Program: UW Tropical Horticulture in Costa Rica, Winter
Student’s Major(s): Zoology
Academic Life: We had a very hands-on learning experience. We went to different farms and learned about their crops, and later discussed what we thought about our experiences. The study abroad program was comprised of a small group of UW-Madison students. Dr. Claudia Calderon led our field experiences, and our guide Carlos helped as well. It was a thought-provoking course that made us think more widely about the effects of horticulture on the world (culturally, economically, environmentally).
Most Memorable Moment: Getting to go to a huge organic pineapple farm. It was amazing seeing all the pineapples growing there in different stages, and seeing what a really good pineapple looks like. I was used to seeing green pineapples in our stores in Wisconsin, but in that farm they were golden and the best fruit I have ever had.
Advice for Someone Considering this Program: Start figuring out what you are going to bring early (and make sure to not bring too much stuff), and start saving for the trip early. Don’t try to leave it all until right before you leave, as that will make it stressful!
“You have to be open to going to farms, being outside, and getting a bit dirty. It is a fun experience, and you will learn a lot!”