Go beyond the cruise ship, past the safari, further than you’ve ever gone before… study abroad in the Galapagos with the Isabella Oceanographic Institute (IOI) this year!
This is seriously one of the coolest programs I’ve come across.
1.As they note on their website, teaching inhabitants to conserve is essential to ecological preservation.
My boyfriend’s mom often laments that her twin goals—environmental friendly goods and fair trade seldom coincide for this very reason—local inhabitants often use inefficient and environmentally harmful practices to produce their goods. But honestly who can blame them? Especially given the poverty of these places?
That’s why the IOI’s program is so amazing. You actually get a chance to participate in an environmental program that works with local residents towards ecological preservation.
This is also an awesome example of a study abroad program giving back—something which most study abroad programs don’t include– unless of course you count the business at local bars and pubs…but that’s hardly the same thing.
2.The Galapagos Islands offer unparalleled examples of ecotourism.
Ecotourism, in my opinion, is essential to the environmental movement because it allows people worldwide to experience and become emotionally invested in an ecologically spectacular area while mitigating the damaging impact such tourist traffic would otherwise cause. The Galapagos Islands are protected under the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and therefore are an excellent practical example of ecotourism.
Studying Marine Biology alongside such a system allows those of us interested in positively impacting the world environmentally to see how science, environmentalists, tourists, and local inhabitants (human and otherwise) can mutually benefit from each other. Such a concept must be experienced rather than learned in a traditional classroom.
The IOI offers an amazing opportunity for a once in a lifetime experience to study the ecosystem of the Galapagos while positively impacting it as well.
3. You’ll get a chance to study with top Marine Biology professors from several different American and European Universities.
Check out the faculty portion of their website for the specifics but to me this sounds awesome. It’s like several study abroad courses rolled into one.
4. IT’S THE GALAPAGOS!
Need I say more?
So far I’ve covered the Who, What, Where, and Why; now it’s time for the How which, actually is less complicated than one might think.
Their programs are designed to work with your schedule—they offer both short programs which you can attend during spring break (seriously how cool would that be?) , winter break (Q: “where did you get that awesome tan?” A: “Chillin’ with the Giant Sea Turtles in the Galapagos”) and of course during summer. They also offer fall and spring semester programs.
Best of all, in my opinion, they offer scholarships baby! They offer two total scholarships including airfare to Galapagos for each full semester (fall or spring) as well as one full tuition (excluding airfare and other incidental costs) scholarship for each short program (spring break, summer, or winter).
So are you ready for what IOI properly markets as “The Experience of a Lifetime”? Good News—you can still apply to go this summer!
April 15th is the deadline for the first Summer Session and May 15th is the deadline for the second.
What are you waiting for—request an application right now!