Once Karin Bucht (a Corvallis native) knew she was heading to Oregon State, she knew she wanted to go abroad in Madagascar.  Karin, now a University Honors College (UHC) senior double majoring in Environmental Science and International Studies, selected Madagascar out of dozens of options in French-speaking countries primarily for the independent research opportunities.

"Originally before choosing to go to OSU," remarked Karin, "I only considered going to Europe.  I had never been abroad, and France or a nearby French country made the most sense for a first experience."

Instead, through further searching of OSU's programs, she developed an interest in developing countries.

"Madagascar made the most sense for my study program.  Since I knew I wanted to major in Environmental Studies and the International Degree program through honors, I needed a program that would allow me to go abroad, improve my French and work on my undergraduate thesis."

Luckily, Madagascar fit the trifecta of experience, language and thesis, three of the four requirements in the International Degree major.

The School for International Training (SIT), has dozens of program throughout the world, including Francophone Africa.  Through SIT, students undertake an independent study project as part of the requirements, which includes a 30-page or more project summary.

"Through SIT, I was able to explore how cultures impact and interact with the natural environment.  My project, in particular, examined:  Local Viewpoints on Conservation and Development, at Malio, Andohahela National Park, Madagascar," which became Karin's undergraduate thesis title.