Meet Isabela, a Natural Sciences student from Chiriqui, Panama

Can you tell me what you like about the pathway program you’re in?

“First of all, what I like, I studied English when I was in school in Panama, but when I came here the first thing I did was ¬†an exam to know my level. That was actually really nice because if not I would have to start over again from the basics and that is wasting your time. Second of all, it’s the kind of people that you will find teaching it. They are really kind with you even if you know or don’t know something that seems simple or basic. They will explain it with the same love and kindness. So, that’s really nice. The third thing that I really like would be the way they teach it. It’s reading, writing and grammar. Everything is separated but it’s also really focused on each one. So, it’s nice, it’s actually really nice.”

Can you tell me about the community here and the friends you’ve made?

“The community is really nice, Fort Collins. I think Colorado is one of the kindest places that I have been in the U.S. I have met people here from all around the world. From Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia, Oceania, from all those places. I have met them either in the hall, my class or activities that INTO does. Also, CSU has some really great activities you can be at. The unity fair with all the cultures – it’s really nice to be there too. You learn and make more friends there I think. I have had a lot of great experiences.”

Why are the Rocky Mountains a good place to study geology?

“Geology is the study of the structures of the earth. We also study the composition of the rocks, minerals, crystals and the Rocky Mountains are one of the highest mountain ranges here in the U.S. So, I think that why it’s perfect. Also, because Colorado has a really interesting past depending on how you see it, with deep oceans millions of years ago. It’s really interesting and all of that story is in the Rocky Mountains. You can see find those stories and patterns on the layers of the mountains so it’s really interesting.”

Do you have a favorite place on campus?

“I really like the Natural Resource building. I know it is all related to minerals and crystals and all that and I just love to be there. They have a huge place downstairs where you can sit and do your homework. It doesn’t matter if you are actually doing homework for a class or something else. You can just be there and relax. And there are plants, well, in my case I can see all the minerals there so it’s kind of a peaceful place. That would be my favorite place here.”

What are your plans for after you graduate from CSU?

“I would like to have laboratory experience here before I graduate. After that I would like to go back to Panama and work on the Panama Canal because I think it’s completely related to what I am studying. Actually, they need more geologists. Also, in a way, I think I will be helping my country – giving back the favor they gave to me, and giving me this scholarship to come here. After that I would like to study my master’s in volcanology. I am still looking where but I would like to study volcanos for my master’s.”

Any advice for incoming students?

“I would definitely suggest to talk with people. It doesn’t matter if they are in your major or not, just talk. Hangout more and try to make as many friends as you can because it’s really nice going to campus and knowing the people around you. I know there are thousands of students but it’s really nice in a place where you will find so many people – it’s nice to feel that you are welcome. I think that is one of the things that made me feel comfortable here and I would suggest to do that… It’s really nice if you can actually go out and explore a little bit for yourself. In this process, you can make friends and I’m sure they will be good friends because the people here are amazing.”