Back in los Estados Unidos
My IFSA-Butler program ended about three weeks ago and I’ve been back in the US for
almost a week and a half. My mom and sister came at the end and we spent another
week in Costa Rica traveling to Monteverde and Manuel Antonio. It was a lot of fun but
really strange to still be in Costa Rica but away from my host family and my friends from
my program! I think I started experiencing my first wave of reverse culture shock then. Being back
in the US is still really different than what I remeber. Driving for the first time in 5 months was
horrifying, ordering food in English was really weird too! It took me a while to remember
common English courtesies. At the airport in Newark was the first time anyone spoke English
to me, other than my family, and it threw me for a loop! It’s definitely been hard being back
and getting ready for my real university to start. I have to start working again, buy textbooks,
and basically just try to adapt to my life again. I miss the Costa Rican lifestlye a lot. It’s
way more laid back. I’ve started noticing how much people complain about everything!
In Costa Rica everything is “pura vida” and people just go with the flow. I definitely miss
that! Being back at home is nice too. I really missed my friends and family so seeing them has
been a lot of fun! People are always asking “How was Costa Rica?” It’s so hard to respond
to that question because how can I put the last 5 1/2 months of my life into a simple answer?
Or I’ve also got “What’s your best story from Costa Rica?” I have no idea! There are so many
good memories and funny stories there’s no way I can pick just one! Try deciding what the
best story of the past 5 months of your life was, it’s not so easy! Anyway, this program and
experience has been a lot of fun! I really changed as a person, my Spanish definitely got better,
I made so many new friends and so many great memories! I know I’ve been changed forever
and I can’t wait to use this experience as a learning opportunity for the rest of my life!
I wouldn’t change any of it and I still can’t believe it’s already over! It’s true that your study
abroad experience will pass at the blink of an eye. My advice is don’t take any moment
for granted and even though it seems extremely difficult at times, it’s totally worth it.