Scientific Roots in Europe

Name: Kareem Zade

Type of Project: Education Abroad


For my STEP signature project, I went to both London and Paris over Spring break to learn about the major scientific events that have had a huge impact on the world. We visited famous scientists’ houses, while also exploring the different cultures and cities of London and Paris.

During this trip, I learned to appreciate science from a whole new perspective. It is a completely different experience to actually go visit the homes of scientists such as Charles Darwin, rather than just learning about them and their findings in class or through a text book. I also got the opportunity to experience the different cultures of both cities, broadening my views of the world and all the variety it has to offer. In addition, I was exposed to many other interesting aspects of history and science while touring the many different museums that our class went to.

One of the activities that really changed the way I viewed science was while visiting the house/village of Charles Darwin. His work, such as developing the Theory of Evolution, has placed him as one of the most influential scientists in the history of this world. His theories resulted in a huge paradigm shift in scientific knowledge that led to a whole new perspective on life on Earth. Knowing all of these things, it was truly a breathtaking experience to visit his house and walk into the exact study room in which much of his work was done. It gave me an appreciation for the scientist, as well as a sense of amazement that they were able to develop such accurate theories using the materials/instruments they had during their time.

I was also fortunate to have traveled on this trip with many amazing like-minded students. We were allowed a lot of free time to roam around both cities, and it really led to a formation of strong bonds between us. I learned a lot about their personal stories and dreams, and was able to connect them outside of just class-related topics and issues. We learned valuable leadership skills and confidence in navigating the streets of both cities on our own.

Other activities that led to this transformation would be going on a lot of site seeing trips to explore the culture of each city. We went to so many parts of each city, and were able to part-take in much of the local traditions and activities. I broadened my perspective on the cultures of each city by talking to the locals and even having had the opportunity to go to a soccer game in London. I tried new foods, met knew people, and explored new places!

This experience has a huge impact on improving myself for both personal and career aspirations. I learned how to have confidence in myself when getting lost in the cities, while also learning about each cities cultures and the people that live there. I hope to become a doctor in the future, and having an understanding of people who come from different cultures is extremely important. Visiting scientific sites and museums also increased my love for science, which is crucial for someone entering the healthcare field. I also formed a lot of strong friendships/relationships with the other students in my class, further showing me that every person has a story to tell.