Summer Blog: Sarah Smith Studies in Rhotia, Tanzania

Summer Blog: Sarah Smith Studies in Rhotia, Tanzania

Junior Sarah Smith spent one month studying wildlife ecology in Tanzania 

This summer, I studied abroad with a program called the School for Field Studies. One of my teammates had seen the program at the study abroad fair and I thought it looked really cool so I decided to apply. I've always wanted to travel and the application process was easy and straightforward so I figured now was as good a time as any to start! 

The program I participated in was located in Rhotia, Tanzania, a small town centrally located between two more widely known towns, Mtu Wa Mbu and Karatu. The session I attended was one month long (July 9th-August 10th) and focused on the learning of foundational field research techniques for studying wildlife ecology and assessing conservation policies and practices. It was focused on the Tarangire-Manyara ecosystem and we practiced interactive methods for assessing local community perceptions of conservation efforts, and contributed to long-term research goals at the Tanzania Center. I saw so many amazing things, learned so much and had a fantastic time! 

One of my favorite memories was on a four-day camping trip to The Serengeti, which is a huge national park in Tanzania. One of the days it started to drizzle a little bit and it was the dry season so that is not something that happens a lot that time of year. The rain made everything feel really fresh and seeing the animals walk slowly through the scenery was amazing. Also, when we got back to camp that day there was an elephant walking right through our camp site, which was a really cool ending to the day.