Howdy! My name is Brooke Kinser and I am a freshman here at A&M. I am in the Business Honors program with an interest in Marketing. My hometown is Plano, TX, near Dallas, where I live with my parents and older sister.

I am very excited to be allowed the opportunity to travel to Costa Rica and learn about sustainability! My sister went last year and absolutely loved it. I have never been to Costa Rica, but it has been on my bucket list for a while. I can’t wait to experience the tropical landscape and try the native foods. I also love coffee, and Costa Rica has some of the best in the world.

Business sustainability really interests me for a few reasons. First off, being in Mays, business is obviously my passion and what I want to do! I am a firm believer that we need to take care of this planet and its resources so that future generations can thrive. I promote sustainable habits in my everyday life, like turning off the lights, recycling, and not taking forever to shower. However, I would love to see sustainability on a large scale and what solutions the business world can offer.

I look forward to the pre-departure meetings and getting to know my peers I will be traveling with! Again, thank you for this once in a lifetime opportunity.

Categories: 2017 Pre-Departure Blogs

My name is Phillip Madden! I was born and raised in Houston, Texas. I went to Memorial High School. I am an accounting major, and I plan to complete PPA. I am currently a sophomore here at Texas A&M. I have 3 siblings. My older brother, Holt, is a junior in college. My younger brother, Cameron, is a sophomore in high school. My younger sister, Reni, is a freshman in high school. My family has always valued cultural immersion and travel. That being said, I have traveled all throughout Europe, China, Africa, Canada, South America, and Central America! I believe that there is so much to learn from others, and getting exposure to different cultures and lifestyles is a great way to learn!

I have chosen to go to Costa Rica for two primary reasons. The first being that I have already been twice, and the environment is incredible! The people are very genuine. The environment is beautiful. The food is fantastic. There is so much to say about Costa Rica! It is incredible. Next, I have taken Spanish for many years (since middle school!). I want to try to learn how to speak fluently, and putting myself in an environment where I am forced to use it is a great way to learn! I am very excited to get to go no this trip, and I look forward to getting to know all of y’all!

Pura Vida y nos vemos en unos semanas!


Categories: 2017 Pre-Departure Blogs

Howdy! My name is Mallory Johnson and I am a Supply Chain Management Major from Arlington, TX, but more importantly, I am a proud member of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Class of 2019! (A-A-A-A-A) I am very outgoing and have an adventurous spirit. I love to be in the outdoors and I enjoy hanging out with my friends. In my free time, I am taking up photography (so you can expect to see some cool pictures of our trip!). Here at Texas A&M, I am a member of Class Councils and I am currently serving at the Logistics Director for Pull-Out Day 2017. I also work on campus for the Turbomachinery Laboratory in the Symposia Office under Exhibitor Services.

I chose the Costa Rica study abroad trip for a couple of reasons, the first reason being for the experience. I have always been told to study abroad while you’re in college because it will be a life changing moment that you will not forget. The second reason I chose this trip was because I have always wanted to visit Costa Rica. I have a particular interest in the Central American countries and would love to visit all of them at some point in my lifetime. I am very excited for this trip and to get to learn more about Business Sustainability in a place like Costa Rica!

Categories: 2017 Pre-Departure Blogs

My name is Jessica Monreal. I am a junior Marketing major from Spring, TX. Spring is a little town north of Houston. I was born in Mexico, but I came to the U.S. when I was 3 and grew up in Spring. I chose to come to Texas A&M because of its great reputation as well as the distance from home. I don’t exactly remember how I got into the business school. I just remember being at the NSC and being told I had chosen business as my major even though I had no recollection of this. However, it has turned out to be one of the biggest blessings in my life. I am very proud to say I am part of such a great program and I wouldn’t change how things happened. I’ve had great experiences here. I have grown into someone I am very proud of. I am also excited to be studying abroad because I know this experience will help me grow in ways that school alone cannot provide.

I chose the Costa Rica Sustainability program for two reasons. One of them was the culture. Since I am Hispanic, I thought it would be interesting to see another sector of the Hispanic culture. Up until now all I have knowledge of is the Mexican culture. Although Costa Rica and Mexico share the same language, I am intrigued to see how the differences in food, beliefs, and traditions. The second was to observe the economic conditions of Costa Rica. From what I understand/read about Costa Rica, it’s economy is dependent on the tourism and agriculture. I’m interested to see exactly how their agriculture influences its resources compared to the U.S. I am very enthusiastic about this trip. I’m sure it will be one filled with great memories that will last me a life time.

I am so grateful to be part of this adventure that filled with other great Aggies!

Categories: 2017 Pre-Departure Blogs

Howdy! I’m Lindsey Alexander and I am a freshman business marketing major. I was born in Jacksonville, Florida but moved to Texas instantly before I reached 1 year old. All my life, I have lived in a very small town called Brock, which is 30 min west of Fort Worth. My graduating class in high school was 88 students so everyone knew everything about each other. The adjustment of a town population of roughly 1000 people to Texas A&M of 60,000 students has been a big transition. Things like traffic, bars, and the diversity came as a shock to me because I was never really introduced to those things being from such a small town. I immediately got involved at A&M by joining Alpha Chi Omega, which is one of the sororities on campus. I have met a lot of great friends through this organization and am hoping to get a leadership position that pertains to marketing in the near future.

I chose to be a business major partly because my dad was part of his own business which was always intriguing to me. For a while I wanted to be a dermatologist and work with skin and skin conditions, however the science part of that field was not up my alley whatsoever. I figured if I could get into Mays, get my BA and possibly obtain my MBA later I could either work for skin care company or create my own skincare business. I am excited to see what Mays has to offer me because it is a really great program that I am very fortunate to be part of. As for studying abroad, I knew in high school that I wanted to go to a different country and experience a different culture and gain a different perspective on business. I have never been to Costa Rica and have always been interested in this country because it seems like it there is so much culture to learn about there. I am excited to go on this journey and be in this program!

Categories: 2017 Pre-Departure Blogs

About Me

            My name is Meredith Storey and I am a freshman business major and dance minor from Dallas, Texas! I am looking to go into finance as my specified major but I have not officially decided, as I am still new to the business school. In addition to my academic studies I am an executive officer in my sorority, Delta Zeta, and I am an active member of the Aggie Cupcakes Club. When I am not working on schoolwork or participating in organizational events I love to spend my time dancing, both as a student and a teacher. Involvement in these various activities helps me to maintain an active and social mindset and to constantly push to explore new adventures.

All throughout high school I had a deep passion for language and culture-based studies. My endeavors in Spanish, French, and Arabic languages allowed me to discover my passion for cultural competency and verbal fluency. It constantly baffles me that by learning a new language, people are able to expand their networking capabilities to an entirely new portion of the population; for this reason, I always strive to learn more about languages and cultures. Due to the fact that schedules often do not allow for more interesting courses to fit in, by joining this Costa Rica trip I am hoping to rekindle my prior knowledge of the language and culture while simultaneously experiencing the entirely new environment. The opportunity to study abroad has never been made available to me up until this point, but with this trip I am hoping to start a continuing habit of cultural immersion.

Categories: 2017 Pre-Departure Blogs

Howdy! My name is Foster Pugh and I’m a Business Honors and Finance major, Economics minor, from San Antonio, Texas. I am a second-generation Aggie, parents both class of ’89, and I have triplet siblings who will all be attending Texas A&M this fall, class of 2021! I am currently involved with the Texas A&M Career Closet, and Christian Business Leaders.

I wanted to do the Costa Rica business sustainability program for multiple reasons. The first being I’ve always wanted to study abroad. I’ve been to Mexico once before, but other than that I have never left the country. I also have heard very good things about Costa Rica and when I learned about this opportunity, I knew it was something I would have to do before I graduated. Lastly, the whole idea about business sustainability intrigues me, and I think it will provide me with a unique perspective before I start my Fortune 100 internship this June.

Categories: 2017 Pre-Departure Blogs

Hello, my name is Braden Nemec and I am a sophomore accounting major from Waco, Texas. I decided to be a part of this trip to Costa Rica because I think of myself as pretty adventurous and someone who wants to see new things and travel the world. During my first semester at A&M I set my mind that I wanted to study abroad. However, I didn’t think that I would last or enjoy an entire semester abroad, so I don’t have to worry about becoming homesick with this trip only being 2 weeks long. Both my brother and mother have been to Costa Rica in the past, and they both said they loved it, so I am looking forward to the expedition!


Categories: 2017 Pre-Departure Blogs

Having classes at eight in the morning has always been tough. I have been doing it ever since I could remember, but for some reason it has never gotten easier. Every Tuesday and Thursday I would drag myself out of bed and into the kitchen to get a cup of coffee so I could last through the lecture (it wasn’t always effective). One morning however, before Ted started lecturing, Dr. Araujo walked into class and gave us his pitch on the Costa Rica study abroad program he led and here I am!

My name is Daniela Villarreal and I am a junior MIS major. I am from a town in South Texas called Laredo, which is right at the border with Mexico. I spent the first fourteen years of my life living in Nuevo Laredo (the Mexican city at the border with Laredo), but it got to a point where it became too dangerous to live in. So, for the past five years my family has been living in Laredo. Growing up at the border was so amazing. Getting to experience and learn two different cultures at the same time has granted me a wide perspective and outlook that has aided me in different situations. Not to mention, Laredo is a major town when it comes to trade. My family owns an import/export company in Mexico which ships food all throughout the United States, which gave me the inspiration to expand my knowledge of Latin American business. Therefore, while looking for places to study broad, one of my requirements was for the country’s official language to be Spanish.

When I found out about the opportunity of studying abroad in Costa Rica, I was ecstatic. I felt it was the perfect fit for me, as it fit my criteria and I was not going to be away for too long. Another thing that really lured me into the trip was that it was led by Dr. Arajuo who also majored in MIS. Now that I am officially part of it, I cannot wait to go out there and learn about Costa Rica and their culture. The opportunity to hear perspectives from other people and be able to ask them questions to gain their insight is a once in a lifetime opportunity. This trip will help me grow as a person and will sharpen my business intellect, which is a great asset in the workforce. Not only that, but I will also be doing this while making new friends and unforgettable memories in a beautiful place.

Categories: 2017 Pre-Departure Blogs

Costa Rica Journal Blog

Categories: 2016 Trip