Students taking measurements of trees in the rainforest

Jason’s Experience in Costa Rica

Jason studied on an embedded program to Costa Rica in Spring 2016 with the Biology 220W Populations and Communities class.


If you could give only one reason, why would you suggest other students study abroad?
suspension bridge into rain forestI would suggest other students take advantage of any opportunity they may have to study abroad for the relationships, both personal and professional, they may build through such an experience. I was fortunate enough to travel with a great group of people and had the chance to get to know them, including my instructor. It was also great to meet people in a foreign country whom share the same passions in life that I have, and I hope to travel and see them again. It is always great to make new friends.


If you could go abroad again, what would you do differently?
If I could travel abroad again, which I certainly plan to do, I would do more networking. I would interact with more people and exchange personal information to create contacts that may help me further my career during and after college. Oh, and I would definitely take a lot more pictures!


What specific factors influenced your decision to go abroad?
jason selfieI’d have to thank Dr. Karen Kackley for being the biggest influence on me to take the trip, she really sold me on the whole idea, although she didn’t have to do a lot of convincing, but I’m glad she did! I had never been outside of the United States and this was an opportunity for me to travel to a foreign country. Being fond of the outdoors and wildlife I had always wanted to experience the tropical rainforest and what better place to do that than Costa Rica, and what an experience it was. Also, I felt a study abroad experience would be great on my resume!


What concerns/fears did you have about studying abroad, and how did you overcome them?
One of the things I was afraid of was the language barrier. Traveling to a country where I didn’t speak the language was something that had concerned me. It wasn’t something I had to overcome, I was very fortunate that the majority of the people I came into contact with in Costa Rica spoke English, but the experience has me considering learning a second language.


Why would you recommend an embedded program to other students?
I would recommend an embedded program to other students because it is a great way to build on the concepts you learn in lecture. With the biology 220 course we learned the fundamental concepts of ecology and what better way to learn these concepts than to experience and study them outside of the classroom, for instance like I did in the tropical rainforests of Costa Rica.

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