As we pass the one-month mark of the students’ stay here in Costa Rica, it is worth noting where we are after this short amount of time. So much can transpire over the course of a month, and there is no exception here. The students have been to both sides of the country, visited mangrove ecosystems, secondary forests, dry forest, farms, a volcano, volunteered with different organizations, learned about sustainable practices, and much more. Classes have taken place in most of these locations, always making for a very transformative experience.

Experiential education such as this is so different from the norm. The students have been able to appreciate what they have been learning because the issues they discuss can sometimes be found right outside their doorstep. Recognizing the importance and diversity of ecosystems, landscapes, and social relationships in this country is all part of the experience, and that hasn’t been lost on anyone.

In contrast to all of the trips they have taken throughout the country they also spent a day with a local Costa Rican family. This recent experience gave them the opportunity to learn more about family life, culture, and the everyday activities some Costa Ricans take part in. It also allowed them to create new relationships, challenge their language skills, and embrace a culture different from their own.