Adventures of High School Summer Abroad

By Joshua K. Pedersen

Hello, my name is Joshua K. Pedersen and I’ve got something to share.

Josh with Program Leaders Bianca and Dana

Josh with Program Leaders Bianca and Dana

This summer of 2016 has been best summer I have had in years. The reason for this year being educational, inspiring and all around fun is the fact that I was able to do an AP Biology/Ecology course. My interest in this topic started in the summer of 2015 when two of my friends from the Junior Rangers were chosen to partake in the High School Summer Abroad program at the CIEE Research Station on Bonaire. Unfortunately I was not on the island at the time but my friends told me how much fun they had and how educational it was, so I told myself “Joshua, you want to do something like this for your career, try hard to go next year.”

So I worked hard all year through 10th grade, and through every challenge I faced last year I had one goal in mind and this kept me going when I wanted to stop or give up. Fast forward a year and I still can’t get over that I was accepted and the excitement I had. So here is what happened. I moved to the island research stations residence hall for three weeks and joined the marine biology course.

High Schoolers snorkelling under a beautiful Bonaire sunset

High Schoolers snorkelling under a beautiful Bonaire sunset

We had lessons at 1pm every day and from these we learned something new each day, about fish, corals, mangroves, invertebrates and many more. And all that information we learned we applied and put together a research project. While we were not in lessons we had diving practice. And when we were not diving we were doing independent research or a group study. For example I did a presentation on cool facts about iguanas, and I did another presentation with a friend about the Goliath Grouper. We also got to go on tours around the island. But my most favourite thing was probably all the friends I had made. I had so much fun. And to anyone wondering if they should apply I strongly encourage you to do so. It’s a once in a life experience.

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