My experience studying abroad through UTC is one that I will never forget. I knew instantly when I saw the announcement of the Food and Culture trip to Costa Rica, I had to be there. Costa Rica is full of culture and biodiversity, and experiencing that hands-on with a course at UTC was unforgettable.
By studying abroad, I gained so much useful information on how Costa Rica is so peaceful, and how they live such sustainable lives. The main thing I wanted to gain from this experience is how to successfully live cleaner, sustainable lives as that is what I want to focus my career path on, and Costa Rica is one of the world’s leading countries on eco-friendly lifestyles.
I recommend studying abroad to any student looking for a life changing adventure, especially if they have never been out of the country. Each country has their own way of doing things, and the United States is no different. Getting out of the country you’ve always known and living in a new country teaches you a lot about how each region of the world has their own unique culture and way of life. Always follow your passion, and implement that into your choice of study abroad destination. My passion is the outdoors, and how to conserve and protect them, so Costa Rica was the perfect option for me.
We spent most of our time in San Jose, Costa Rica, which was a very developed area with lots of culture. We went on a beautiful hike at a place called La Chimba, on the Mantra trail. This was one of the highlights of the trip for me because I love being immersed in nature, and seeing how diverse the landscape got me excited to explore more of it. We also toured coffee and chocolate plantations, it was fascinating learning about the process of coffee beans, and how similar coffee and chocolate are.
One of the highlights of the trip for me was going to the local university to talk with the students about how our lives are different living in different countries. I was most surprised by how similar we were, and how well we got along with each other.
The biggest takeaway I got from this trip was how Costa Rica can grow so much of their own food, they have to get very little from other countries, so the price of food down there is much less than in the US.
I am so grateful I got the opportunity to study abroad in such a diverse part of the world that aligns with my interests so well. Getting out of your comfort zone, travelling to a different country with people you don’t know, is the best way to find yourself and figure out what you truly want in life. I have had a great experience at this university and studying abroad only added more special memories to my college experience.
Dylan Lee (BS SORT Management) spent Spring Break 2023 participating in a faculty-led trip to Costa Rica with the HHP department. Dylan had the following to say about studying abroad, “Experiencing culture from a different country really changes your perspective on life. I recommend studying abroad to anyone looking for a grand adventure.”
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