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Biotechnology, Russian minor
Chicago IL

Somewhere without smoke?

Sarah Alef on Saturday, 22 March 2008. Posted in Study Abroad

A while back I wrote about how I was applying to study abroad in Russia. Unfortunately, due to some state department concerns and the fact that I'm deathly allergic to smoke (in a country where 60% of the adult population smokes), an executive decision was made that it would probably be in my best interest not to travel to Russia.

But not to fear, my faithful readers! I have applied to study abroad in the Turks and Caicos Islands, small islands located south of the Bahamas, which incidentally, are much much MUCH warmer than either Russia or Rochester. If I'm accepted, I will be doing marine biology research (via SCUBA!!!) for about a month there this summer. I'm pretty hopeful about my chances of being accepted. I could have chosen to apply for a co-op instead, but I feel that I will be working for the rest of my life, and that college offers a once in a lifetime opportunity for cheap travel and cool experiences.

I am a little disappointed that I will not be going to Russia. After five years of taking the language, I was really looking forward to a chance to actually use it. That said, maybe someday I can stay with my relatives in smoke-free Germany and take a weekend trip to Russia. On January 1st this year, a bunch of holdouts like Paris, France became smoke free, much to my excitement. Perhaps someday I'll be able to travel around the EU without asphyxiating. Smoking is one of the few things that I really don't like about RIT. The residential sides of campus are smoke free, but the quarter mile is not. Sometimes walking to class, you'll get stuck behind a smoker or worse, a group of them. There's a smoking committee that SG formed earlier this year to investigate the possibility of banning smoking on the quarter mile, but I haven't heard any progress on the issue for a while now. I'd really appreciate being able to walk to class without my inhaler and breathing mask. (jking, it really isn't that bad, but it does get obnoxious)