Why South Africa and not a zoo? is a question I get asked a lot, so here's the story:
I attend Hartwick College in NY state and one day while I was on the website I came across this picture of someone riding an elephant. We are really big on studying abroad at Hartwick so I was wondering what trip she went on, turns out, she spent the summer in Sri Lanka at an elephant orphanage, which I just thought was amazing. I started browsing the web (procrastinating on the homework I clearly didn't want to do) and looking for different places people volunteer around the world, specifically working with giraffes. I came across this one program in South Africa, volunteering with African big cats, training them as cubs (I'll get to why that has to do with giraffes). I thought to myself when in the world am I going to be able to do that? I was obsessed with this thought for like two weeks, but I knew there was a slim to none chance that I would be able to make enough money, so I decided to forget about it. Then when I was catching up with a friend, she mentioned to me that Hartwick has scholarships specifically for people who are going somewhere by themselves. So I applied (and waited what felt like forever!) to find out that I won! There was also this whole advisor problem, but we won't get into that. I leave on July 22 for 4 weeks and each week I have a 5 page paper I have to write for my internship all on different topics. As long as I don't save all the papers til the end (which'll be a little difficult) it'll be nice and easy.
So basically, the short answer is, why stay in RI when I can go half way across the world and have a once in a lifetime experience when I have a scholarship? ;)
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