Make The Connection

December 12, 2023

Ohio Wesleyan student Abbie Kline '24 is planning a career in environmental consulting and sustainability that will draw upon her time in Costa Rica. (Photos courtesy of Abbie Kline)

'An Opportunity to Grow'

Ohio Wesleyan Senior Studies Sustainability During Semester in Costa Rica

By Cole Hatcher

Name: Abbie Kline '24
Hometown: Fombell, Pennsylvania
Major: Environmental Science
Minor: Spanish
OWU Connection Experience: Semester Abroad in Costa Rica

Kline is spending her fall semester in San Jose, Costa Rica, completing the "Spanish Language, Liberal Arts & Environmental Sciences" program offered by CEA CAPA Education Abroad.

Why This Experience?

Abbie Kline '24 says her semester in Costa Rica has deepened her interest in sustainable agriculture.

"Costa Rica is an amazing place to study environmental science and sustainability, as they hold 6% of the world's biodiversity in 0.03% of the world's land, which is an incredible statement. Additionally, Costa Rica has made incredible strides in terms of being a sustainable country. Learning Spanish has also been a goal of mine for years, and so a chance to learn Spanish in another country was an opportunity to grow that I didn't want to miss out on.

"On a personal note, martial arts is a huge part of my life, and I was made aware of the opportunity to practice martial arts here at an academy that I already have a connection to, as a Costa Rican teammate of mine also trains here in San Jose. This is something that I knew I wouldn't get anywhere else, and so it was a big influence on my choice. Additionally, this program just felt right."

My Favorite Moment

"I feel like I have a new highlight every week. From seeing Monteverde Cloud Forest and swimming in waterfalls, to creating meaningful friendships (with other U.S. students and ticos alike), to feeling comfortable enough to have conversations with Uber drivers in Spanish – every week I have a new favorite moment."

Having hands-on experience with organic agriculture, sustainable development, and ecology has been a dream.

Abbie Kline '24

Lessons Learned

"As far as classroom lessons go, I have learned an incredible amount about sustainability and what it means exactly. Having hands-on experience with organic agriculture, sustainable development, and ecology has been a dream. In my future, I am looking toward sustainable development/environmental consulting careers, but I have developed an interest in sustainable agriculture, which I hope I can lean into and explore after I graduate."

My OWU Mentor

"The faculty mentor I think of is Dr. Nathan Rowley. He is one of the Global Scholars directors, as well as my academic advisor. Since freshman year, he has encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone and work hard in all areas of my academic career. I think he was one of the people who was most excited for me to travel and has kept in contact with me while I have been abroad. [Rowley, Ph.D., is an associate professor and chair of Ohio Wesleyan's Department of Environment and Sustainability (ENVS).]

My Campus Involvements

"ENVS Student Board, Outdoor Ministry Team, Astronomy Club."

Why I Chose Ohio Wesleyan?

"I graduated (high school) in the year of 2020, when COVID was in full swing. I didn't get to tour colleges, and so I decided to look at what school was making me feel like I had a home there before I got on campus. Out of all of the schools I applied for, OWU did that the best. Additionally, my acceptance into the Global Scholars Program, which is what allowed me to study abroad and have this amazing experience, was a huge factor in my choice."

My Plans After Graduation

"I hope to get a job working in environmental consulting and sustainability so that I can apply what I have learned in my academic career."