Marine Conservation in Thailand

Beth (Student)

Student review

Student: Beth
University: Newcastle
Project: Marine Conservation in Thailand

Thailand was my first time abroad ever. I had no clue what I was doing and it took me two years to decide whether the trip would be for me!! Flooglebinder were great and supported me the whole time. They answered every pathetic question and query I had, rang me multiple times and even met my Dad! I’m so pleased that I went and that I had their support.

The first week of travelling was incredible. It was amazing to get such a diverse experience of the culture and the country. Having our tour guide was great because she really helped us understand the culture and what it was like to be Thai. Meeting the elephants was by far my favourite day! It was such an honour to meet these creatures up close and to share in their fun. Seeing them cared for so beautifully was great and we got to see them in their natural habitat which was wonderful. It was really great to have that first week to understand Thailand a bit more because Koh Tao is a very different place. Not that it isn’t fab, but its very tourism focused and therefore obtains very little of genuine Thai culture. If I had just been to Koh Tao I don’t think I would be able to say that I visited Thailand.

The Marine Conservation Programme is fantastic! All the staff have an incredible amount of knowledge and seem to know everything about anything that lives under the waves. But just like all the students there, they are constantly learning and studying the ecosystems which is very exciting. I went there to collect research for my university dissertation. The staff were very supportive and got very involved which was so kind. They gave me loads of options of what I could look at based on the staff’s expertise and the time that I was there. I had to drop the project I was initially planning to do but that was no problem because they always have millions of projects on the go and new ideas they want to look into. I studied my project when we went to appropriate sites, so about 2 days a week which for me, was plenty. It was nice to be able to partake in the other conservation works that the company was doing as well as doing my project. I learnt so much about all the life in the reefs of Koh Tao and it was exciting to be a part of making a difference. Every day was different and the lectures meant that everybody could learn and understand, even if they know nothing about the ocean or biology!! Even if, like me, you’ve studied Marine Biology there are plenty of new things to learn.

If anyone is wanting to go on this trip I would recommend staying for as long as you can! Initially, when I was first thinking about going I only wanted to go for 3 weeks and I am so glad I decided to go for 8 weeks instead. Staying for an extended period meant that you can be more heavily involved with all the activities going on and get to experience and practice more and more skills. Everyone I met never wanted to leave and everyone always goes back at some point in the future because it is such a beautiful habitat and the programme is incredible. Going with Flooglebinder made life really easy, it meant that preparing for the trip was far less stressful and there was always someone to ask for advice before and during the trip.

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