Testimonial from Emma

After eight weeks of participating in a wide variety of activities as a service learningvolunteer, I have learned the value of stepping outside my comfort zone and exploring areas besides animals and science. I used to think my science classes and animal-related extracurriculars at school were sufficient preparation for my future career.

I have known that I want to be a veterinarian since I was three years old. As such, I began surrounding myself with animals and science at a very young age. In high school and especially at my university, I spend the majority of my free hours working in a science research lab and interning at a veterinary clinic. I became interested in visiting Thailand with GVI mostly because I wanted to support sea turtle conservation efforts here. When I arrived in Thailand, I learned that service learning volunteers do much more than work with sea turtles; we also regularly participate in biodiversity surveys and trash cleans and teach English. None of these activities involve working directly with animals, which made me uneasy at first. I knew I love interacting with animals and want to dedicate my life to helping them. I did not know how I felt about the other activities. After eight weeks of participating in a wide variety of activities as a service learningvolunteer, I have learned the value of stepping outside my comfort zone and exploring areas besides animals and science. I used to think my science classes and animal-related extracurriculars at school were sufficient preparation for my future career. Now, I recognize the power of interdisciplinary studies in discerning the connections between seemingly unrelated topics, such as the use of microplastics and marine life conservation. A multidisciplinary approach like this is critical to problem solving in any profession. As such, the refined critical thinking skills and global awareness I acquired this summer will serve me well in the future. I am grateful to GVI for providing the education, resources, and support I needed to learn and grow over the past eight weeks.

- Emma