Branching Out Abroad: Exploring Forestry in the Czech Republic
April 24, 2023
Abby Ligon, natural resources ecology and management major with a concentration in wildlife ecology and a minor in forestry, spent this past spring semester studying forestry in Brnzo, Czech Republic, at Mendel University (MendelU).
Before coming to LSU, Ligon knew that she wanted to study abroad, so she made it her priority in her schedule.
“My reason for wanting to study abroad is that I wanted to fully immerse myself in a different culture and have an opportunity to meet people from all over the world,” Ligon said. “It is also really interesting to study forestry in Europe because I am learning about the different ways countries approach similar issues.”
One of Ligon’s favorite parts of studying abroad is that there really is no typical day. Every day she wakes up and experiences something new. Even if she just goes to class, Ligon says she still has free time to explore the city or meet up with friends for coffee or a hot chocolate. Ligon also had the opportunity to travel to neighboring cities such as Vienna, Prague and Bratislava.
While studying abroad, Abby Ligon represented MendelU in a forestry versatility competition that involved using saws, orienteering, skeet shooting, and identifying different plants. Ligon described it as "an amazing experience where I was able to learn new skills and meet other teams from across Europe."
Ligon advises students studying abroad to embrace difficult experiences, saying it helped her grow and learn new things about herself. She also highlights the value of forming new friendships with people from different parts of the world and gaining a new perspective on the world.
“You will find yourself in places you've only read about in books and seen in movies and then you will be able to experience it for yourself by tasting the food, hearing new languages, and taking in the sight,” said Ligon