Name: Emily Dorjath
Hometown: Batavia, IL
Varsity sport(s) participate in: Softball
Study abroad semester and location: Fall 2013, Galapagos Islands
What was the most unexpected thing you encountered during your off-campus study experience?
-Parasites. I never thought I would be the one to get them but I got through it. I didn’t let them stop me from enjoying my experiences and still trying the different foods and juices they had to offer. The parasites were bad but I had friends to help me through it and worse than parasites was the medication. It made me realize how lucky I have it here.
What was your proudest/most exciting moment abroad?
- Every scuba diving experience was outstanding and breathtaking. I got to scuba dive with black tip, white tip, Galapagos, and hammerhead sharks. As well as sea turtles, sea lions, devil rays, manta rays, sting rays, and tons of fish. There was even a time we got to free swim with a pod of dolphins! Being that close to wildlife was absolutely amazing.
How were you able to stay in shape or stay prepared for your sport while you were gone?
- While I was abroad I found running very helpful in many ways. It helped me stay in shape for the coming season and it also helped me escape. Running became my stress relief and something that I could count on every day. It was a beautiful place and watching the sunsets and becoming one with the scenery made running that much easier and fun. I was never a runner before my experience abroad but it really helped me stay in shape and keep me sane throughout my trip abroad.
Has the time you spent abroad changed the way you think about your athletic experience or your sport in general?
- Being abroad made me realize how important my team and sport is in my life. That the girls here are like my family and it was weird even for a semester without them. I now cherish my experience here at Beloit more than I did before. Being part of a team is a big part of my life and I don’t know what I would do without them. Both experiences of being abroad and being an athlete have helped shape my life in ways I can’t describe and each experience helped shape the other.
Some words of advice for other athletes who want to study abroad:
-Some words of advice I would give to fellow athletes is GO! Go abroad and don’t let the fear of leaving, or being gone for a season, stop you from going. Enjoy your time while you are gone because it goes by so fast and you will miss it once you return.