Travel Tales: Taylor Johnson

Feb 13, 2020

Johnson TaylorEach year, Phi Kappa Phi distributes seventy-five $1,000 Study Abroad Grants to undergraduate students participating in international travel programs. The grants are designed to support students as they gain experience in their academic fields by studying abroad. For many students like Taylor Johnson at Brigham Young University, it can be a life-changing opportunity to reach their future goals.

As a neuroscience major, Johnson’s participation in BYU’s Society, Behavior, and Health study abroad program gave him the opportunity to visit several areas of the world where people live longer, healthier lives. The goal was to immerse himself “in the local culture in order to gain insights concerning the physical, social, and emotional aspects of longevity and fulfillment,” he shared.

“We visited three Blue Zones, or areas of the world in which the population has an exceptionally high proportion of centenarians,” said Johnson. The program, held last summer, took him to Sardinia, Italy; Ikaria, Greece; and Okinawa, Japan. “My role was to observe and immerse myself in the local lifestyles that seem to promote good health and longevity.”

During their travels, participants met centenarians, enjoyed local traditions, learned about cuisine and food preparation, and studied possible mechanisms of longevity. “I also observed very close social relationships within these communities and saw how that positively impacts health tremendously,” he added.

The grants, available to members and non-members on campuses with active Phi Kappa Phi chapters, can turn a dream into a reality for recipients. As Johnson noted, “I am very grateful for the generous contribution of Phi Kappa Phi that has helped make my ideal study abroad experience possible. I feel honored to be a recipient of this grant and will surely work hard to make the most of this unique opportunity.”

Are you a past award recipient? We want to hear your story! Join the conversation in our exclusive, member-only community, Link.

Interested in applying for a Phi Kappa Phi Study Abroad Grant? Click here to learn more and apply by March 15.