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UGA Costa Rica - Maymester Tropical Ecology : Reviews (La Selva)

The following program review responses have been selected for publication by Education Abroad
Program Evaluation
Maxwell Dean Sumner, Maymester 2017 Participant
The orientation materials covered all of the necessary information that I needed to study abroad in Costa Rica! It gave an extraordinary amount of detail (down to how to fill out the customs forms) of information needed and was very helpful to all students!

 

Maymester 2017 Participant
I felt very prepared for this trip as far as the packing list and information regarding cultural norms and such.

 

Margaret Ann Clark, Maymester 2017 Participant
The healthcare was extremely accessible, but I never needed it!

 

Maymester 2017 Participant
I never felt unsafe! It seemed that safety was made a priority.

 

Maxwell Dean Sumner, Maymester 2017 Participant
I felt extremely safe on all levels for all experiences that were apart of the UGA CR Tropical Ecology.

 

Alyson Renee Merlin, Maymester 2016 Participant
These were among the best classes I've taken in my undergraduate career, and I felt the time spent working and having fun was very fairly balanced considering how many credits we got.

 

Margaret Ann Clark, Maymester 2017 Participant
I loved class. You have the opportunity to see ecosystems you only read about in books. I quickly found out that the rainforest was greener, denser, and rainier than I could have imagined! Not to mention the ever-present wildlife. I never dreamed I'd see a wild monkey, but within the first 48 hours of the trip, howler monkeys had swung past us while on a trail.

 

Connie Michelle Hauser, Maymester 2017 Participant
It was a strong mix of work and play. We spent a lot of time learning, taking notes, writing papers, and making presentations, but it was interspersed with activities that balanced out the heavy workload by providing entertainment as well as learning.

 

Maymester 2017 Participant
This course was very rigorous and should make UGA proud of the quality of education received on study abroad trips.

 

Katie Anne Maddox, Maymester 2017 Participant
This is definitely an intensive course. However, you are doing so many fun things like hikes and birding and group discussions that it does not feel like class. But you still come away with an insane amount of knowledge that you may not even realize you're absorbing.

 

Maymester 2016 Participant
I loved the sites and the knowledge I gained from going on the trips.

 

Maymester 2017 Participant
Loved every one!!

 

Katie Anne Maddox, Maymester 2017 Participant
All three locations we visit offer insight into the diverse ecosystems of Costa Rica. Excursions are all a good balance of fun and learning. There was nothing that I did not enjoy and there was nothing I could think of that I would have wanted to add.

 

Maymester 2017 Participant
Everything we did was extremely well planned. The sites were all super cool.

 

Maxwell Dean Sumner, Maymester 2017 Participant
The choices of La Selva Biological Station, La Playa Grande, and UGACR en Monteverde de San Luis were excellent choices of location because they gave a beautiful comparison of different landscapes and environments so that we could fully study all of the different ecosystems and the specific beauty that is associated with each of them.

 

Maymester 2017 Participant
La Selva Biological Station was an incredible place. The field trip to Monteverde reserve was also exceptional.

 

Maymester 2017 Participant
I loved all of the sites and excursions

 

Margaret Ann Clark, Maymester 2017 Participant
The housing was comparable to (and sometimes even better than) housing in the United States.

 

Maymester 2017 Participant
Housing generally met or exceeded my expectations for a field course

 

Maymester 2017 Participant
The food was always plentiful, and we had many opportunities to find a lot of different things! My only qualm was the amount of rice and beans, but that's the culture. This class immerses you in more ways than one.

 

Maxwell Dean Sumner, Maymester 2017 Participant
I gained a new appreciation for Gallo Pinto

 

Margaret Ann Clark, Maymester 2017 Participant
The homestay was one of the most beneficial parts of our program for interacting and understanding culture.

 

Maymester 2017 Participant
I loved the home stay immensely. Please keep that part of the program no matter what.

 

Maymester 2017 Participant
I loved my host family. Everyone I met in Costa Rica was genuine and friendly.

 

Maxwell Dean Sumner, Maymester 2017 Participant
We attempted to immerse ourselves in the culture at every opportunity. The homestay at UGA CR really made me feel as if I was immersing myself in the culture.

 

Maymester 2017 Participant
Homestay was an excellent chance to interact with the local culture.

 

Maymester 2017 Participant
This trip wasn't primarily for cultural immersion, but we still had some opportunities to interact with the ticos.

 

Maxwell Dean Sumner, Maymester 2017 Participant
The Professors (Scott and Andrew) and our TA (John David Curlis) were absolutely excellent and made my Costa Rica Experience truly amazing.

 

Katie Anne Maddox, Maymester 2017 Participant
Staff continuously checked in on how students were doing and addressed any problems effectively.

 

Maxwell Dean Sumner, Maymester 2017 Participant
The Professors seemed fairly attuned to the occurrences of all students and seemed on top of all situations that arose.

 

Maymester 2017 Participant
I cannot believe how much we did for the cost of the trip. I loved the variety of activities we did and how each activity allowed us to see a deeper, more authentic cultural part of Costa Rica.

 

Katie Anne Maddox, Maymester 2017 Participant
You wouldn't get a better trip to Costa Rica for the cost. Once in a lifetime opportunity for the price.

 

Maymester 2017 Participant
This program is invaluable.

 

Maymester 2017 Participant
This trip was an amazing opportunity to learn about the ecology of this region and was a good balance of work and fun activities.

 

Margaret Ann Clark, Maymester 2017 Participant
The program fulfilled my expectations and I have a greater understanding of mindsets outside of the United States.

 

Maymester 2017 Participant
Truly exceeded all my expectations. I mean *all* of my expectations.

 

Connie Michelle Hauser, Maymester 2017 Participant
I was nervous about the amount of work we would be getting, but I genuinely feel like I learned 7 credit hours worth of stuff within the short three weeks. Like my science classes at UGA, we completed a total of two research projects in small groups throughout the course. In the natural history section, I learned countless new birds, amphibian, plant, and invertebrate species that before this trip I had never even heard of. It was the perfect mix of work and play. We had the responsibility to work when we needed to, but were able to take breaks and enjoy being in Costa Rica as well if we managed our time correctly. I learned more than I had hoped to learn, and am excited to apply what I have learned to future courses and endeavors.

 

Katie Anne Maddox, Maymester 2017 Participant
This course exceeded my expectations.

 

Maymester 2017 Participant
It was far better than I expected!!

 

Maxwell Dean Sumner, Maymester 2017 Participant
This program exceeded all of my expectations in terms of learning, experiences, and friendships. I was amazed by the culture, the knowledge and appreciation for other people and organisms that I gained. This program should continue for years to come to give this experience to other students!

 

Maymester 2017 Participant
This program exceeded my expectations. I learned so much and had so many new experiences that have made an impact on me and that I will remember for the rest of my life. Deciding to go on this program was one of the best decisions of my undergraduate career.

 

Maymester 2017 Participant
I hope that this program continues to be offered well into the future. It was a fantastic learning experience and I can't emphasize enough how all of the experiences from this trip have positively impacted me.

 

Margaret Ann Clark, Maymester 2017 Participant
Pay attention to your surroundings and interact with people outside of your course when possible - you learn the most from your surroundings, not just in class. Also, when you're in the jungle, there are more things watching you than you can see, so be quiet. You might actually see something rare. I had a classmate accidentally run into an anteater on an early morning run - that's a once in a lifetime opportunity that wouldn't have happened if she'd been with a big group of people and talking. UGA Costa Rica is cool, sometimes even cold for a tropical location. Bring at least one sweatshirt!

 

Amanda Huong Pham, Maymester 2017 Participant
Always bring extra clothes. Don't worry about bringing any towels. Pack light! Always come in open minded and you will make the best of friends. Especially if you are not an Ecology major, it may seem over whelming at first, but you will learn so much and appreciate things much more.

 

Maymester 2017 Participant
This program is a lot of work, but it is an amazing opportunity to be totally immersed in the ecology of this region and to gain research experience.

 

Sheridan Jean Alford, Maymester 2016 Participant
"Definitely a life-time experience but hopefully not ONCE in a life-time."

 

Annabelle Grace Barr, Maymester 2016 Participant
This course is demanding but 100% worth the work for the academic and personal gains you will attain.

 

Maymester 2016 Participant
The UGA Costa Rica tropical ecology study abroad program was a learning experience that I will never forget. I am so thankful for the sites I saw, things I learned, and friends I made in beautiful Costa Rica. Pura Vida.

 

Maymester 2016 Participant
Experiencing Costa Rica was like opening my eyes to the world for the first time. I have never felt such an intensity of life, and nothing really captures the beauty of Earth like a day in the Costa Rican wilderness.

 

Maymester 2016 Participant
Costa Rica opens your world view and really helps you grow as a person.

 

Maymester 2016 Participant
Being a participant on the Tropical Ecology program exposed me to a world I had never realized even existed. It made me more aware of environmental issues and more grateful of nature.

 

Alyson Renee Merlin, Maymester 2016 Participant
This trip was the best month of my undergraduate career! I never imagined that I would get to experience and study such diverse ecosystems. From surfing to ziplining and watching monkeys and toucans, the trip seemed more like something out of my dreams than an opportunity for class credit. I cannot recommend it enough to anyone that wants to hike their way to some of the coolest species you'll ever see.

 

Catherine Blake Miller, Maymester 2016 Participant
The maymester program was a great mix of learning and adventure. We got to experience a new country's culture and biodiversity while earning credit for it. I couldn't as for anything more from a study abroad program.

 

Maymester 2016 Participant
This trip is a once in a lifetime opportunity you will not want to miss! The adventures, lessons, friends, and memories made are priceless, and you'll wish you could stay forever.

 

Maymester 2016 Participant
Costa Rica is the ideal place to study ecology. Within three weeks we were able to see an incredible range of ecosystems from the tropical rainforest and cloud forest to the dry landscape of the Pacific beaches. There are few places where you will ever see such a fascinating array of birds, insects, plants and mammals.

 

Margaret Ann Clark, Maymester 2017 Participant
UGA Costa Rica not only provides a place to learn, but also teaches how to live sustainably with your environment and community.

 

Maymester 2017 Participant
Best experisnce of college so far! This study abroad challenged me and helped me grow as an individual. I came out of it with a a much greater ecological and cultural understanding of the country.

 

Maymester 2017 Participant
best decision I've made throughout my collegiate experience

 

Maymester 2017 Participant
If you want to make amazing friends, unforgettable memories, and significant advancements in your scientific abilities all while traveling in an amazing country, this program is 1000% for you.

 

Connie Michelle Hauser, Maymester 2017 Participant
Costa Rica is the most biodiverse place I've ever seen, and I am so grateful to have experienced it with amazing professors and friends that will last a lifetime.

 

Maymester 2017 Participant
Surf on!

 

Katie Anne Maddox, Maymester 2017 Participant
This study abroad was the best experience of my college career. Not only did I come home having completed a rigorous course load including two independent research projects- in a month- but I came home with 25 best friends.

 

Maymester 2017 Participant
The connections I made with the people I have met and the organisms was an enlightening experience that I will hold dear to my heart. I want to return to Costa Rica and see what new memories I will create.

 

Amanda Huong Pham, Maymester 2017 Participant
A life changing experience for any major.

 

Maxwell Dean Sumner, Maymester 2017 Participant
This program exceeded all of my expectations in terms of learning, experiences, and friendships. I was amazed by the culture, the knowledge, and appreciation for other people and organisms that I gained while in Costa Rica. Thank You UGA CR for all of your hard work and excellence. You make this program truly special.

 

Maymester 2017 Participant
This program can provide amazing opportunities to gain experience in tropical research while having a great time with new friends in a gorgeous country. You'll learn what it really takes to conduct research in the field!