Julia Walker arrived in Tanzania to study at Udzungwa Mountains National Park knowing she wanted to pursue a career in tourism, but she did not have a clear understanding of all that is possible in the field, such as working for an ecolodge or conducting field work.
“Before, I simply knew I wanted to work in tourism, but now I have a real image of what that will be like,” said Walker, who is majoring in recreation, park and tourism management (RPTM). “I could still see myself planning trips like I originally intended, but I am also exploring perhaps going to graduate school and doing field work in other countries. I'm really excited about these new possibilities because this program really broadened my horizons in terms of what I can do.”
Parks and People: Conservation of Nature and Community is a six-week interdisciplinary study abroad summer program offered through the College of Arts and Architecture and the College of Health and Human Development.
“This program opened my future to possibilities I did not even know existed. It changed my career plans in the best way and helped to give my plans focus for the future,” Walker said. “Through my experience in the field, villages and national parks, I learned so much about tourism and its effects. I also had the chance to see the issues in the local communities and the effect tourism can have on communities.”