Carter Potthoff, '24
Program: Tanzania: Ecology and Evolution of the African Serengeti Ecosystem
Major: Hispanic Studies and Biology
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?
I chose to study abroad because I have a passion for traveling and learning about new cultures and ways of life around the world. I studied abroad in Beijing, China in high school and have wanted to continue studying abroad since. I chose the Tanzania program for the wildlife research aspect of the program. I chose Chile because I have a passion for learning about Latin America and wanted to improve my Spanish and understanding of Latin America.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
In Tanzania, waking to the sound of lions roaring at 5 AM (lion roars can be heard from miles and miles away) was incredible, also sometimes bone chilling when you aren’t expecting it, and always reminded me why I love adventure, nature, and ecology research.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
Tanzania was an incredibly impactful experience. I was able to spend 2 weeks in the incredible Serengeti ecosystem and live and work alongside the African wildlife people dream about seeing in the wild. It was an incredible journey with an incredible group of people, and I will forever cherish Tanzania, the relationships I built there, and all that I learned.
Based on your experiences abroad, what are some of the benefits of spending a semester abroad? How has studying abroad contributed to your personal, academic, and professional development?
There are so many options to choose from! Anyone can find a short term or embedded program that fits in with their academic plan. Academically, you can learn a lot about whatever subject the program is in a short amount of time and make some connections in another country. For example, I now have connections with the Tanzanian Wildlife Research Institute.
What advice can you offer for CSB+SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
Three words: JUST DO IT! You won’t regret it, it’s worth the money, and you will learn so much more than you can even imagine, about yourself, a new culture, and the world. My study abroads have been the best experiences of my life and I wouldn’t trade them for the world.