An Expedition to Antarctica: How One Nursing Student Managed to Visit All Seven Continents

Senior Cory Paul was one of many BYU students who left Utah over break. However, while many students complained about returning to a freezing Idaho, Paul traveled to literally frozen Antarctica, thus completing his goal of visiting all seven continents.

Asking where Paul is from is a tricky question, given that his father’s career in the oil industry led to the family living everywhere from Indonesia to the Middle East. Each area has affected him positively, as did this most recent excursion to the land under the land down under.


An ice floe that Paul saw on his trip to Antarctica.

“There were just times that I would look out the boat and think, ‘Man, God is amazing.’ He created such awesome things. The scenery and the wildlife was so different from any other part of the world I have been to.” Paul says. “You see icebergs, and who would have thought that they’re some of the most beautiful things I could ever see?”

Every day, the company would either go on day trips or take Zodiac rides to tour the continent.

The deep beauty of the region and the mix of humpback whales, seals, and penguins were enchanting; however, Paul also enjoyed meeting travelers and researchers from parts of the world as diverse as Russia and India.


The members of Paul’s family who accompanied him on the trip.

For Paul, traveling and living abroad have always represented more than a chance to see new sights. They also provide opportunities to mix with new cultures and gain a wider worldview.

“I think every culture has so much to offer,” Paul says. “Every person has something to offer.”

During his years of travel, Paul has encountered many cultures. A fluent Arabic speaker, he has come to appreciate seeing the world through others’ eyes.

That is one of the reasons that Paul is pursuing nursing. He wants to be able to apply his international experience in helping people across the globe.

‘Nursing is about care for everyone; it’s not just one person, one nationality, one race, one ethnicity, one religious group—it’s for everyone,” he says.


Just one of many sights that the Paul family encountered during their trip.

Paul particularly appreciated when Dr. Stephanie Ferguson, a world-renowned nursing/medical expert, spoke at BYU about her international experience. After talking with her, Paul has refined his plans for the future.

“I would love to at least do a part of my career in under-served international populations,” he says. “Specifically, my dream would be to go work with Palestinians or Syrian refugees, people who are really in those situations. I was drawn to nursing and I wasn’t sure why, but I feel like that’s a key portion.”

Following graduation, Paul is ready to take on the world, whether it be in the blistering heat of Abu Dhabi or the frozen tundra of Antarctica. However, no matter where he is, he will still rely on his beliefs as he serves others.

“Everyone is a child of God,” he says. “God loved them just as much as He loved me.”


The diverse wildlife was fascinating to Paul.


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