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Bearcats on the Road

Wrapping It All Up: Coming Home

Posted by Samuel Geer on Wed, Jul 20, 2016 @ 10:00 AM
This is my last post from Bhutan, and I’m writing it from my couch at home in Pennsylvania. I got home late this morning after a 52-hour trip from Bhutan to Thailand to Shanghai to New York to Pittsburgh. As of the moment I’m writing this, I’ve been awake for 18 hours straight, and I don’t plan on sleeping for at least another five (take that, jet lag)! 
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Topics: study abroad, Samuel Geer, Bhutan, Tiger's Nest Monastery, jet lag, Paro

Directed Research, Presentations and Packing Up

Posted by Samuel Geer on Tue, Jul 12, 2016 @ 10:00 AM

The past week has been entirely devoted to directed research. The complement of 22 students in the program were broken up into six different groups whose research groups included both physical and social science topics. Some of the most interesting projects, in my opinion, were: biodiversity in local forests, the growing cordycep (an extremely valuable Himalayan fungi) market, conservation around religious sites and, my own research project, the effects of forestry management practices on local forest stands. 

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Topics: nature, study abroad, research, Samuel Geer, Bhutan, presentation, Bumthang

People of Bhutan

Posted by Samuel Geer on Fri, Jul 08, 2016 @ 12:00 PM

The past several days have been filled with a plethora of cultural experiences with locals in and around campus. While simply walking down the street can tell you a lot about the Bhutanese people, it is something else completely to spend significant amounts of time talking with a Buddhist monk or staying with a family. Luckily, I’ve been able to do both of those things in the span of a few days.

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Topics: study abroad, Samuel Geer, Bhutan, advice, monastery, monks

An Excursion through the Himalayas

Posted by Samuel Geer on Tue, Jun 28, 2016 @ 10:00 AM

During the past week, we left the relative coziness of our dorms on campus to go on a trek through the surrounding valleys. It was a three-day hike that would begin with us hiking across the Bumthang Valley where our campus is located. After the flat portion of the trek, we went straight up over the extremely small Himalayan Mountains in the area (only 12,000 feet high — the Laurel Highlands are a small fraction of that). Once on the other side, we’d be in the neighboring Tang Valley where we’d camp another night and hike to a cultural site to finish off our learning adventure. 

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Topics: study abroad, adventure, Samuel Geer, Bhutan, Himilayas, hiking, gender studies

Research & Downtime in the Himalayas

Posted by Samuel Geer on Wed, Jun 22, 2016 @ 10:00 AM

It’s hard for me to believe, but the classes I’m taking here in Bhutan are already nearing their end. There’s still about one more week of condensed classes before we move on to directed research, but in that week we’re packing in a lot of learning. Today I had a pair of field lectures that tie into some of the research projects we’ll be doing here. The first was on biodiversity monitoring the government does to keep track of the animals that inhabit nearby areas. Looking at trail camera footage from within 15 miles of campus, we saw everything from wild boar to leopards and even majestic Bengal tigers. The second was on tree-core research and the methods used to test tree age, health and plot prosperity. This one was particularly interesting because I actually got to bore into some of the blue pines that populate the hillsides near campus.

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Topics: study abroad, Saint Vincent College, Samuel Geer, Bengal tiger, Bhutan, Tsechu

Arriving in Bhutan - Buddhism, Hikes and Clothing

Posted by Samuel Geer on Tue, Jun 14, 2016 @ 04:00 PM

After almost a week of traveling, I finally arrived at Paro, Bhutan, at around noon local time on Friday. Our flight from Thailand left early in the morning and we had one layover in Bagdograh, India. As we took off from Bagdograh, I had my first experience viewing the Himalayas. Looking out over the vast plains of Northern India, they rose terrifyingly high. Once we’d reached our cruising altitude, the silhouettes of the mountains still challenged our aircraft for superiority in the sky. 

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Topics: study abroad, Samuel Geer, kira, Buddhism, Bhutan, Thimphu, Paro, gho

About this Blog

In Bearcats on the Road, students chronicle their lives while studying abroad or completing internships away from campus.

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Paige Casario is a junior International Business major with minors in Spanish and Operational Excellence. She is studying Business and Spanish and living with a host family in Sevilla, Spain, for the spring semester. She is very excited for this opportunity and experience and can't wait to venture all over Spain and Europe.

Hi! My name is Nicole Reitz and I’m a junior psychology major at SVC. This spring, I’m studying at Edge Hill University in England.

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Hi! My name is Gianna Boburka. I am an international business major with minors in operational excellence and entrepreneurship. I will be studying abroad in Thessaloniki, Greece, this summer for five weeks. In addition to taking two classes abroad, I will be exploring many different sites around Greece.

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Theresa Thimons is a sophomore majoring in mathematics. She is the proud little sister to nine siblings and aunt to seventeen nieces and nephews. Theresa believes that each encounter she has with another human is an opportunity to better understand the heart of Jesus, as every person is the result of God’s love. In whatever career path she ends up taking, she looks forward to solving problems and hopefully inspiring more people to explore the world of fun that is found in math.

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My name is Sam Geer. I’m from Murrysville, Pennsylvania, and I’m a junior at Saint Vincent. I’m getting my major in Environmental Science and minoring in Public Administration. I’m a work study at the Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve and am a member of the Benedictine Leadership Studies Program. This summer, I'll be traveling to Bhutan in the Himalayas of Central Asia, home of the bearcat, where I’ll be studying environmental sustainability and Bhutanese culture. 

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Hi! Im Gabrielle Kohl, an avid reader who loves to travel around the world! I love to experience new culture, literature, people and food. I aim to make a positive impact in the lives of people with whom I interact in order to make the world a happier place.

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Hi! My name is Nicole Berry and I am currently a junior studying communication and psychology. I also am minoring in children studies. I am a commuter and currently live in Delmont, PA. I am hoping to graduate in May 2017 and go on to graduate school for my Masters in Social Work and Juris Doctorate.

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Anastasia Jaeger is a junior English education major with a minor in German and a minor in peace and justice. She has always dreamed of being able to travel around the world and is thankful that Saint Vincent College has these opportunities available to students. When she is not at college, she is likely working her part-time job at a local bakery. In the future, she hopes to travel more and do humanitarian work or teach high school students English.