Spring 2019: ISEP- University of Johannesburg

My name is Peyton Jackson and I use they/them/their pronouns! I’m a junior EC Scholar studying Biology and Chemistry, focusing primarily on ecology/evolution. I was born in Shelby, NC but raised in Wilmington. In my spare time, I love to read, play video games, and experience nature by hiking, kayaking, or going bird-watching.

Where did you study abroad?
I studied abroad at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa. I also had time to visit 5 countries in Europe during my spring break.

What is your favorite memory from your time abroad?
During my time abroad, I had the unique opportunity to climb the Drakensberg mountains and witness the beauty of a bearded vulture whose populations have been decreasing in recent years.  We spent several hours walking up steep slopes cut into the side of the mountain followed by a 250m rock scramble straight up. Once we reached the peak, we were greeted by warm sunshine and vultures gliding overhead.

How has studying abroad helped your personal or professional life? 
After going abroad, I feel like I have a deeper understanding of who I am and how I interact with the world around me. I’ve embraced my passion for wildlife conservation and have an idea of how to find work in this amazing field, while I’ve become more confident in who I am and what I want in my life in general.

What advice can you offer to students interested in studying abroad? 
Try to find something related to your career to participate in while you’re abroad! It might mean more work, but it will also help give your time abroad a deeper meaning and give you an advantage when applying for jobs.

Do you have any future plans or ideas to travel abroad again? 
I see myself traveling in the near and distant future for fun! Some dream destinations include Australia, Indonesia, and South America. I’m also interested in graduate and volunteer programs abroad.

You can email Peyton at to learn more about their experience!