Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU) student Becca S. enjoyed every minute of her study abroad experience with CIEE – even the day she broke her toe during an impromptu soccer game in a rain-soaked, muddy field in Costa Rica. “There have been so many incredible moments since I’ve been abroad,” she said.
Becca studied abroad thanks to a full scholarship on CIEE’s STEM + Society program in the fall of 2019. For 18 weeks, Becca explored and earned credits in Central America, dividing her time between the diverse ecosystems of Monteverde, Costa Rica and the fascinating Mayan history in Mérida, Mexico.
Becca is set to graduate in 2020 from OWU with a degree in General Zoology, the study of animals, their taxonomy, relationships, and how they interact within their environments. CIEE’s STEM + Society program was the perfect fit for a student like Becca, as the opportunities to learn in and outside of the classroom in biodiverse Central American cities were endless. “My favorite academic memory was my first lab course,” Becca recounted. “For our lab in tropical biology, we went on a six-hour hike in the cloud forest observing a number of different plants and animals. A truly unforgettable experience.”
While Becca spent the better part of her time in Costa Rica studying topics like “biodiversity of the tropics,” she learned a lot about Mayan astronomy while in Mexico. Becca gained an understanding of how the Mayans “…developed their calendar, and how they built their pyramids in relation to their calendar,” thanks to field trips to archaeological sites like Chichén Itzá.
From exploring the colorful sites of the Yucatán Peninsula, to participating in fieldwork in the rainforests of Monteverde, Becca had a unique experience studying culture, conservation, and sustainability. For students on a similar academic track as Becca, the STEM + Society program offers real-world experience no classroom could ever provide.
Interested in a study abroad experience like Becca’s? The STEM + Society program falls under CIEE’s umbrella of Open Campus Block programs. These exceptional programs give you the flexibility to build your own study abroad experience by selecting the courses, destinations, and length of time abroad that fit your schedule best. New this year, CIEE is offering Open Campus Block Program Grants worth up to $9,000, which will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis!
Want to see if you qualify? Explore CIEE scholarships and grants!