Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

Study Abroad Summer Series: Michelle Luu (Women's Cross Country; Track & Field)

Monteverde Lookout
Monteverde Lookout

HAVERFORD, Pa. – Haverford College offers students the unique chance to study abroad for either one semester or an entire year as a junior and earn credit towards their Haverford degree. Several student-athletes take advantage of this opportunity on an annual basis. This summer, we will be profiling some of those student-athletes who shared their experiences.

For more information about Haverford College's study abroad program, click here.

Michelle Luu (women's cross country; indoor/outdoor track & field)
Hometown: Waukegan, Ill.
High School: Waukegan
Major: Environmental Studies with a focus in geochemistry and economics

Study abroad location/school: Monteverde, Costa Rica/CIEE Study Abroad

What classes did you take while studying abroad?
I took Tropical Conservation, Biology, Policy, Sustainability: Environment, Economy, Society, Spanish, Costa Rican Natural History, and had a Conservation and Sustainability internship.

Most interesting/memorable moment from the semester abroad?
I think the most memorable moment I had from my semester abroad was when my group was on an island in Panama. We had our coral reef lecture for Costa Rican Natural History in the morning and spent the rest of the day snorkeling in different parts of the ocean. It was the clearest and most beautiful water I had ever been with and being able to see all the coral that was underneath was amazing.

Why did you decide to study abroad?
Because I am an environmental studies major, I figured the best way to learn about the environment is to be in a place where environmental policy and conservation was one of their biggest priorities! I knew that I would never have the opportunity to immerse myself into a new place and learn everything about it like I would studying abroad in college as well, so Costa Rica seemed like the perfect place for me. I also learn best with experiential learning, and that was exactly what my abroad program was like.

Future career plans?
I'm uncertain if I want to take post-bac classes, but my long term goal is to be a part of a curation team in a natural history museum where I can either do research or help curate accessible exhibitions about the environment.

How did studying abroad help your academic and/or professional career?
I think studying abroad helped me realize what things I was most interested in academically. It helped me frame my thinking in a way that was applicable to real life scenarios in Costa Rica and will allow me to bring that kind of thinking back to a Haverford classroom setting.

What did you do to prepare for the upcoming athletic seasons?
To stay in shape, I ran miles when I had the chance in the mornings and afternoons here. It was a lot hillier and I lived in high elevation (Monteverde is on a mountain), so it was a lot more difficult. But, my group managed to fit in a lot of walking and hiking everywhere which helped.