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

We’re Not in Carolina Anymore

So this post is coming a little later than I had planned but that is because the start of classes has been absolutely craaaaaazy. These past two weeks at Universidad Nacional have been filled with frustration, new friends, tears, laughter, going to way too many classes that I can’t get credit for, becoming BFFs with the drop/add man, and lots lots more.

Classes here in Costa Rica work a lot differently than they do in the US. Rather than having MWF or TTh classes, most sections only meet once a week for 3-4 hours. It definitely takes some getting used to, especially when your schedule keeps switching and you miss the first day of class, which is really like the first week. Most classes also involve a lot of group work, so it is important to get to know people really quickly and figure out who the hard workers are.

I think I’m on the fifth version of my schedule at this point. Trying to get courses here to match up with courses at my home university has been no easy task. At one point this week, I decided to give up on trying to get credit for every course I take, and enrolled in an ‘easy’ fitness class. I ended up at another campus location on the other side of the city in a room full of intimidating buff boys and a scary professor, and they we’re even exercising; it was just a lecture. I decided that wasn’t for me. I’m still not 100% sure I am getting credit for all of the classes I have now, but this experience is worth more than that! With my new schedule, I don’t have any classes on Monday or on Friday! I do have class from 8:30am to 9pm on Wednesdays, but it’s worth it, right? For the most part, I really do like my classes here and my Tico compañeros have been super helpful with alleviating some of my stress and confusion. “Tranquila, Kendal, tranquila.”

On another note, life with my host mom has been great! It’s been an adjustment because as a college student, I’ve gotten accustomed to pretty much doing what I want when I want, but here I have to tell my mamá Tica about all my plans. It can be a little annoying sometimes, but I know it’s only because she cares that I’m safe and happy. She cooks so well and SO much. I get a variety of fresh fruits every morning and fresh juices at lunch and dinner, mmm, mmm. She’s also starting to catch on to my favorites like cilantro, plantains, avocado, and mango; it’s the best. Living with a Costa Rican mom has probably helped my Spanish more than anything so far. We talk at meals and she corrects me and teaches me new vocab, and I already feel like I’m improving so much!

I am so so glad that I’ve finally got my classes figured out, and I’m so so happy it’s the weekend. We are finally hitting the beach! I am truly a beach bum at heart so this is what I’ve been waiting for since day one. I’m so excited to take a break from the craziness of Heredia and explore a new place! Sand and sun, here I come!

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3 Responses to “We’re Not in Carolina Anymore”

  1. NANNY Says:

    Hi Kendal, I was so excited to see the blog! Sorry you have had so much stress with your classes! I’m sure everything is so different , but just give yourself some time and I am betting it will all work out .
    So excited for you to get to take a trip to the beach with your friends. That will be fun I know.
    Your ‘mom’ there kinda sounds like Nanny, huh? Well, its because she cares about you and your life there with her. And that is a good thing. Have a great time this weekend and I can’t wait to hear all about it. Don’t forget the sunscreen! Ok now I’m being Nanny!
    I love you to the moon and back. Grandaddy and I pray for you daily.

  2. angela Says:

    Love you KiKi!! Loved the beach pictures too!! Miss Angelove

  3. Kelly S. Says:

    Hi Kendal! I’m hoping to go to Costa Rica through IFSA for the next two semesters, so your blog has been getting me very excited so far! I followed your instagram as well, I hope that isn’t too creepy. I’m looking forward to hearing more about your experiences, so thank you!!

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