My name is Katie Prewitt! I am a Pre-Med Biology rising senior and this is my first time ever studying abroad and my first time leaving North America! I leave for Belize today and I am full of excitement and anxiety. Definitely more excitement though! I have been packing for about three days now and have been really taking my time so as to not forget anything! I am studying abroad for the Bama in Belize June Session under Dr. Michael Steinberg! We are namely studying marine biodiversity on different islands and off the coast of different areas in Belize in a format of research projects! Honestly, I have been waiting for this since the day I was accepted! I love to travel and knew deep down I would enjoy this and would count down the days from the minute I was accepted. I have always wanted to study abroad because I love to experience the reality of others’ lives separate from any stigma, stereotypes, or judgments made by anyone else other than locals, because I have always felt it could be harmful to make judgments on people you’ve never met, places you’ve never been, and culture you’ve never experienced, and it truly is a privilege to be able to further my education in such a culturally rich place such as Belize! I also chose this course over others because of my passion for nature, marine biology, and animal life! Studying abroad offers such a well-rounded and culturally educational experience and so much fun as well! In preparation, I did pack for a while using a prescribed packing list along with some plans to use this time to truly focus and dive in by completely logging off of social media, alerting the friends of my choice to limit my cell usage, and to truly focus on the outdoor nature of this particular experience! I am truly excited, but always anxious when doing something new, as I want to fully enjoy it while being safe and avoiding error! However, because of the classmates I have already formed a network with and because of Dr. Steinberg’s experience and enthusiasm, I am more comfortable than I would’ve been and I expect to learn a lot educationally with the course, but also culturally and communication wise with friends, teachers, and locals alike!