Senior seizes her chances to see the world

By Sarah Hann

Shalyse Tindell

Photo by Jessica Thayer
Shalyse Tindell, a senior animal science major from Washington, N.J., has studied in Guatemala, Honduras, Italy and Australia. Her travels have included some unusual food experiences: she ate kangaroo meat in Australia and roasted marshmallows on an active volcano in Central America.
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Shalyse Tindell traveled more than 34,000 miles and visited four countries in just three years.

The senior animal science major from Washington, N.J., has studied in Guatemala, Honduras, Italy and, most recently, Australia.

Before participating in Purdue's International Programs in Agriculture, Tindell had never traveled outside the United States, except for a trip to Canada when she was very young. However, she always wanted to travel. In high school, Tindell had the chance to travel to Australia and stay with a host family, but her family did not like the idea of her staying with strangers.

"They told me, 'You can't do that, we don't know those people!'" said Tindell. Even then she thought, "When I get to college, I'll be able to see the world."

When she came to Purdue, she didn't just travel, she learned something, too. She studied for a semester at the University of Adelaide in South Australia and spent four days in the Outback trapping animals, surveying the land and learning about the culture.

"Going to the Outback was also a huge learning experience, because I got to learn about more history with Aborigines and how they would forage," she said.

When she traveled to Italy, Tindell was able to explore her interest in food production. There, she toured factories and wineries over the course of one week in the spring. Her travels also gave her a chance to experience completely new things.

"I got to hike an active volcano and roast marshmallows on lava," she said about her experience in Guatemala and Honduras.

In addition to the scenery, Tindell also has been able to immerse herself in other cultures. Part of that was a new experience in Australia.

"I joined the netball team when I was there, even though I had no idea how to play it," she said.

Netball, said Tindell, is similar to basketball. There's no backboard, and players have specific positions that define their roles. Tindell specialized in defense.

Food was another experience. She sampled authentic Italian pizza and pastas as well as more exotic fare. In Australia, there's one menu item you're not likely to find in the United States.

"The kangaroo is their national animal and you can eat it," she said.

Traveling and studying in foreign countries stressed her already tight college student budget, which presented Tindell with a financial challenge in addition to cultural and academic challenges.

In all of her international travel and study experiences, Tindell said much of what she has learned is about herself and how to be less reserved as a person.

"It really forced me to leave my comfort zone and to see a bigger aspect of the world," she said. "I'm not as shy as I think I am."