Student Testimonials

Au Sable is a place where you can learn from students, staff, and professors from all over the country, but also spend quality time getting to know them personally and spiritually. It is a five-week journey jam-packed with ideas and experiences.
Following is a selection of what some students had to say about their Au Sable experience:

Great Lakes Campus

“Here we have the chance to work out all those tough, lingering questions that seem to get missed on our home campuses. It’s academics, spirituality and life with dedicated, passionate professors and amazing students from dozens of schools all over. It was indeed one of my most cherished memories of my college career and the best place I could be this summer.”

-Nicholas Voss, Bethel University (MN)

“In one summer Au Sable has become a ‘college away from college’ for me. I can confidently say that I have made life-long friends this summer. Weekends up here are the best…there are tons of adventures to be had. Making great friends, experiencing great things, and getting college credit at the same time. It’s that good! I was a little afraid that all these classes would kill my summer, but, in retrospect, being up here only served to enhance it.”

“Au Sable has been an important experience for me. I was able to meet many people with a greater passion than me in a similar field. The fact that Au Sable brings Christians who love nature in one place makes it more attractive. Moreover, the studies here are different than [home] college studies. With actual self experience, the studies were more exciting and practical. I was able to experience a wide dimension of studies that I have not thought of. I would highly recommend freshman students to take Au Sable courses.”

-SynYoo Choi, Dordt College

“Au Sable has profoundly shaped my undergraduate career. The research preparation and courses have prepared me to be a competitive graduate school applicant, and a more successful student.”

-Nathan Sather, Bethel University (MN)

Alumni Reflections

“These programs are great for students of all disciplines, especially those looking to get involved in sustainable development work overseas.”
“Au Sable was a life changing experience. Everyone interested in studying the environment should have the chance to enjoy this institution.”
“ASI is wonderful, the highlight of my college experience!”
“Au Sable offers a completely unique, tremendous educational experience that for many is life changing. My classes at Au Sable were the best in my life, and given the chance, I would do it again a hundred times over.”
“I believe very strongly in Au Sable's mission and unique educational experience. Au Sable was truly one of the most formative experiences of my educational, personal and spiritual growth. I can't over estimate how important the Institute is.”
“The thing I loved about Au Sable classes was all the hands on learning from field trips, lab work, ecological sampling, etc. Also I enjoyed…the times when all classes merged to learn about topics in conservation together. And of course, I have fond memories of the people and my time spent outdoors in the natural beauty all around the campus.”

Course Experiences

“I have taken time to reflect on the rich and diverse experiences I had while in India. Gratitude floods me every time I do so, as I realize the opportunities I was afforded are testimony to superb faculty that worked countless hours to ensure my trip's success. You, Dr. Orin, along with the Indian faculty, are responsible for what I deem a life-changing trip. My "thank you" seems so meager in comparison to what I feel you deserve. Please know that I have been truly blessed by your willingness to plan and execute a top notch course. So, for all that you've done-- seen and unseen-- THANK YOU!!”

-Lisa Pederson, Bethel University (MN)

Field Biology in Spring
“I appreciated that we were outside as much as possible. Goals were clearly defined, yet flexible and suited to each week’s needs and demands. Professor Dornbos was very effective in being repetitive. I like the devotions in the morning and field trips everyday! This was a great class and Professor Dornbos was a great prof!”
“I appreciated so much Doctor Dornbos' commitment to getting to know his students out of the classroom - it made classroom activities and field trips a richer experience. Also, limiting the amount of time spent indoors and focusing on mastery of the field components made understanding and retention of the material a much more fruitful endeavor. Familiarity with botany/ornithology components was supported by constant exposure.”

Field Botany
“I really enjoyed making a plant collection and learning how to identify plants using keys. I also appreciated just walking around different ecosystems, having the opportunity to ask Ken what anything we saw was. The course was set up in a very organized, logical fashion.”


Graduate Fellows

“The Au Sable Graduate Fellows program served me very well during my years as a graduate student at the University of Michigan. Our meetings prompted me to regularly think about how my work and faith are integrated, while also challenging me to think about what it truly means to be an environmental steward. Plus, the people I met through the program have been a wonderful source of encouragement over the years. I am very thankful for all the experiences that the Au Sable Graduate Fellows program afforded me.”

-Ryan Bebej, University of Michigan (Graduate Fellow 2006-2011)