CAS '19

Mary Tilyou

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SA: James Cook University
SA: CIEE Monteverde
PGS: Multiple
GRIP: Intern in Ecuador

Programs Abroad:

  • Semester Abroad (SA): James Cook University, Australia

  • Semester Abroad (SA): CIEE Monteverde, Costa Rica

  • Penn Global Seminars (PGS): Laboratory of Evolution, Travel to the Galapagos, Ecuador

  • Penn Global Seminars (PGS): Globalization and Corruption, Travel to Mongolia

  • Global Research & Internship Program (GRIP): LAVA Project Intern in the Galapagos, Ecuador

Ask me about...

  • Field courses

  • Studying abroad twice

  • Returning to the same country multiple times through Penn (PGS and GRIP)

  • Living off campus

My Experience Abroad:

I learn best through experiences. As an aspiring ecologist, having the chance to interact with the organisms and natural systems that fascinate me is invaluable. The more tactile and sensory memories I have associated with a subject the easier it is to understand and recall. At Penn my coursework provided a strong foundational understanding of biological concepts and gives me the skillset to synthesize and contextualize literature. However, I am interested in tropical ecosystems and (as anyone who has spent a winter here knows) Penn is definitely not a tropical place. Traveling to, and studying in, the actual ecosystems that I want to specialize in has fleshed out the theoretical scaffolding I developed at Penn. 

Furthermore, interning abroad has been instrumental in honing my skills in international communication. I now have the confidence to apply for jobs abroad. Even if I end up working domestically, the international perspective and cross-cultural interaction experience will be a great asset.

Other Highlights:

  • Diving on the Great Barrier Reef on a Coral Reef Ecology field trip

  • Hiking through a primary forest in the Osa Peninsula

  • Watching a turtle give birth

  • Arts and Crafts with my host mom

On the Penn Abroad Blog:

Inti Raymi

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