Costa Rica, Here I Come!
Hi! I’m Stephanie, and I will be blogging about my semester in Heredia, Costa Rica. I will be studying abroad for the fall semester, but the program starts on July 8 – in just a few short weeks! I am beyond excited to begin my Costa Rican adventure! Some information about me: I am a sophomore at the University of Saint Thomas (in Minnesota). I am planning to major in Spanish and either major or minor in Communications/Linguistics. I love trying new things! I am looking forward to everything that Costa Rica has to offer – the food, the lifestyle, the wildlife/nature, and, of course, the people.
Last night I couldn’t sleep, so I made a list of all of the things I need to do before I leave: get immunizations, exchange currency, get maps of the region, get school supplies (crazy to be thinking about school supplies in June!), decide whether to get a cell phone that works in South America, square away finances (pay bills, leave PINs and stuff with my parents in case of emergency), and, of course, pack… Phew! Getting it all on paper helped to organize my thoughts, but it also made me realize how much I still have left to do.
One of the things I am kind of worried about for the semester is getting sunburned. I have really fair skin, so while I am sure I will get crazy freckles, I don’t want to look like a lobster in every picture! I am used to Minnesota falls and winters, so the switch from sweatshirts to tank tops means a lot more skin to slather in sunscreen!
I have a lot of goals for the semester: learn about Latin American culture and history, meet fellow student travelers, become fluent in Spanish (at least as fluent as a non-native speaker can be), learn some Latin-American dances (currently the only dance I really know is the Electric Slide…), and go on lots of outdoor adventures such as white-water rafting, bungee jumping, and surfing. I think my dreams might be outside of my budget, but hopefully I can get to most of the things on this list!
I chose to study abroad partly because I wanted to take myself completely out of my comfort zone. I am sure I will be homesick, at least at the beginning, but I heard a quote by Neal Donald Walsch that pretty much sums up my mindset: “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” With that in mind, I am ready to take the leap!