I am going to start by saying if you ever get the chance to study abroad anywhere, do it. Next, I am going to tell you if you ever have the chance to go to Costa Rica, GO! Studying abroad is by far the best thing I have experienced in college. It is something everyone should try and do even if it is only for a week like my trip was. I went to Costa Rica for spring break with 7 other students. I went knowing no one which was a little scary at first. I am a very shy introverted person, so I was a little worried about meeting people. I quickly got to know the 7 other students and have made some great friendships because of this trip.
When looking back on my short week in Costa Rica, I do not think I have one favorite part. I enjoyed every second of this trip and would easily do it again if I had the chance. My least favorite part was probably the plane ride home because I knew the trip was ending. Exploring Costa Rica was so interesting and eye-opening. I learned a lot about their culture and got to see a lot of things I have never seen before. Every day was filled with fun activities that let us experience what it is like to live in Costa Rica. Some of the activities we did that stuck out the most to me were the dance class, the cloud forest tour, visiting a university there, the coffee and chocolate tour, and the fruit plantation. I did not expect to enjoy the dance class as much as I did. We got to learn a lot of different dances, like salsa. We also got to go to a University one day and go into a college class and interact with students there. They got to ask us questions and we got to ask them questions. I was able to meet new people and make connections with students in Costa Rica by doing this. Another one of my favorite experiences was the food. To start, the hotel breakfast was not your typical hotel breakfast. There were so many fresh options and typical Costa Rican meals. Almost every meal we ate was amazing and it was cool to try new food and dishes we do not have here in America. Coffee is a big part of Costa Rica and we got to go on two coffee tours to see the process of making coffee and try different kinds. I love coffee so this was very fun and it was interesting to compare the taste of their coffee with what I am used to drinking. As I mentioned above, we also went to a fruit plantation and got to learn about different fruits. Costa Rica’s food and coffee are high on my list of favorite parts about this trip.
Another great plus to this trip is that we had a few mornings or afternoons free to spend that time doing whatever we wanted. One morning we went on a hike that was absolutely beautiful. While our schedule was packed with so many fun activities, we still had free time to do things we wanted, whether it was exploring the city, hiking, or shopping. Costa Rica, the people I met, and everything I experienced were amazing and it was a trip I will never forget. I am so happy I pushed myself to go on this trip because it has by far been the best thing I have done in college.
Amelia Hovdet (BS Education) spent Spring Break 2023 participating in a faculty-led trip to Costa Rica with the HHP department. Amelia had the following to say about studying abroad, “Studying abroad is by far the best thing I have experienced in college. It is something everyone should do if they have the chance. It truly changes you as a person and you get to experience so many new things and meet so many new people.”
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