Shadya Sanders traveled to South Africa for four weeks during summer 2009 to try her hand in primate field research. Inspired by her Anthropology 100 teaching assistant, Shadya worked with Purdue’s study abroad office to create her own program study, in which she studied canopy cover and the animals found under it.
Hometown: Rockville, Maryland
Major: Atmospheric Science/Meteorology
Career goal: Meteorologist
Favorite pastime: Scrapbooking
Current Pandora station: Adele
Why she studied abroad: “Why not?” At the age of 12, Shadya was accepted to be a part of People to People Student Ambassador program, which took her to Australia, Europe. Since those experiences, traveling is nothing more than a lifestyle for her.
Craziest story: “Baboons are aggressive and are definitely not afraid to show their teeth. My first interaction with a baboon was visiting a recently released troop. Because the release was so recent, they were very comfortable with us and had no problem coming very close!“
Sleeping quarters: “We stayed in a variety of places— from a bed and breakfast to a permanent tent. A permanent tent is merely a concrete slab with the tent over it, very basic.”
Trip benefits: “I was able to explore a land I had not been to and earn academic credit. I also was able to determine that I do not want to be a field primatologist!”
Why Purdue: Shadya chose Purdue because of the number of majors offered and its proximity to her mom in Louisville, Kentucky. At first the transition from a large metropolitan area to a city the size of West Lafayette was hard. After she joined the crew team, Shadya began to realize all that Purdue has to offer. She is now involved with Boiler Gold Rush, Purdue University Meteorological Association, Black Cultural Center and Fast Track News.
Advice to others who are interested in studying abroad: “Do it now! College is the best time to take advantage of travel and Purdue provides assistance in getting there. Not only does it provide an awesome experience, but it gives you a competitive edge in job interviews.“
By Kate Kester