Photos courtesy of Ecuador & Galapagos Study Abroad participants
An intrepid group of students completed their Ecuador and Galapagos Islands study abroad in December, marking the successful resumption of Principia College Study Abroad programs. Principia’s Study Abroad program halted in spring 2020 after the Nepal and India trip was recalled due to pandemic restrictions. This fall, however, students and faculty have managed a safe and successful return to overseas study-abroad travel.
“Our office continues to daily monitor local conditions for our current and upcoming programs,” says Study Abroad Program Manager Allison Terry. “And we are grateful for the capacity to be flexible and adaptable to constantly changing circumstances. We are thrilled for the students who have been able to participate in the Ecuador and St. Lucia study abroad programs. They are gaining invaluable educational experiences and skills that will prepare them to be compassionate and generous global citizens.”
Spring 2022 study-abroad programs are moving forward as planned—including the St. Lucia Study Abroad with Asst. Professor of Education Studies and Study Abroad Director Stephanie Lovseth that’s currently underway. Upcoming study-abroad programs planned for this summer include the New Zealand program and the Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia study abroad. The United Kingdom program is scheduled for fall 2022.
Ecuador & Galapagos
Charles Darwin once wrote: “... it appears that nothing can be more improving to a young naturalist, than a journey in distant countries,” and the Ecuador & Galapagos Islands study abroad delivered on that promise.
One student dispatch sent from San Christobel, Galapagos is typical of the kind of hands-on learning that the students experienced: “We’ve been studying green sea turtles for the past few days, trying to figure out their eating habits and patterns. We hope to learn how much they eat and how much energy is in their food.”
The study-abroad program combined natural history courses taught by Dr. Scott Eckert (C’79) with philosophy classes taught by Assistant Professor of Philosophy Chris Young and Spanish-language courses taught by visiting faculty member Dr. Cecily Lee (US’69, C’73). The group of 18 students and their trip leaders arrived in Quito, Ecuador, on September 28 after four weeks of on-campus preparation in biology, scientific methods and scientific research, philosophy, and Spanish language. Students also learned how to be low-impact travelers.
For junior Garrett Sheets, the Ecuador/Galapagos trip brought out the importance of having an international perspective beyond what he’s learned in class. “[P]rinciples that I previously learned at the College … were both similar and also different from what we experienced in-country,” Sheets says. “Principles like economics and family structure and cultural studies that we see and study from the United States seemed entirely different when we got there.” Sheets gained important takeaways for his business administration and mass communications majors. “I learned how important it is to communicate internationally and to not see cultural or language differences as something to stop communication or deter teamwork and problem solving between different companies.”