my home institution, friends that I would not have otherwise met, and a foundation for a future in marine biology. I couldn't be happier.

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.

Classes were very interactive and captivating, especially for students without previous marine biology experience. The work load was similar or slightly lighter than what I'm used to at my home institution, but it was easy to stay busy with many group projects and field learning sessions.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The staff was knowledgable and cared about our safety first and foremost.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I say the living arrangement was a "hotel" because it technically is. The center runs out of an old diving hotel and is differentiated into separate wings joined by the central kitchen and dining area. For the most part, I was quite comfortable with the living situation, although the classroom would get unbearably hot on occasion.

* Food:

As a carnivore, I had no problems with the food. Our cooks tried to accommodate everyone's diets and, in my opinion, they succeeded by making palatable meals for all. Just be aware that on many occasions, "palatable" may be as simple as beans, rice, and meat. The time between food shipments caused problems for some, but it also spurred some more creativity in the kitchen. Hotdog buns, anyone?

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Interacting with the people on South Caicos was probably one of my favorite aspects of my semester abroad. Many locals are very friendly to students, while others choose to be passive and not interact with students. South Caicos thrives on its fisheries, so hanging out by the docks during the day or at the bars after the boats come in ensures some degree of social interaction with some charismatic locals. As far as sociality between students, I never thought I could become so close to 30-some students so quickly.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I always felt safe in Cockburn Harbour due to its small size and relative seclusion. I think the only time my safety was compromised, I was on a run being chased by a dog. Although, despite how comfortable you feel, it is still necessary to commute in groups, especially at night, just because you never know what could happen.

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)

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Hotel
  • Other
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Diving for class
* What could be improved?
  • Facilities
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Be flexible and embrace the easy-living attitude that comes with living on South Caicos.