After hearing about a volunteering opportunity on social media, BA (Hons) Geography student Stephanie Fedyszyn had the opportunity to volunteer for the Sea Turtle Conservation in Cyprus. The project aims to protect the local green and loggerhead turtles due to the low survival rate of the species.
As an avid traveller, Stephanie enjoys learning about new cultures and wanted an experience where she could combine her passion for travelling with her desire to help animals while progressing with her education.
“Once I found out I was accepted; my lecturers were fully supportive and suggested I use the experience as volunteer work that contributes towards my Masters. They asked for photos and updates, so they could share the journey with me.
They lead workshops and career sessions that helped build an application with a personality that stood out to employers. I used the skills I learnt from these sessions when building my application for The Society for the Protection of Turtles.”
Her experience saw her contributing towards many amazing projects such as patrolling the beaches of Cyprus in search of turtle tracks as well as relocating and monitoring nests and releasing hatchlings into the ocean to ensure their safety.
“I’m aiming to specialise in Geographic Information Mapping and conservation is a big interest of mine, so Sea Turtle Conservation in Cyprus seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to gain transferable skills that I could mirror in University and the workplace.”
Her goal was to gain experiences that would relate to her Geography degree before graduating and this opportunity allowed her to work towards researching for her masters, as well as gaining valuable experience during this once-in-a-lifetime volunteering opportunity.
“From this experience, I’m trained in Sea Turtle Conservation alongside gaining experience working amongst others in a beautiful country. I have learnt to manage myself in high tension situations and become a pillar of strength for my co-workers when they needed it.
The best part of the volunteering was the people I met. The organisation was its community within the community of Alagadi and I very quickly felt that we were a small family that supported each other day by day. Due to being away from our home comforts and leaning on each other for support, I have made friends for life and we already have a reunion planned for October.”
Stephanie is now trained in the conservation and protection of Sea Turtles and will be completing her Masters at USW in September.