Today was my last day of Spanish class, and thus also my last day in Heredia before I leave for my next class in Limón at EARTH University. For those who may be interested in this program, one of the things that I love about it is the modular structure. Instead of dealing with the stress of multiple classes and living in a foreign country, the San Jose program is designed so that students take one intensive class per month. I like this structure because it allows time for more immersion in addition to classes. Plus, the intensive first month of Spanish class was extremely helpful in enabling me to get to a point where I know feel confident in my communication abilities. Next month I will be studying sustainable development at EARTH, so be sure to tune in for new adventures.
In honor of the completion of my first month and module here, I thought I would dedicate this post to all of the awesome memories that I have made so far!
First off, I am going to miss my Mama Tica when I leave on Sunday. Even though at the beginning of the program I thought I was not a homestay person, I have completely changed my mind. I cannot imagine what my experience would have been like without my Mama Tica. Not only did she take care of me when I got really sick, but she is also a great resource for practicing my Spanish, finding out about local events, and feeling at home in a foreign country. With that being said, I am also looking forward to living in the dorms at EARTH and getting to know the international students.
Second, I have had so many great adventures with my fellow study abroad-ers! There is nothing that bonds a group more than daily frustration and confusion – but in the best way possible. One thing that I noticed on my previous study abroad trip and that I have noticed here as well is that I laugh way more than I do at home. Maybe it’s the Costa Rican sun, but our group is always breaking into giggles and having a great time even when a bus driver decides to drive into a tree. In addition to the daily adventures, we have also had the time to experience field trips and weekend trips together. Last weekend we went on a beach trip to the beautiful Santa Teresa, and the weekend before that we had a field trip to Rio Celeste, a river that is a brilliant blue due to the volcanic chemicals in it.
Looking back, there is clearly a trend in my best memories – the people! Whether from the United States or from Costa Rica, the friends I have made here have been my best memory so far, and I am sure they will continue shape my experience.
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Hello! My name is Sydney Perlotto, and I am a junior at the University of Maryland, College Park majoring in Global Social Change and Development and minoring in Latin American Studies and International Development and Conflict Management. I am originally from Atlanta, GA but came to UMD because of its proximity to DC (and snow!). You can often find me volunteering around campus, baking tasty treats, or just generally frolicking! After traveling to Chile for a short term study abroad my sophomore year, I have definitely caught the travel bug and hope one day backpack throughout Latin America. Costa Rica is bound to be an adventure of language, culture, and biodiversity - and I have my waterproof hiking boots at the ready!</span></p>