Why did you choose to study abroad with SFS?
I was interested in entering a program that would truly challenge me academically. The classes offered by SFS Costa Rica fit really well into my areas of study, but offered me something very different from what I would find at my school. Also, the Costa Rica field station provided a truly hands on opportunity in practicing sustainability. Ultimately, a great friend and SFS alum spoke so highly of the staff and classes that I had to give it a try.
What are you first impressions of the country?
The obvious thing that pops out at you when you first arrive is the lushness of the country. Looking though the windows of the bus you are surround by rolling green hills that you just know are hiding a plethora of amazing species. I was also taken aback by how kind, patient, and extremely welcoming the people of Costa Rica are. I felt immediately comfortable, even though I was in a very different place than the corn fields of Illinois.
What are you first impressions of the field station?
I was very impressed by how integrated into the Atenas community the Center is. The Center’s neighbors were genuinely excited to see us, waving at the bus as we drove in. Also having a farm directly next to the dormitory is extremely nice. I love being able to grab a fresh piece of fruit on my way to the outdoor classroom. Making the station even better is how all the staff really make you feel at home. I can’t wait to discover what else the station has to offer.
What do you think the biggest challenge will be for you this semester both academically and culturally?
I think that until my Spanish improves a bit language will be the biggest challenge for me, both academically and culturally. However I’m sure with commitment and help from the SFS staff and my peers this challenge will be easy to overcome.
What are you looking forward to the most about the semester?
I’m really excited to get involved with the Atenas community through volunteer work. The people seem so friendly and welcoming and they are gracious enough to let us study here, that I can’t wait to give something back to them.
Give three words that best describe how you are feeling right now.
Impressionable, adventurous, & ready.