Ruby Mountain Data Collection Along the Ridgeline Ruby Mountain Data Collection Along the Ridgeline

Round River Conservation Studies

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Round River Conservation Studies

Round River Conservation Studies Programs

Chile

Patagonia Conservation Program

Spend a semester living and conducting research with Round River in southern Patagonian Chile, where we work with local organizations to monitor wildlife and vegetation while...

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Canada

Taku Watershed Conservation Program

Round River's Taku Watershed Conservation Program is a 6-week summer program in northern British Columbia, offering students the opportunity to experience a vast wild place...

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Botswana

Botswana Conservation Program

Spend a semester living, studying, and conducting research with Round River in Botswana's Okavango Delta, home to some of the world's most abundant and diverse wildlife populations....

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Costa Rica

Osa Peninsula Conservation Program

The Osa Peninsula was named "the most biologically intense place on earth" by National Geographic, and provides an exceptional chance for you to get hands-on experience conducting...

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Mongolia

Mongolia Conservation Program

Round River Conservation Studies' Mongolia Conservation Program provides an incredible opportunity to experience the vast landscapes and biodiversity of Mongolia. Operating...

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Round River Conservation Studies Reviews

Overall Rating

10 / 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

My Summer as an Ally to the Tlingit Community

This past summer I studied abroad with Round River Conservation Studies and I loved every minute. I chose Round River because of their emphasis on making a tangible difference. I knew I wanted to be outside, exploring and interacting with the land, but Round River promised that our work would aid the local community -- and they held that promise. We got to know many of the Tlingit in Atlin, the native people, and worked closely with them.

In addition I learned far more than I ever thought I would. This is a reflection on the quality Round River leaders, the other individuals on the trip, and the relationships the students were able to have with the Tlingit. I learned a lot about Conservation Biology and the natural history of the land, but I also grew as a person. I took a step outside my comfort zones, was challenged and engaged in different activities and made lasting friends and memories.

In all, after hearing recounts of my friends' study abroad trips, there is not another program I would choose over Round River.

Program: Taku Watershed Conservation Program

Overall Rating

2 / 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Cultural Immersion

    1

  • Program Administration

    5

  • Health & Safety

    1

  • Community

    N/A

Concerns

I am writing this as a parent of a student who participated in the Osa Peninsula program. I give high marks for the quality of the two teachers who were there, and also for the planning of the program. I believe that it should be known that some of the "cultural activities" that students are exposed to involve going to bars. The first time that the group did this, which was on the first whole night that the group was there, it seemed like an odd choice to me, but as my child is not much of a drinker, I didn't think much about it, except to wonder about students who did tend to drink too much, or who were trying to avoid alcohol environments. Anyway, the next week the group was taken to another bar and when some of the group started heavier drinking, my son joined in. From what I understand, he did not drink more than some of the members of the group, but became so incapacitated that they had to load him into the back of a cab to get him back to the campsite because he could not walk. As the largest member of the group, he should have not been so significantly more intoxicated than the rest from alcohol consumption. The next day he still had a hard time walking and with fine motor skills, like opening a water bottle, and the possibility exists that one of his drinks was drugged, which, as we all know, does happen. We will never know if this was the case, but from what I understand, he was not consistently monitored for alcohol toxicity, which can be fatal, although he clearly had symptoms of it. He survived it, and I was hoping that Round River would have learned a lesson as my son did, but when I wrote suggesting that they leave partying out of their cultural activities, I was told basically that although they would review their policies, part of the Round River experience was to expose students to cultural activities, by which they appeared to mean taking kids to bars. It makes me sad that this close call did not open any eyes, and I hope that no other student suffers as a result.

Program: Osa Peninsula Conservation Program

Overall Rating

9 / 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    10

Community-based conservation!

I was so happy to be able to, as an undergraduate, work on real research that had measurable, direct impacts. The work that we did was community-based conservation which meant that we were invited to the region and told what to do. I liked serving a community, instead of telling the community what to do.
In addition to being able to live in a tent and backpack around Patagonia for three months, I learned a lot about the field skills necessary to work on a long-term and how to live with a group of people for three months. I was able to practice Spanish a lot and saw some incredible sights! Great experience - completely unique and left me feeling very lucky.

Program: Patagonia Conservation Program

Overall Rating

10 / 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Would do it again in a heartbeat!

Round River had exactly what I was looking for in an abroad program. The focus on conservation biology from a community perspective in Botswana provided me with new ways of thinking about conservation work around the world. I was able to learn both from our instructors and readings, as well as from the local escort guides we worked with doing field surveys just about everyday. This program allowed me to get experience living and working in the field while building great friendships and connects with my peers, instructors and the community in which we worked. I will certainly be able to carry the skills I acquired in Botswana to a future career in wildlife conservation and I will never forget the great memories I made along the way.

Program: Botswana Conservation Program

Overall Rating

10 / 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

The best semester of your college career

My semester abroad with RRCS was absolutely fantastic. RRCS provides wonderful communication before the trip on the logistics of planning and the gear necessary, as well as assuring that safety will be the number one priority during the program (helps give your parents peace of mind). The Patagonia program was full of wonderful, like-minded people who challenged me daily. By the end of the semester I considered my classmates and instructors my family.
The program provides wonderful hands-on conservation work that is important for the future of conservation in Chile in a backcountry field environment that can't be beat. There is also opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture during week-long homestays and interactions with local gauchos throughout the program, though I wouldn't consider it full immersion. Most of the program is instead spent backpacking and doing cool research in this breathtakingly beautiful place.

Program: Patagonia Conservation Program

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