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Education Abroad Profile: Michael Capilupi

Michael Capilupi, Antarctica 2015

Program: Antarctica: Human Impacts on a Fragile Environment
Location: Antarctica
Rank: Senior
Major: Electrical and Computer Engineering

"I chose to travel to Antarctica for a couple of different reasons. Traveling has always been one of my greatest joys in life, so having the opportunity to go to the most isolated continent, and learn about it first hand was an opportunity I could not resist. I think the fact that so few humans have stepped foot on the white continent made it even more special to me. I must say, I really didn’t know too much about it before, because going down there is really something most people don’t think about doing. However, once I said Antarctica as a study abroad option, I knew I had to do it.

In one of my classes at Ohio State, we learned about living through a single story. What I took away from this is that if we don’t go out and explore for ourselves, we will never truly understand what exactly this world offers to us. That’s why I chose to study abroad, to learn from a different perspective. I would admit that this is a unique trip because there is no specific Antarctic culture, due to the lack of permanent settlements. What made up for this was the diversity on our ship. 120 people from more than 20 countries joined us in our travels down south. I got lucky that instead of seeing the world from one other perspective, I got to see it from 20. Taking that experience can help you to grow as a person, and really start to understand there is so much more to this world.

Capilupi, Antarctica 2015When I say that this was the trip of a lifetime, it’s not a cliché. Traveling down to Antarctica was one of the most rewarding and greatest things I will have done in my life and for that reason it is so difficult to pick just one memory. Nonetheless, kayaking was hands down my favorite thing while there. I was lucky enough to be one of the few passengers on the trip to kayak. There are no words to describe what an experience it was. Kayaking in the Antarctic waters, with nothing to disturb you, was truly amazing. Being surrounded by the glaciers, icebergs and mountains, while moving through the clear, blue water was just perfect. Watching penguins skip through the water, seals lying on ice with not a care in the world all felt like I wasn’t on Earth anymore. The beauty of this is something I will cherish for the rest of my life."