In January, Chapman University students traveled to the Galapagos Islands with faculty members Fred Caporaso and Jason Keller. Above is student Megan Mandel’s  video of her experience. If you’ve got a few minutes, dive in and get inspired to go on your own adventure. Or, keep reading to find out how Megan discovered the course and what her experience was like.

What was it like visiting the Galapagos Islands?
The experience was truly unreal, and I loved every minute of it. There is nowhere else in the world where you can see ecosystems quite like this. The animals are just as strange yet beautiful as the islands they call home, and they have a lack of fear of humans that is very unique.

Dr. Caporaso kept telling us that this was “the trip of a lifetime,” and he wasn’t kidding. Whether you are an Environmental Science major or a Psychology major, the Galapagos Islands teach you to appreciate nature in ways you never thought you would.

How did you decide to take this course and go on this trip?
When I found the course description on WebAdvisor my freshman year, I knew this was an incredible opportunity that wouldn’t come across very often. Right then and there, I decided I wanted to take the course and emailed Dr. Caporaso.

What is your favorite memory from the trip?
If I had to choose one favorite memory from the trip, I’d say my favorite moment was swimming with a fur seal. I’m not very good at snorkeling and was getting kind of anxious. But when I saw the playful little guy swimming only a couple feet from my face, I started to relax, and snorkeling became a whole lot easier. The fur seal circled a group of us and kept swimming back to us again and again for several minutes, trying to play with us. That was really special.