Posted: February 13, 2017

SFS students in programs around the world have arrived, and as they begin to settle into their new homes, we asked them to give some first impressions of the program. Lettie Woods had this to say about her experience in Costa Rica so far:

Why did you choose to study abroad with SFS?
I chose to study abroad with SFS because I have always wanted to do a study abroad program. When I found this program, I immediately knew it was for me. I am passionate about sustainability and environmental issues, and I also like how this program combines culture and language. It is important to learn about the culture in Costa Rica to understand the environmental problems more clearly.

What are your first impressions of the country?
One of my first impressions of Costa Rica was the warm temperature, which I was looking forward to. On our bus ride to the center the first day I remember seeing many different types of trees, and remember seeing the beautiful mountains in the background.

What are your first impressions of the field station?
My first impression of the field station in Atenas, Costa Rica, was that it looked like a jungle. There are trees all over the center and there are many different bird sounds. I feel like I am living among the trees when I am here.

What do you think the biggest challenge will be for you this semester both academically and culturally?
The biggest challenge for me academically will be the ecology class because hard science is not my strongest subject. However, I have learned a lot so far, and am confident in my ability to do well.

The biggest challenge for me culturally will be speaking Spanish with the locals because my Spanish is not very good. But, I am excited about the challenge and am looking forward to interacting more with the locals.

What are you looking forward to the most about the semester?
I am looking forward to going to an organic coffee farm. I am also looking forward to comparing the sustainable and environmental issues in Costa Rica to Nicaragua.

Give three words that best describe how you are feeling right now.
Three words that best describe how I am feeling are exhausted, positive, and enthusiastic. I am exhausted from the long schedule we have been on for over a week now, but continuing to stay positive about this experience and myself. Also, I am enthusiastic about the field trips, interacting with the locals, and getting closer to everyone on the trip. So, overall, I am very excited for what’s to come.


Students Jessica McLaughlin, KyLeigh Richardson, and Lettie Woods at Jacó Beach on their first Sunday off

→ Sustainable Development Studies in Costa Rica