Study Abroad Writing Intern
My name is Lujain Al-Saleh and I am currently a fourth year Environmental Science and Management student minoring in Professional Writing and Middle East & South Asia Studies. Along with working as a writing intern at UC Davis Study Abroad, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Guatemala this past summer.
Growing up in Indiana, Saudi Arabia, and California sparked my interest in traveling and before coming to UC Davis, one of my primary goals was to study abroad.
Once I started researching the various programs that Study Abroad offered, I came across the Ecological and Social Issues program at Lake Atitlán in Guatemala. This program specifically combined my interest in Central America as well as the multiple, complex connections between environmental and social issues.
Throughout the course of the program, we studied Lake Atitlán, the largest lake in Central America, and its significance in the local region. Like thousands of other lakes around the globe, unfortunately, the lake has been facing increasing levels of pollution, leading to a decline in water clarity, biodiversity and vital ecosystem processes. Although there is still a lot of work to be done in order to effectively conserve the lake, there are multiple organizations, researchers, and locals that are working to protect the lake from further degradation. I am currently working to become more involved in the movement to “Save Lake Atitlán” and plan to pursue a career related to environmental conservation.
My study abroad experience in Guatemala has truly been a pivotal point of my college career and I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to write about what I have observed and learned throughout my program.