Make The Connection

Travel-Learning in Tanzania

August 9, 2016 – by Ohio Wesleyan

Ohio Wesleyan students spent two weeks in Tanzania following a semester in the classroom learning about the natural histories, behaviors, and roles in the ecosystem of East Africa’s large mammals, colorful birds, and reptiles. (Photo by Amanda Barry ’17)

OWU Course Opens Up New Vistas for Student

Name: Amanda Barry ’17

Majors: Psychology and Biology

Hometown: Seville, Ohio

Experience: Travel-Learning Course, “Biology of East Africa”

Barry and her classmates visited Tanzania for two weeks after spending a semester studying the “Biology of East Africa” with zoology professor John Gatz, Ph.D. The May 2016 trip included visiting the two parts of the Serengeti ecosystem: Ngorongoro Crater (the eighth natural wonder of the world) and the Serengeti National Park itself.

Amanda Barry '17

Lessons learned: “We spent the entire semester studying the animals that we saw in Tanzania so that we would be prepared and appreciative of what we observed. We constantly used what we learned in the classroom to understand the animal behaviors around us.

“I have a huge love for primates, and I’m particularly interested in how their behaviors compare to human behaviors. Observing the various monkeys that we saw reawakened my desire to study these creatures in the future. I don’t know how or when, but I would love to work with them!

“Experiences like this are important because they expose people to other cultures and places that have no resemblance to their homes. These experiences broaden the views of students and make them more informed citizens.”

Why I chose Ohio Wesleyan: “Before coming to college, I thought I would be a neuroscience major so I looked for schools that had neuroscience programs. I had never heard of OWU before, but they had the program so I decided to check them out!

“I chose OWU because of the variety of majors available (which came in handy when I realized I was more into the behavioral aspects of psychology than the molecular aspects), as well as the number of opportunities available (Travel-Learning Courses, study abroad, Student Individualized Projects, Theory-to-Practice Grants, individual research, etc.), especially considering the size of the school.

“The student-to-faculty ratio was amazing, and the campus is big enough to not feel like high school while being small enough that you have working relationships with professors and know many students. I felt at home immediately and the campus was absolutely beautiful!”

My plans after graduation: “I plan to take a year off before attending graduate school to obtain my master’s (and eventually Ph.D.) in clinical psychology. I plan to work in geriatrics, focusing on dementia.”