Why did you choose to study abroad with SFS?
I chose to study abroad with SFS because the classes provided by the program in Costa Rica were everything I was most interested in studying, no matter where I would be. In addition, the classes were described as being taught with integrated field studies and Directed Research, in a Spanish speaking country — what could be better?
Students getting to know each other at the airport (Photo Credit: Quinn Bergeon)
What are your first impressions of the country?
I have actually been to Costa Rica once before, the summer after sophomore year of high school, and both times I have had similar impressions. The country itself is simply beautiful and the people are very connected to the land. There is also a deep sense of community that is present in the streets, homes, and in the towns. I also noticed that rice and beans were served almost every meal, which I found both delicious and representative of a greater cultural context.
What are your first impressions of the field station?
Incredible. The field station is the perfect niche for students interested in the environment and sustainable studies. I fell in love immediately with the farm, the compost system, the hammocks, and indoor and outdoor classrooms.
What do you think the biggest challenge will be for you this semester both academically and culturally?
I think the biggest challenge academically will be balancing the packed schedule and homework with my desire to explore the town and country. Culturally, I think my biggest challenge will be accepting that people know I am American and sometimes make certain judgments about it, but not letting that stop me from trying new things and engaging with the community.
What are you looking forward to most about the semester?
Everything! Specifically, the opportunity to do Directed Research at the end of the semester.
Give three words that best describe how you are feeling right now:
Enthusiastic, sweaty, fascinated.