It is scary!
Moving to another country is terrifying. The first few weeks were very strange. You soon learn to find your rhythm and routine. Just remember your family and friends are only a phone call away. Culture shock is very real, don’t be scared. The negative feelings will pass and soon be replaced by excitement and you will feel like home!
When I first arrived, confidence was not in my vocabulary. Most of the time I played charades when trying to ask for something or when trying to describe something. Quickly, I learned that I wouldn’t improve my Spanish this way, I had to start using it! Once I began to communicate with my host family they would help me with words and correct my grammar. I began to gain confidence and tried to speak Spanish as often as I could! This combined with the Monday through Friday Spanish classes I was taking really helped. Now, I am excited when people ask “Hablas espanol?” because I can reply with “Si!”
|Exploring Central America|
Travel as much as you can!
I have visited four countries in four months during my time abroad. I have travelled to Panama, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and of course Costa Rica! I have been up winding mountain roads and coast to coast in Costa Rica. I have come to appreciate how much diversity each country holds. I have gained new perspectives and have become humble. There is a saying that I have come to love; "Travelling allows you to see how little of a space you occupy in the world.” I really adopted this way of thinking. Without coming abroad and traveling every chance I got I would not have realized how ignorant I was just from living in the United States. I realized how small my problems are compared to others globally. I really learned to appreciate all that I left back in Pennsylvania and I am determined to one day return to Central America and help those in need.
|Sunset on top of the world|
You will change!
Studying abroad has taught me so many things, not only about myself but about the world. I have learned how capable I am of things that I never realized I could accomplished. I have learned that I can handle my own finances and make my own decisions. I was forced to grow up and depend solely on myself. This was the most beneficial part of coming abroad for me.
Write and reflect!
|Adventure is out there|
Keeping a journal while studying abroad has become one of my favorite activities. It is so nice to have something to look back on and realize how much I have accomplished and experienced! I am so excited that in the future I will have something to look back on and remember my time in Costa Rica!
It goes way too fast!
Four months is a long time but the cliché saying, “don’t blink or you might miss something” applies in this case! It seems like just yesterday I arrived in my host country but, now I only have a handful of days left.
Lindsey C. is the Fall 2017 MOJO Blogger in San Jose, Costa Rica. She is currently a Junior majoring in Physician Assistant Studies at Philadelphia University.
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