Wilkes University

Student Testimonials

We learned first-hand how ecotourism can act as a sustainable income source for local economies while working to encourage community involvement

~Emily Absalom
Class of 2016

The only regret I have about my Costa Rican study abroad experience is that I didn’t do it sooner. It was a life changing experience filled with interactive learning that never could have been accomplished in a classroom alone. Every day was an adventure outside of your comfort zone, allowing for personal growth and discovery. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

~Leanna Brisson
Class of 2014

My experience studying abroad in Costa Rica with Dr. Miller was one of the most important learning experiences of my life. I was able to experience another culture, rather than read about it in a textbook or watch it on the Discovery Channel. If I had the opportunity to visit Costa Rica again, Dr. Miller would be my first choice for who I would want to lead the group. His knowledge of the political, economic, and cultural history of Costa Rica made the trip so much better than if I had gone on my own. The exotic food and wonderful coffee in Costa Rica are unmatched and the culture and people are very welcoming. As a Wilkes Alumni I’m still fired up about my trip from two years ago.

~Sean LaFleur
Class of 2011

I’m often asked what it was that initially brought me into my non-conventional line of work. I had always been one for adventure, but when the opportunity arose for me to leave my comfortable classroom culture and hop on a plane to the rural mountains of Costa Rica, well that’s what did it. Alongside Dr. Miller and a few other students, I jumped right into the tiny town of San Marcos with complete enthusiasm, and I was not disappointed. From hot days in the coffee fields amongst Panamanian migrants to soccer with the locals and to the exploration of dense rainforests, every moment was solidifying my love for nature as well as my love for public service. My time in Costa Rice changed my life and gave me the inspiration to pursue my passion. Since then I have embarked on two AmeriCorps service terms with an environmental and social justice focus and I owe it all to my amazing and eye-opening experience in Costa Rica.

~Sara Wolman
Class of 2010
Corpsmember Development VISTA California Conservation Corps Ukiah Center

I've dreamed of visiting many places, but going to Costa Rica had never really crossed my mind until the opportunity to go there with Dr. Miller through the ASB program at Wilkes came across my path. Upon arrival, I was taken aback by the beauty of the country. It has everything from towering mountains with clouds rolling through the summits, to breathtaking sunsets over the Pacific (and Atlantic) shorelines and forests so dense one needs a machete to penetrate them. The people in the towns we visited were incredibly welcoming and friendly, as well as our guides. In my short time there, I was able to learn so much about various parts of "tico" culture from the importance of the coffee industry to salsa dancing to how to make homemade tamales and enchiladas...right in the kitchen of a tico family! All in all, it was an unforgettable and life changing experience.

~Laura Gonzales
Class of 2012