Ashley Diaz

Lehigh Launch: Fully immerse yourself

The "Lehigh Launch" series highlights first-semester students' experiences learning about the literature, earth and environment, and peoples of Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands in Fall 2022. Ashley Diaz ‘26 shares their experience.

Hometown: Fort Wayne, IN

What drew you to Lehigh Launch?: When I was applying to colleges, I knew that I wanted to study abroad. When I came across this opportunity, I knew that I could not pass it up. Being able to fully immerse yourself in places like the Amazon Rainforest, Galapagos Islands, and Indigenous communities is an excellent way to apply what you learn in the classroom to the real world. In fact, these places you visit become your classrooms and it makes learning so much more meaningful. Additionally, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to perfect my Spanish. You will not regret applying to this program, it is absolutely amazing!!

What did you like most about Lehigh Launch?: What I loved most about Lehigh Launch was the lifelong friends and memories I made!

What was the best thing you learned?: The Amazon Rainforest is the biggest pharmacy in the world. As someone who is interested in medicine, I really enjoy learning about the different properties of medicinal plants.

What is a fun fact from the trip?: We go on field trips every Friday!

What is something you wish you knew before you packed your bags?: Bring smaller USD bills. They use the USD here, but smaller bills (1's, 5's, 10's) are used the most.