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Luke Duxbury

SFU Student Undergraduate
Environment
Study Abroad › Field School

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I think this experience has helped equip me with tools to be successful. Whether it is better communication skills to time management, being immersed in such a different setting has helped me grow.
Experience Details
Semester
Fall
Year
2023
Skills
Introduction + Preparation

Preparation included team building sessions, safety orientations, vaccinations, visas, registrations, course material preparation and currency exchanges. 

Previous Experience

I had no previous experience in traveling outside of North America so everything was completely new to me. 

Location Research

Prior to arriving in Tanzania I watched some documentaries about previous wars and things of that nature. 

Financial Preparation

I had to apply to lots of scholarships and awards to be able to participate in the field school. 

Packing

A months worth of clothes fit into a large duffle bag and I was ready to go!

Travel and Transportation

Travel and transportation to reach Arusha is composed of a series of bus and airplane connections. Once we arrived at Aga Khan's Arusha campus our mode of transportation was mainly bus. 

Preparation Tips for Future Students

Make sure you are healthy and hydrated before you leave. A lot happens to your body when you travel, you want to be in good health before you depart. 

During my Experience
Orientation and First Weeks

The first week seems to be the longest week. For me my body was adjusting to elevation changes, food changes, jet lag, etc, so the first week takes a bit out of you. You quickly get comfortable and acquainted with the surroundings. 

Accommodation and Living

We stayed in military style tents that were very lavish.

Day to Day

This was the inaugural field school so the day to day was a bit unplanned. I really enjoyed just waking up and seeing what the day has in store for us. 

Learning and Adaptation

When you visit a foreign place there's always lots of new ways of learning and things to adapt to. Language is a huge barrier but the longer you stay in the region the easier it becomes. 

Accomplishments and Challenges

There were many accomplishments made during the field school such as teaching younger students English or making personal connections with local people. I'd say the biggest challenge is language barriers. 

Cultural and Environmental Observations

Cultural and environmental observations are endless because everything is so different. Culturally I found it super interesting how marriage materializes compared to here in North America and also how many children families have. Environmentally it was a breath of fresh air to see how people interact with the land and environment in more of a natural way. 

Social and Extracurricular Activities

We had the opportunity to explore town. It was definitely a highlight eating at different places in the city and seeing how people live their day-to-day lives compared to how I do back home. 

Wrap Up

Overall this field school has really opened me to new ways of learning that will hopefully improve not only the environment but also human lives. 

Reflection & Tips
Reflection

Personally reflecting on the trip I think this field school has really helped me build confidence. 

Most Valuable Aspects of This Experience

The most valuable aspect of this experience is getting out and seeing the world. Witnessing different ways of doing and living, experiencing life outside of the bubble you grew up in can be very beneficial. 

Connection to Academic Studies or Career Goals

This field school directly connects to my academic studies and career goals. A lot of what we were learning about was centered around sustainability and community resilience, this is what im most passionate about and hope to create a career in. 

Advice for Future Students

Future students don't be afraid to take that leap of faith and go outside of your comfort zone, you won't regret it. 

Author

Luke Duxbury

SFU Student Undergraduate
Environment
Study Abroad › Field School
visibility  177
Feb 21, 2024