First Impressions of Costa Rica

What’s it like for an American to go to Costa Rica?   What will I see?  What will I smell?  What will I taste? 

These are common questions for anyone who’s about to take the plunge of volunteering abroad.  Luckily, our past students have shared some of their first impressions with us, so we can give you an idea of what to expect!

Here are some of Lizzie J.’s thoughts upon arriving in Costa Rica:

  • Can I go exploring yet? Seriously. Costa Rica is breathtaking – green in every direction with mountains looming picturesquely on the horizon, accented by the pastel-colored buildings that pepper the landscape.
  • One of the coolest things ever: walking down the street in San Jose, and looking past the busy streets, seeing the mountains in the distance. High School Study Abroad Summer Programs in Costa Rica - Orange Orchid
  • There are so many people out on the street! I am used to downtown Austin, where the only people out and about during the day are a few meanderers and people stepping out for lunch breaks. Today, the streets were brimming with pedestrians. My program leader explained that the work shifts here are different from those in the U.S., and that in Costa Rica a 9-5 job is much less typical. She also said that it is not uncommon for the ticos (the local word for Costa Ricans) to work on Saturday and Sunday, and to have Monday and Tuesday off as a weekend.
  • Comida! The food here is different, but not totally new to me. I think that the real cuisine culture shock has been on the students from schools up north. I realized this when a student from Wisconsin asked what an avocado was, and said that she had never had guacamole before!  Now that is a preconception-shattering realization.
  • The weather is great. Coming from Texas, the sun feels much more mellow, and the heat (while definitely present… my shoulders got a bit burnt!) is milder. We are here during the rainy season, which means that we can count on rain almost every late afternoon, but even that isn’t wholly unwelcomed.

 

What will you discover in Costa Rica? 🙂

High School Study Abroad Summer Community Service Programs in Costa Rica - Monkey

 

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