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Study Abroad Blog

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Mi Horario, Mi Vida: My Schedule, My Life

Classes at Veritas University bring the intellectual challenge that students need to feel engaged and motivated while in school. The international students program here has dedicated educators that do a great job in bringing out every students' learning potential. Every class that I'm enrolled in has its unique attributes and I've been able to learn so much in the short time I've been here. My classes range from intermediate Spanish, to mural painting and tropical botany.

One interesting thing about my intermediate Spanish class is that it is completely taught in Spanish, with a fully Spanish workbook to accompany the class. It's been challenging having to listen twice as hard to what the instructor is teaching, but this brings a more realistic picture of what it means to learn a foreign language for me. My teacher, Alicia Lopez Figuoras, teaches with a funny personality and she brings a light-hearted energy that is appreciated amidst the pressures of learning such detailed, condensed material.

 Students and Professor Figuoras playing a game in Spanish.

Teaching Spanish at Veritas is an opportunity for her to engage with people, something she describes as fulfilling.

¨I really like having contact with other people. I wouldn't want to to work at an office where I didn't get to see other people so that's why I decided to teach. Teaching here gives me the opportunity to have relationships with students from other cultures and I get to observe the differences in age and style between my students and myself,¨ she said.

 A mural located on Veritas´ campus that was created by students in Professor Jorge Camacho´s class .

Another quality of Veritas that I've enjoyed is the abundance of creativity present throughout the school. As someone who loves creativity, my mural painting class has given me a new perspective on the art of mural painting. My instructor, Jorge Camacho, is a man with a lot of experience in the field of art, and he has encouraged his students to reach beyond their mental limits when it comes to creating art. So far in his class, he has taught students a range of mediums from drawing to painting, sculpture work, and also ways to manipulate images on Photoshop. His presence shows care and admiration for every student, and I've felt encouraged by him to move beyond my limits when it comes to conceptualizing art. While I'm in his class, I will have the opportunity to help paint a mural somewhere in the city or on the school's campus, putting all the skills I've learned on display at the end of the semester.
 Students in Professor Calvo´s class have been able to study the anatomy of locally grown flowers like this one.

With my tropical botany class, I've enjoyed learning about so many environmental factors that make this earth so rich. My instructor, Amanda Calvo, teaches with an engaging presence about the diverse tropical ecology of Costa Rica and the special characteristics of foods that a lot of people might take for granted. Her class also comes with a set of field trips, where students will be able to see up close the cherished plants of Costa Rica, something I personally would describe as the highlight of her class.

Overall, I'm appreciating the level of academics that I've received here. The passion and care I've received from my instructors has helped me to believe more in myself as a student, and I hope that other students who study at Veritas in the future get to experience the same things. For being such a small school, it is filled with broad minds that students learn so much from.

Lois Charm is the Spring 2016 CEA MOJO Blogger in San Jose, Costa Rica. She is currently a junior at the University of Memphis.

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