Name: Benjamin Tost
Hometown: Kittanning, PA
Academic Program at UAS: B.A. in biology with minor in chemistry
Class standing at UAS: Senior
Why did you pick UAS for your exchange?
I wanted to go someplace different, and I was fascinated with the idea of glaciers, mountains and the northern lights.
Do you have a favorite class or professor?
My favorite class at UAS was calculus taught by Dr. Blitz. It was no walk in the park but Dr. Blitz was a great teacher. He created an environment that was relaxed and facilitated learning. Dr. Blitz is very intelligent and I have great respect for him.
It’s the perfect place to discover your true self. On one hand, you have access to all human knowledge and can partake in global education opportunities. On the other, it’s very easy to get away from everything and spend some time in solitude, pondering the mountains and glaciers.
What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned about yourself at UAS?
My trip to Alaska was the furthest I had ever gone from home by myself. I really learned what I’m capable of as a person. During my stay at UAS I took some of the most difficult classes of my educational career. It was tough being away from friends and family and taking all of those courses, but UAS provided a friendly, “homey” environment that allowed me to make new friends and feel at home.
What surprised you the most when you arrived at UAS?
I couldn’t believe how beautiful the area is; the trees, the sky, the clouds, the mountains, the lakes, the ocean, the glaciers. It all made me feel so small and at the same time made me feel so free. It’s difficult to describe UAS because a simple description does not do it justice. UAS is set right on the lake at from the dock you get a great view of the surrounding mountains and the glacier. There were countless nights I spent down there just staring out at the sky watching the stars fly by over my head toward the glacier.
What was the most fun you've had at any campus event?
There were multiple dinners, movies, sporting activities and so on that made the stay at UAS very enjoyable, but my favorite event was the whale watch I went on the first day. Having never seen a whale before in my life, or been in the Pacific, I was very eager to get on that boat on onto the water. We had hot chocolate, food, and a guide to alert us when a humpback was in site; it was great. I’ll never forget that.
What is the best thing about life at UAS?
Well, besides Marsha Squires, the best thing about UAS was its environment. I have never met so many nice people in my life. Everyone is so caring and helpful and eager to show you around. I felt very relaxed and at home at UAS.
If you could choose three words that signify UAS, what would they be?
Beautiful, Peaceful, Unforgettable