More students are enrolling in STEM short-term study abroad courses, yet the structure of these programs poses pedagogical challenges for faculty needing to cover an entire course in a few weeks. Challenges include lack of pedagogical resources and research; the need to intentionally intervene to structure learning so that students can process, connect, and reflect to promote deeper thinking; little time for preparation or content front-loading; and finding balance between faculty-led instruction and experiential activities. To address these challenges while teaching a short-term study abroad course in Costa Rica, daily guided journaling worksheets (GJWs) fostered learning through intentional writing by sharpening student focus, connecting study abroad experiences with concepts from the texts, capturing thinking, promoting student reflection, and elucidating student concerns. The GJWs incorporated thinking routines, content graphic organizers, and a variety of writing prompts. Overall, the GJWs documented student learning in a format that allowed for prompt assessment and feedback while overcoming some of the challenges related to teaching a short-term study abroad course. With relevant and situational modifications, GJWs can be a beneficial tool for other types of experiential teaching situations such as internships, practicums, co-ops, field trips, laboratory activities, and community-based learning.