June 28, 2017
Zack Woloszyk is a Lyman Briggs College senior majoring in zoology and minoring in animal studies.
On June 2, Zack Woloszyk returned from a three-week study abroad program in Nairobi, Kenya. While being integrated into the African culture, he and his classmates had the opportunity to study the behavior and ecology of African mammals.
A typical day consisted of hopping in a safari car and cruising through the African savanna where students were able to see the wildlife up close, including elephants, lions and so much more. The program allowed students to exercise observation skills and note how different factors affect their behavior. They created and tested hypotheses, recorded the results and presented the data they collected.
“Being a part of the Lyman Briggs College has been an incredible experience, and being able to apply what I’ve learned at MSU made this experience in Kenya that much better,” Woloszyk says.
He aspires to work with large animals, so being up close to the wildlife was something that he had always dreamed of doing. “When we had our first drive in the safari car, we turned a corner and there was an elephant standing right there in front of us and suddenly it all felt so real. That’s something I’ll never forget.”
In addition to their animal research, the students were able to meet many of the locals. The group learned about local customs and gained greater insight about the everyday lives of Kenyans.
Woloszyk said the people were incredibly friendly and he even became good friends with a lot of them. “We spent a lot of time with them! We went to a school with a local Maasai tribe. The kids taught us about what their education was like and the tribespeople taught us traditional cultural dances they perform.”
Woloszyk feels that studying abroad has allowed him to see things in a new perspective, which he will carry with him for the rest of his life.
Story by Rachel Mantel, senior marketing student
Photos courtesy Zack Woloszyk