ELLEN MILLER – STUDYING IN SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA

Farewell to this Beautiful Country:

Ellen Miller 2.1

It was bitter sweet when I had to say goodbye on Friday to all the friends I had made in the beautiful country of Costa Rica as well as my Mommatica! Studying abroad in Costa Rica has taught me many lessons and has brought me relationships that I will always cherish.

Costa Rica is an environmentally-friendly country where you will find recycling bins everywhere. Not only do they cherish nature in this way, they really appreciate the land they live on. Costa Rica, the neighbor to Panama, is a gateway and has coasts on both the Pacific and Caribbean waters. Costa Rica is also home to many rainforests, animals, and cities. Much of the food, I found, is healthful, delicious, and natural. There is fresh fruit every day and avocados that are sold outside my Mommatica’s house.

Throughout my stay in Costa Rica I went on a few excursions. My first weekend we went to Manuel Antonio National Park, on the Pacific Ocean side, where we saw monkeys (monos), a few sloths, and plenty of bugs and crabs. The beach and hotel at Manuel Antonio were gorgeous and we soaked up the sun all day long.

Ellen Miller 2.2

The second weekend we traveled to Irazu Volcano on Saturday and witnessed the chilly 50-degree weather while enjoying the beautiful ash-spewing volcano. We also passed by the basilica that every August 1st people all over Costa Rica make a pilgrimage to, by foot, to pray.

Ellen Miller 2.3

That same weekend on Sunday, I visited the Arenal Hot Springs. It was a resort area that was very nice with a view of the Arenal Volcano.

That next Wednesday we went to the rainforest canopy after class to zip line! Such a fun experience especially when the zip line ropes got higher and higher. The very last one was so high up that the view of the canopy and rivers below was unbelievable.

Ellen Miller 2.4

The last weekend I was there many other students and I traveled to Puerto Viejo, on the Caribbean side, where we saw a more rural side of the country. The Caribbean side’s weather is very humid and the temperature was so high. Here was a great opportunity to go snorkeling, one of the best experiences all together on the trip!

 

The next week I went to Jaco beach with my parents, again the Pacific coast, and played in the waves that were huge! We also went to Simon Bolivar zoo in San Jose and the last cooking class provided to me at Veritas.

I have learned independence every step of my schooling, but even more so with my decision to study abroad in Costa Rica. I was nervous but I knew if I wanted my Spanish education to flourish in the sense of the language, than I would have to take this step. I also wanted to study abroad to open my horizons even more, including gaining even more independence. Coming to Stout I knew no one, but coming to Costa Rica I knew no one, was flying alone for the first time, and was traveling out of the country to live for a month in a country that didn’t speak my native tongue. I will never regret living here for what felt like only a week, volunteering at a childcare, visiting a nursing home for my class, engaging in a tandem exchange, switching to a Medical Spanish class, and feeling completely at home in this country that should have been so foreign. We are all the same species in this world, let’s go out, respect one another, and learn from each other!

 

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