What did you like most about the SFS experience?
I loved all the opportunities I had to see different parts of Costa Rica.
You’ve been in the country for a full semester – tell us your impressions of it now.
I learned that this country has so many different sides to it. On the one hand it caters strongly to tourists and is known for its natural beauty and outdoors. On the other hand there are many areas that have a serious lack of infrastructure and do not align with the country’s progressive sustainability goals. Overall though it is a very diverse country and the Costa Ricans I have met are very welcoming and kind!
What is life at the field station really like? What are the best and the most challenging parts of living at a remote field station?
Life at the field station is really nice because you become very close with the people you live with. There are always fun projects or activities going on! Perhaps the most challenging part is when we don’t get running water at the station in the afternoon on some days during the dry season.
What ended up being your biggest challenge this semester both academically and culturally?
I think one of my biggest challenges academically was living and being in class with all the same people. Everybody works on the same projects at the same time so it can get a little stressful! Culturally, my biggest challenge was putting myself out there to talk to people in Spanish because it is very easy to speak English in this country, especially when you are surrounded by other Americans.
What is the best memory you have from the semester? Give some highlights.
One of the best memories I have was going to Nicaragua. Both Ometepe Island and Granada are beautiful places that are very different from Costa Rica. It was really refreshing to be in a new place, and there was a good balance between free time and classes to get a fulfilling and enriching experience.
Give three adjectives that best describes how you are feeling right now.
Thankful, happy, inspired