Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

Three days in….

Written Wednesday night about 10 pm.

I am three days in to my four and a half month long adventure. Costa Rica is beautiful and I am definitely a little overwhelmed. Who knew my Spanish was this limited! But everyday it is growing by leaps and bounds. Listening to everyone speak it and being forced to speak it myself has refreshed my knowledge and already taught me knew things. Plus four hours of Spanish class every morning.
This week is the first half of orientation. We are in Liberia and on Sunday we will leave for our long term homes in Heredia. The host families here in Liberia are incredible, the amount of patience they have and how much they want to help us figure out what is going on. My family consists of my host mother, her husband and my host brother. She has another son and a daughter going to school in San Jose.
Everyone keeps feeding us. There is so much food. Most of it is really good but there is so much! I am going to gain my freshman fifteen down here in place of what I didn’t gain my actual freshman year in the US. We eat rice and beans at nearly every meal with some kind of meat and vegetable or bread. The fruit is so fresh! I have two mango trees in my backyard. We eat watermelon or papaya or pineapple or mango at least once a day.
Yesterday some Tico students, the locals call themselves Ticos instead of Costa Ricans, helping out the program took us to lunch and around town. Then to buy phones, we have to communicate with each other somehow! Tomorrow everyone heads to the beach for the afternoon. I hope it doesn’t rain too much. There are normally thunderstorms each afternoon or evening; today was the first since we arrived late Sunday night.
Every morning here in Liberia we have Spanish class for two hours, a break for a snack, and back to class until noon. Then we have dance class with a local woman who is teaching us a few local dances for the party with our host families on Friday. I am not sure how that is going to turn out… there is a good chance it will be hilarious to watch.
Today after class some of us looked at trying to make our schedules for when we get to Heredia. We get to register Monday. Most classes meet once a week for between two and four hours. I hope to take some culture and history classes, some classes on ecology and maybe a Costa Rican dance class. We will take Advanced Spanish all semester and four to five other classes of our choosing. It is so hard to know what to pick since we know what level the class is for the Ticos but have no idea if we will be able to keep up with more complicated concepts in Spanish. I will have to let everyone know how that goes. Most of the classes I am looking at would be the equivalent to our 200 level courses but one or two are a higher level. We have the first week of classes to drop out or change our schedule without any problems.


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