January 19, 2017
5 Questions: The Costa Rica Spring Program
With spring - and the deadlines for our Pre-College Spring Programs in Costa Rica and the Florida Keys and on the Brown campus - fast approaching, we recently checked in with Program Director Lauren Watka to learn more about the Florida Keys Program.
In addition to Florida, our Costa Rica program is another great option for those interested in environmental science. While there students will have the opportunity to experience the culture of this Central American country while also gaining hands-on learning in the rainforest. In this Q&A, Program Director Rosario Navarro answers questions about all the Costa Rica Program has to offer.
Rosario Navarro on The Cloud Forest: Costa Rica
director of international programs and languages
1.) What can students expect to see when they arrive on location?
Students will arrive in the city of San Jose and drive to the Monteverde Cloud Forest, a place with amazing green views, clean air, and stunning rainbows. There they will reside at the University of Georgia campus in Monteverde which is nestled in the cloud forest.
2.) What are some of the learning activities students can expect to take part in?
Students will study the forest ecology with particular attention to examining the impact of climate change at different altitudes in the cloud forest. This study will include conducting field work in trees as well greenhouses as well as taking night hikes where they will encounter nocturnal butterflies.
3.) Anything new and exciting planned for this year's program?
Yes. This year, students will spend their first and last night in the city of San Jose. The last night they will be able to go to the Central Market to experience locally grown food and the Costa Rican culture.
4.) What would your teenage self loved most about the program?
I would have loved getting out in the field and having a hands-on experience within the cloud forest: climbing trees, and engaging with peers from around the world with similar interests in ecology.
5.) How have alumni said they have benefited from the program?
We got great feedback from students following last year’s program. One student told us that “This was a life-changing experience for me. I have a clearer idea for possible college major after this program,” while another said that the program “gave me insight into the environmental problems in our world, and provided me a backbone with which to continue my studies. I went into the course with little knowledge, and I came out with more than I ever could have imagined.”
Many of the student reported that they enjoyed climbing and the immersion in Costa Rica’s culture the most, while another student told us “I loved the leadership aspect of the course. I became very close to the other members and this made my whole experience much better. [Leader Fellows] Brenda and Ross were amazing leaders, and each day was a new adventure. Initially, I thought it would be boring, yet it surpassed all expectations.”
Thinking spring? Brown is accepting applications for its Spring Programs. The deadline for applying to both Costa Rica and the Florida Keys is Wednesday, February 1. Environmental programs run March 11-18, 2017. Looking for more info? Visit the Spring Programs website for details about each of these exciting programs.