Today @ Colorado State has been replaced by SOURCE. This site exists as an archive of Today @ Colorado State stories between January 1, 2009 and September 8, 2014.


Learning the uncomplicated way of life in Africa

August 7, 2009
By Anh Ha

Nicole Sedgeley, senior wildlife biology major, traveled to Africa to study abroad in 2008 and discovered a refreshing way of life and an excitement for learning new cultures and making a difference.

Chance to experience the world

The study abroad fairs at CSU, provide students with the opportunity to learn about study abroad programs from CSU and the Fort Collins area. Representatives are available to discuss a variety of programs and pass out applications for potential participants.

After attending the study abroad fair and learning more about the several programs, Sedgeley knew exactly what she wanted to do.

“I decided I had seen enough of Europe so I thought about studying abroad in Africa. I found the program through the School for Field Studies about Wildlife Studies in Kenya and knew I found the program I wanted,” say Sedgeley.

Kenyan culture, unique research

The program she chose focused on wildlife management, ecology, socio-economic issues, and cultural aspects of Kenya. Participants studied Swahili and engaged in research during their last month in the country.

“The people in the area were predominantly Maasai. Many of them still lived in the traditional style housing which was made out of cow dung and sticks. The nearest town still did not have electricity or running water. My classmates were from various American universities and our professors and staff were all from Kenya,” says Sedgeley.

Strength and good will

The Center for Wildlife Management Studies includes two campuses located outside of Nairobi and Mount Kilimanjaro. Sedgeley spent the majority of her time at the Kilimanjaro Bush campus and visited several national parks, natural preservation areas, markets and towns.

“It was incredible to see wild elephants, giraffes, and zebras out in the open and not surrounded by fences or in zoos. The Maasai people I met gave me a profound appreciation for all that I have and they were inspiring in their strength and good will. It was such a different experience that I’ve had in all the other countries I’ve visited and it was wonderfully refreshing to get away from the U.S. and see something new,” says Sedgeley.

Return to Africa

After her graduation in spring 2010, Sedgeley plans to travel to Australia and New Zealand and possibly a returning trip to Africa.

Sedgeley says, “Even having been back for several months, I still think about Kenya most days and I wish I could be back there. The uncomplicated ways of life, intertwined with the passion for learning and making a difference in wildlife management there make me believe that I will return again on day.”

Visit the Department of Fish, Wildlife & Conservation Biology.