Pre-departure experiences

The spring semester of my junior year I went to San Jose Costa Rica. There were many things that went into my decision to study abroad. The main reason I wanted to leave the country is to experience something new. College, in my opinion, is the perfect time to travel abroad because your responsibilities are lower. I can’t think of any other time where you can pack your bags and go to a different country for months. I knew this was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I couldn’t pass it up. I picked the spring semester to come for two main reasons, first I didn’t want to miss football season, and in my case I knew I wanted to go somewhere in Latin America, and this time of year is very warm here so I didn’t have to suffer through the cold this year. The main thing to consider before going abroad is if you actually want to. I know that seems like a silly question but studying abroad is not a choice you can make in a day. First, the most important aspect is at least narrowing it down to a region or continent that is attractive to you, and the second most important thing to consider is if you are ready for an adventure as big as this one, mentally and physically. Now if you have thoroughly thought this over and have decided to study abroad you won’t regret it and you will gain so many things from this experience. I had many goals and expectations going into this. Before arriving one of my main goals was to have fun, I think that is very important and should be at the top of everyone’s list when studying abroad. You will hopefully visit many wonderful places and meet a lot of cool people and if your to caught up in school or work you can’t fully appreciate the nuance of it all. Educationally I do hope to gain the knowledge of a second language. Learning a language is very hard, at least for me, but going to a place where everyone speaks it and every sign and billboard is in Spanish you really have no choice but to learn at least a little. Learning a new language comes with its own benefits and combining that with being in a different country is just incredible.

Author: Garrison R

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