Video: The benefits of studying abroad

Sara Wells
Oxford Stories

Sara Alan Friday took the plunge and decided to study abroad in Tanzania, Africa. Since high school, something has been calling Alan to Africa. She finally got an opportunity and went with a group of students from Ole Miss, accompanied by Laura Johnson, Ph.D., a professor in the psychology department.

Wells met Johnson during winter intercession while taking a multicultural psychology class that focused on racism and culture.


Photo by Sara Wells

Johnson mentioned the study abroad opportunity, and Alan decided to do it. The grant providing the opportunity is called “Faces of The Mountain. The project concentrates on conservation psychology and peoples’ attitudes toward their environment, themselves, and their village.

Alan and a group of students went to Tanzania to experience the culture by living among the local people. They learned about the villagers’ thoughts on environment and sustainability. Alan enjoyed her time in Africa getting to know the people and their way of life.

Since Alan has returned from Tanzania, she has worked on the project at Ole Miss and has presented at a few conferences. One conference was in New Orleans, Louisiana, where she spoke about her time in Africa, what she learned from the people, and about the purpose of the grant.

Additionally, she has been working in the research lab and continues to work on the grant using the information she gathered while she was abroad. That keeps her involved here.


Photo by Sara Wells

“It’s a pretty awesome experience to have brought the work that I did abroad back to America,” Alan said.

Alan is passionate about encouraging people to study abroad.

“It was a life changing experience,” she said.

Alan would like to have more opportunities to go abroad. She aspires to help people and would like to join the Peace Corp after she graduates.

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