Alright y’all, this is my final post from my trip to Costa Rica!
Unfortunately I had to leave a week early for medical reasons, but luckily my teacher was amazing and I have been completing my coursework from the US! If you’re ever unsure while traveling, just ask, because asking can never hurt! For this post I wanted to talk about some of the everyday life I experienced while abroad since my other two posts involved excursions we did.
Our general schedule went something like this: wake up, eat breakfast with your host family (delicious), go to class for about 4 hours (with a small break in there somewhere), grab lunch at a local “soda” (small family owned shop with traditional food), plan something awesome for the afternoon (like tours, souvenir shopping, or studying…because a 4 week class is kind of intense), come home and nap, go to free dance/cooking/language classes depending on the day of the week, go out to see a soccer game (if there is one), then come home exhausted to munch on dinner with your host family and pass out!
My class was a 4 week intensive spanish class, so we had reading and quizes and tests and presentations the same as any normal class, but just crammed into 4 weeks! Everyone’s study abroad experience is different, but this might be something you can look forward to if you’re thinking of taking language abroad. Even though we had 4 hours of class every single morning at 8 am (Costa Rica Time) I can assure you, having the entire afternoon off was plenty. We had an awesome time and there were many activities to do!
Some things I experienced in day-to-day life: Shopping at the mall with my host-sister, eating POPS ice cream (too yummy), my first wax and new piercings all in the same day, trying coffee from Costa Rica (all coffee should be like this, it was way too delicious), and speaking Spanish just to get by. Some important things to realize if you’re thinking about studying abroad: it’s so much fun, but learning is just as important as the experience! Also, currency isn’t the only economic factor, for example, in Costa Rica $1.00 was about 531 colones, but everything there is messured by the 1,000 colones, so everything was VERY overpriced if it was a brand name or imported in any way. However, many services were extremely cheap, like public transportation, taxis…or beauty services like waxing and piercing. One last thing, if you’re going somewhere that speaks a different language, you don’t necessarily have to know it already, just be open to learning it and trying something new/uncomfortable. I have studied Spanish for a long time and generally when we all went out together in groups I was one of the ones who spoke for the group, but there were many students who didn’t speak any Spanish at all and I can guarentee you that they had an amazing experience as well. The culture, the language, the whole experience is what you make of it. I had an amazing time even just going through the daily routine, and I was so sad to say goodbye, but very excited to come back home. I hope anyone thinking about an experience like this one will have a little faith and take the dive, because this will be an unforgettable lifelong memory for me.
Thanks Costa Rica, and Thanks UA for such an awesome opportunity.