Help Megan Study Abroad!

Hi! For those that do not know me, my name is Megan Hightower and I am a junior at the University of Georgia majoring in wildlife sciences. I am so excited to be able to say that I have been accepted to study abroad in South Africa and Botswana for the Summer 2016 term to further study something I am passionate about--International Wildlife Conservation. As a student that is paying my own way through college, money does not come easy, and now that I have been accepted to the program, I face the daunting task of ensuring I am able to cover the costs. However, I have faith that I will be able to make ends meet for this to become possible.

As you can probably imagine, this is not a cheap endeavor, but I believe that it can provide knowledge and experiences for me that will prove to be extremely valuable in my future career in zookeeping and conservation education. I have set up this page as a tool to help friends or family that may want to help me reach my goal.

About the program:
From May 25-June 15, I will be staying with a group of other wildlife students from UGA's Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources along with a UGA professor of wildlife sciences as our mentor. The first half of the program, we will be staying in a tented camp in the Northern Tuli Game Reserve in Botswana. The second half will again be spent in a tented camp, but in the Makuleke concession in Kruger National Park, South Africa. We will be assisted by EcoTraining, which is a company that runs the camps and focuses on training future natural resource professionals. We will be staying in camps with minimal creature comforts with a component of the program being to learn more about bush survival and being able to adapt to any conditions we may forced to face in our careers. There will be a lecture component to the class, but the majority of what we will be doing is focused on practical knowledge and learning valuable field techniques. Each day, we will spend around eight hours in the field learning about tracking, identification, habitat management, natural history, and other important components of wildlife management, especially as it pertains to native African wildlife. While we are there, we will also participate in cultural exchanges when we are able, like spending a day in one of the local schools working with the kids.

Where the money goes:
The total estimated cost for this trip is about $5000. This includes airfare, program costs, tuition and fees, room and board, insurance, in-country transportation, meals, and other various costs that will be necessary while we are there. This does not include the amount I will have to continue to pay for rent and bills on my apartment back in Athens as I will not be gone long enough to warrant a sublease.

While I don't think I would raise my full goal from this site, any amount at all helps! This will help me to offset the costs associated to allow me to live this dream and learn valuable skills for my career that I would not be able to learn in any other setting. If you would like to and are able to donate, I would be incredibly grateful, but if not, thoughts and prayers are just as appreciated!


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Megan Hightower 
Athens, GA
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