From La Fortuna

I won’t do a lot of talking in this post. I hope you will be able to see for yourself why Costa Rica is such a beautiful place!!

Some clarification on these photos… The group picture is where some of us went to the Hot Springs below the Arenal volcano, the mountain looking picture. All the other photos were taken by the Rio Celeste, which is that beautiful blue river.

Traveling has been a great opportunity to talk with the locals and practice my developing Spanish skills on a new audience.  This program has been a great fit for me. It easily mixes work and fun, and offers so much variety.  The only problem is there is too much to see in Costa Rica 🙂

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Familia Tica and Progress

The Costa Rica Program so far has met all of my expectations and even surpassed some.  My Spanish is progressing and I am loving all the new experiences and culture.

Learning Spanish is much easier to do here than in Flagstaff.  The reason for this is that you can go days without speaking English, or easily choose to do so.  Secondly, there are some instances that force you to speak Spanish.  For example, trying to buy food at a store where no one speaks English.  Lastly, the classes are the only classes that I need to give my attention to. So,  I have learned a lot to say the least.  Concerning vocabulary, it grows everyday and stays because I can use the vocabulary right after.  I have over 100 flash cards for those tricky phrases and words.  My understanding of rules and Spanish in general has grown greatly.  I am beginning to think correctly about the more complex aspects of Spanish.  But all in all, It has gotten much better so my primary goal is being achieved.

As I said in my first post, I have been exposed to the culture most through my host family, or “familia tica” (Costa Rican family).  This past weekend we went to their “finca” (country house or small farm) about an hour away from San Jose.  I didn’t know what to expect and it turned out to be really nice.  Me and my roommate ended up eating tons of new fruit (which is has turned into a frequent experience in CR), helped harvest some bananas and mangoes , and learned more about our host family’s background.  Here are a few of the moments that were captured.

 

 

Weekend Trip – Puerto Viejo

So for the group’s first weekend trip, we went to Puerto Viejo.  It is a super fun and worthwhile opportunity that comes as part of the program. Highly recommended if you do the Costa Rica NAU Program.  Anyway, Puerto Viejo is a beach town and it was super fun.  Here are a few pictures from the trip.

Two notable things:  The water is really warm.  Compared to California beaches, which are the only other ocean beaches I have experienced, the water is like 10 degrees (Fahrenheit) warmer.  Great for swimming, and hanging out.  Secondly, there is a lot of wildlife.  If you like seeing monkeys, raccoons, birds, and large rodents that don’t live in Arizona, then this trip will have a lot to offer you. Here are a few pictures to illustrate my point. (I apologize for the quality)

This is an Agouti (left) and some monkeys (right).  The Agouti is a large rodent native to Costa Rica, and apparently to loves to hang by the beach.

For those of you wanting to go to Costa Rica for the sites and culture, this is a destination that should be on your list.

 

Made it to Costa Rica!

Hello world! I am currently in the study abroad program, and as the title implies, I am in BEAUTIFUL COSTA RICA!!  To start this post, I want to state my personal goals for this study abroad experience.

  1. Learn Spanish
  2. Experience the Culture
  3. Learn Spanish

Group pic in Costa Rica

For me, there isn’t much more to it than these objectives. Within the first few days of being here, I realized that I had chosen a good program to complete these tasks. First, Why I liked this program so much is the fact that there was so much support. Also, I received a warm welcome from my host family. My host family, by the way is great, and has been my greatest connection to the culture thus far. Secondly, the classes are fantastic. I get a lot of practice daily that has helped my Spanish vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation. Aside from that the classes are small and you get a lot of attention from your professor.

It hasn’t been long but I love it here, and I haven’t even gone on a weekend trip outside the city! The excitement continues to build… All in all, I am super happy and blessed for this opportunity and hope that I will take full advantage of all these great opportunities!