Senior Helps Clean Up Oceans in Africa — From the U.S.

South African coast
William Carey

April 09, 2021

By Alaina Uricheck '24

William Carey ’21 originally planned to travel to Hawaii for his Global Opportunities study-abroad program because this self-proclaimed history buff looked forward to visiting Pearl Harbor. However, the Covid-19 pandemic canceled those plans — at least for now.

Carey was able to complete a study-abroad experience in another coastal location. Like many other SU students, he just did the program virtually.

An environmental studies major, Carey conducted an international internship with Cape Town, South Africa’s Two Oceans Aquarium Education Foundation.

“The overall objective of the project was to build rapport with local community members, researchers and scientists working in the Cape Town area and to protect marine life by educating residents on the effects of plastic waste on the environment,” Carey said.

Carey did this through a series of virtual interviews with local stakeholders and his own investigative research.

Despite being remote, Carey said he was still able to have “a personal experience with each member” of his work team. He said the bonds he formed with individuals from diverse backgrounds will allow him to be an asset to others in his future career by helping them learn to work where diversity is present.

“I made great connections with people from across the globe, including South Africa, Mexico, Russia and the Netherlands,” he said. “Hearing of experiences from very different walks of life than mine was something I will never forget.”

While a remote GO experience may feel like a disappointment, Carey’s advice is simple and age-old.

“You will get out of it what you put into it, and that goes for a lot of things in life,” he said. “We are living in what will probably be the weirdest time of our lives, but it is most important that we do not let this setback take control of our lives. You must adapt and overcome for the future.”

Carey hopes to eventually take a trip to Hawaii to experience its historical significance. 

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