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Dylan Dixon Dives in Bonaire, Adventures Beyond the Classroom 

Three divers are underwater. One is reaching downward from the left, one is reaching downward from the right. The third diver is reaching outward from the center of the image, facing the camera between the two other divers. In the center is a metal pole with extending metal branches. Young coral in spiky formations of yellow, orange and brown is being hung by the divers.

Program and Location:

Spring, Ecological & Geological Processes in an Immersive Scientific Diving Experience; Kralendijk, Bonaire

Major / Minor:

Major: Fashion and Textile Management Fashion Development and Product Management

Why did you choose to study abroad?

I chose to study abroad for two reasons. The first was the fact that the program mirrored my interests (diving and coral reefs) and created the opportunity to explore them in a unique manner that my major could not offer. The second was the opportunity to broaden my horizons and expand my understanding of the way the world works that the Centennial Campus can not match.

What did you learn about yourself?

Throughout the semester, one thing became obvious: by surrounding myself with people of a similar mindset in a topic / field that I enjoyed, I was more content with my schooling than at any point before. This gave me a new perspective on the phrase “putting yourself out there” and how doing so can net you personal gains above and beyond the normal semester.

What was one of your favorite parts of your program?

One of my favorite parts of the program was being able to use my skills and passion as a diver to impact the world in a positive way. As a part of the program, we participated in a coral reef restoration course that had us pruning and “planting” coral in designated sites. In doing so we were able to stimulate new coral growth as well as contribute to the building of new reefs in Bonaire.

A diver is underwater slightly to the right of center. To the bottom right, there is white sand. Underwater plants are scattered across the ocean floor. There are bubbles floating up to the ocean surface from the diver in the center, and to the bottom right there are flippers from another diver moving away from the camera’s view. 

What advice do you have for future study abroad students?

The best advice I was given was to jump in with both feet. More so than any other activity I have ever been a part of, I got out of it what I put in. Make friends with the people around you, explore the area, embrace the culture and do all of it with everything you have. It will only take the experience to the next level.

Were you surprised by anything during your time abroad?

The thing that stood out the most to me was how easy it was to get along with everyone in the program. Because of the specific nature of the trip and class, we all had something in common and enjoyed doing it. Because of this, it was easy to be myself around my classmates and enjoy myself from the start.

Would you do it again?


This story was originally published by the NC State Study Abroad Office.