My Experience Studying Abroad
By Shuntaria Wood | April 21, 2014 | 3 Comments
In Costa Rica
Last summer I studied abroad in Costa Rica with my Teaching Fellows Cohort. It was a life-changing experience! On the day of arrival, we were greeted by our Tico families, Costa Rican natives we lived with while visiting. We were also given time to bond with our families and to try out typical Costa Rican dishes, which included vegetables and fruits only found in Central America. Every morning we woke up to go to our Spanish classes to become more fluent in the language and more knowledgeable of their culture. In addition, we studied the plants and animals around us and learned about their purpose and contribution to nature and society.
On our first day visiting a local school, Santo Domingo School, I automatically fell in love with the students. The children were extremely friendly and fluent in English, which was helpful. We sat in on the teacher’s lessons and interacted with the students. We played games with the children that we learned during our Spanish classes, and they enjoyed the games as much as we enjoyed them! The children’s English was great! One of the students I was paired with taught me everything the teacher taught her, and ironically, it was the same lesson I learned earlier during my class! It was cool to experience how easy it is to relate to children even when there’s a language barrier. On our last day at Santo Domingo School, we received numerous hugs, cards, and gifts from the students. The little girl I was paired with wrote me a card in English and handed me a toy. Another girl gave me a card in Spanish and drew a picture for me. Although they were not my students, we formed a connection.
We studied multiple plants and toured beautiful gardens during our time in Costa Rica. Our tour of the Ark Herb Farm stuck out most to me. This farm made me think about how just as the plants, teachers and future teachers all have a purpose. The paths to our purposes are all different, but as a whole we are all in it for one cause---to pass the wealth of knowledge to future generations and to impact their lives in the process. I’m grateful for the opportunities I have had thus far as an education major, and I’ll definitely remember this experience as I continue on following my passion to teach.