Welcome to my new home: Costa Rica!
Before coming abroad, I had little idea what to expect other than what I could think up in my imagination. If you are planning to or even considering coming to study abroad in San Jose, I hope this video will be helpful. This is a short tour of both my homestay and the Veritas University campus.
While I had planned to give more of an explanation of what was going on in the video, I was unable to do so as my current cold “resfrio!” is making my voice sound extremely unpleasant. Instead am going to add a bit more detail below in the description. In doing this, I hope that I can better explain all the University and being a part of a homestay has to offer.
Homestay Highlights- Why I love my Tico home!
I am extremely happy with my choice to do a homestay while studying in Costa Rica. The environment is much more homey and comfortable than a dorm/flat could offer. Having a homestay means being a part of a local family. My favorite benefit to this is family mealtime! Not only has this helped my Spanish speaking ability, it has also allowed me to enjoy my time as a part of my Tico family.
My homestay was assigned a few weeks before I left the US for Costa Rica. In my homestay, the three students (my two friends and I) each have our own rooms. We share a common living room, dining area, kitchen, and two bathrooms. In addition to having a home, homestay has given me more of a family experience. As I mentioned, I am currently sick. As many college students know, being sick and locked up in a dorm all alone is no fun. Here, my sweet, sweet Mama Tica has been showing just how caring she is by doing everything to make me feel better—just as my real mom would. Because of this, and for everything else she does for my housemates and I, I am extremely grateful for her and her home as a part of my Costa Rican experience.
University Highlights- La Universidad Veritas!
In addition to education and a place to socialize with other students, the university has a lot to offer. While it is a small campus, probably the smallest university campus I have ever seen, there are many opportunities and hidden gems within it.
For food alone, there are three places at which students can grab a bite. There are two small cafes, which serve a range from full meals to simple snacks. This is always a great place to grab a cup of Costa Rican coffee between classes. In addition, there is Don Ro. Don Ro is one of the friendliest people around campus. He runs a small grill stand in the Veritas courtyard where you can get anything from a greasy hamburger to a delicious empanada.
The school offers a big library, as well as computer rooms and open areas for studying or socializing. In addition, Veritas offers a lot to international students in particular. From English-taught elective courses to dance and yoga classes, there are many opportunities to choose from. On the 3rd floor, where the internationals tend to congregate, there is a mailbox where mail can be sent and received, as well as other services students can take advantage of.
Pura Vida, Mae!
Before leaving, I talked to students who had come to San Jose before to study, watched videos, and did my fair share of research. That being said, there was nothing that cold fully prepare me for what to expect. No matter what your expectations are for going abroad, the reality will be different and hopefully for the better. Whatever it is, make the best of it because, despite whatever flaw there may be, all of it is a part of what makes you grow from this experience.
Amanda V. is the Fall 2016 MOJO in San José, Costa Rica. She is currently a junior studying to be a Physician Assistant at Philadelphia University.
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