Name: Rachel Allen
Hometown: Alamo, CA
Major(s)/Minor(s): Double major in Biology and Journalism
Campus Involvement: Alpha Omicron Pi sorority – I’m actually not as involved on campus as I’d like to be because I often find myself overloaded with schoolwork due to my double major. I wish I’d been involved in the biology club and Active Minds, but I find myself so consumed with my classes and my sorority that I’m not sure I’d sleep if I added much more to my plate.
Best and worst moments at Elon so far: My best moment was being a recruitment counselor my junior year and my worst moment was homesickness freshman year
Why is your sorority meaningful to you?: I absolutely love being involved in fraternity and sorority life on campus and find great meaning in the philanthropic work we do. Also, the friends I’ve made through being involved in the Panhellenic community are ones I wouldn’t trade for the world.
How do you see the overlap of biology and journalism applying to your future career?: My dream job is to be a photojournalist for National Geographic, which I believe would apply my two majors in a meaningful and exciting way. I love writing, but my heart truly belongs in biology. But, by being a journalist for an organization like National Geographic, I believe I could do both.
What made you decide to participate in the Semester at Sea?: I chose to do Semester at Sea because I have a hardwired passion for travel. I knew also this would be a once in a lifetime opportunity and I just couldn’t pass it up—after all, how many students get to say they’ve lived on a ship and traveled around the world for four months? I was so excited by the countries listed on the itinerary, too, that I was immediately hooked. I also didn’t want to do a quintessential study abroad trip—if I was gonna do it, I was gonna do it big.
Which country/port was your favorite and why?: I don’t have a single favorite port, but whenever I get asked that question I always respond with the four countries that stood out to me the most: Italy, Croatia, Brazil and Costa Rica. I loved each of them for different reasons, but I particularly loved Brazil because of its rich culture and spectacular national parks—plus, I have some truly incredible memories from that country.
What advice would you give a student interested in studying abroad or participating in the SAS program?: The best advice I would give anyone interested in studying abroad is to say yes to new experiences. Even if you’re nervous about a particular program, country or excursion, I promise you that stepping out of your comfort zone will make you extremely grateful in the long run. Some of my best memories from abroad were in situations I could’ve never imagined myself in before. Say yes to new experiences and get ready for the time of your life.