Widener University recognized 17 freshmen who recently completed a study abroad experience that marked the beginning of their undergraduate careers, including Jada Johnson, of Port Penn.

Johnson attended St. George's Technical High School. Johnson is pursuing a degree in nursing at Widener University.

The group traveled Aug. 12-19 and arrived in Pennsylvania two days before Widener freshman move-in day Aug. 21. The experience was part of their enrollment in the freshmen seminar Sustainability and Cultural Competence and was led by biology professors Itzick Vatnick and Bruce Grant and Associate Professor of Nursing Normajean Colby.

The seminar allowed students a global experience before fall semester classes began Aug. 27. While in Costa Rica, the group stayed at CARES 21, a property that Widener University purchased in 2016 to afford opportunities like this for students.

The students visited a dairy farm, a coffee roaster, the Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica — a Costa Rican university in Heredia — and tourism sites like the volcano Irazu and the La Paz Waterfalls Gardens Park. They also spent time discussing strategies for succeeding in college and began developing bonds with their new university peers.