Harris and Stenson experience international travel

Whether it’s the seclusion of an African jungle or the bustle of down town Tokyo, international travel is an experience that students should not pass up. Amber Stenson and Jayleen Harris were two members of the Conrad area to partake in this once in a lifetime experience

Harris traveled to Limpopo, South Africa this May on a veterinary internship. The trip was coordinated by African Conservation Experience (ACE).

While in South Africa, her veterinary experiences included small animal clinic work and game capture. All wildlife in South Africa are privately owned; unlike in the U.S., where the government holds ownership over wildlife. This private ownership ensures the health and well being of their wildlife.

For example, endangered rhinoceros's are less likely to be poached and have an increased chance of successful reproduction if owned privately, because owners are willing to protect their valuable assets.

Most of the work in game capture was for the transportation of wildlife from one farm to another. Harris assisted in moving animals such as Eland, Cape Buffalo, Sable, Roan, Nyala, Wildebeest and Zebra.

She explains their process; “Dr. Kriel darted wildlife from a helicopter, then other students and I loaded them onto our “Bucky” where we gave external exams and injections. It was amazing to be working with these species and being able to gain hands on experiences.”On a day away from the office, she enjoyed riding wild elephants through the jungle, and playing with lion and tiger cubs. Aside from her other experiences, her most memorable is hunting Impala.

ACE offers wildlife conservation, marine conservation, and wildlife care and rehabilitation, and wildlife veterinary experiences throughout South Africa. Harris’s experience will forever be valuable to her scholastic and social life. For more information about ACE and their projects visit www.conservationafrica.net.

Harris also traveled with International Service Learning (ISL) to Managua, Nicaragua in May of 2012. ISL gave her an opportunity to help put on a free spay/neuter clinic for small animals in the villages, as well as disease control and maintenance with livestock.

She describes her time spent in Nicaragua as a truly life altering event. “What most impressed me about the villages was how happy the people seemed to be, with so little they had. Kids would come running up to my exam table ready to show off their new puppy, which obvious to me, was covered in ticks and scrawnier than a gutless buzzard. There was no better feeling than being able to treat their puppies.”

ISL takes volunteers interested in nursing, health, veterinary, dental and hike for humanity. They travel to most Central American countries and Mexico. For more information on ISL, visit www.islonline.org.

Amber Stenson spent the month of June in Tokyo, Japan interning for Starzen, an international meat processing and distributing company.

Stenson and two other MSU College of Business students were selected to participate in the internship. While in Japan the group toured processing plants, visited the US Embassy, US Meat Export Federation, Tokyo meat market among many others. The company was exceptionally generous and treated the girls to unbelievable business and cultural experiences.

They went on tours of sacred shrines and temples, museums, gardens and much more. This opportunity was made possible by Starzen Company and MSU College of Business.

Both Stenson and Harris agree that their time spent abroad was instrumental in broadening their view of the world. The people they met and cultures they were exposed to were unlike anything they had experienced before. Both strongly recommend that students take advantage of international opportunities while they are at school.