F&M Stories

Off-Campus Study: Tyler Schechter '16

My name is Tyler Schechter and I'm an Environmental Studies major and International Studies minor. Last fall, I was fortunate enough to be able to do research with the School for Field Studies (SFS) in the tropical rainforests and coral reefs of Bocas del Toro, Panama. This abroad experience has helped me discover not only what my career interests are but also who I am as a person.

In Panama, I was able to live in the tropical rainforest with 25 students from around the United States. Whether it was studying the coral reefs, participating in night walks through the rainforest, or doing community service, we were always busy learning new things. One of the highlights of my abroad experience was interviewing local businesses and conducting a strength, weakness, opportunity and threat analysis (S.W.O.T). I was even able to do my own month-long independent study on the diversity of trees in the tropical rainforest. To be able to do research in a tropical rainforest and to be integrated into a different culture was an opportunity of a lifetime.

My abroad experience also helped me discover who I am and what I'm passionate about. The research we conducted made me realize how interested I am in the environmental topics of sustainability and natural resource management. This has guided me in what I want to pursue as career interests. Also, learning and being integrated into another culture has given me a new perspective. Being integrated into a culture that I'm unfamiliar with was one of the best experiences I've ever had. I now look at the world in a different way. I think this new humbling experience is something that I will carry with me throughout my life. Studying abroad was one of the best decisions of my life as it gave me life long experiences and memories.

OCS Profile

Tyler Schechter '16

OCS Profile

Tyler Schechter '16

School for Field Studies - Tropical Island Biodiversity Studies

Bocas de Toro, Panama

Term Abroad: Fall 2014

Brooks College House

Major: Environmental Studies

Minor: International Studies

Campus Affiliations: Off-Campus Study Ambassador, Phi Kappa Tau fraternity


Related Articles

February 20, 2024

Record Number of Fulbrights Earns F&M a Top Producer Spot

For the seventh consecutive year, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program has named F&M a top-producing institution. Eleven recent graduates were awarded Fulbright fellowships in 2023, the highest number in F&M history.

February 14, 2024

Class of '89 Couple Finds Vibrant Community in Lancaster

When Claudia Mandarano Pace and Peter Pace ’89, P’20, P’22 graduated from Franklin & Marshall, they never would have imagined that their lives would bring them back to Lancaster years later, but that’s exactly what happened.

February 13, 2024

Meet the Students of F&M’s First Neurodivergent Art Exhibit

Meet the student artists behind “Spectra: Exploring Neurodiverse Art in Franklin & Marshall College.” The exhibition celebrates the artwork of students on campus who identify as neurodivergent.