St. Lawrence’s double-major option, extensive study abroad program, and proximity to outstanding outdoor recreation opportunities were immediate attractions for Kelly. She had taken Spanish throughout middle and high school, and wanted to continue developing her skills and learning about Hispanic cultures. However, she also had a deep interest in the area of environmental sciences and studies. The double-major option at St. Lawrence allowed her to pursue and integrate both areas of study.
Kelly speaks Spanish, and owes a great deal of her knowledge to the time she spent abroad in Costa Rica in 2006. She lived with a Costa Rican host family, and the direct-enroll structure of the program allowed her to interact with Costa Rican professors and students. “Living with a family was the most valuable and enriching aspect of my time there,” says Kelly. “I learned about every day life in Costa Rica and vastly improved my conversational skills. Most importantly, they really made me a part of the family, including me in all of the family activities.” In the fall of 2006, Kelly was awarded a Student Research Grant from the Center for International and Intercultural Studies and returned to Costa Rica in January 2007 to conduct research for her senior project in Environmental Studies. Her project focused on the visitor experience at Arenal Volcano National Park. “It was wonderful to return to Costa Rica, and very exciting to be able to integrate my two areas of study,” said Kelly.