Study Abroad

This winter of 2020 I travelled some ways to Costa Rica. The class was about ecotourism in Costa Rica. Ecotourism is about going beyond the typical resorts or hotels that people think of and living in the actual communities, giving back to their economy by shopping at local stores, and learning about the environment and culture of their country.  We travelled around and I was able to learn about coffee farms, rainforests, and  even some indigenous communities. I ate a lot more than I usually would and my meals were full of rice and beans. We were also able to go zip lining, white water rafting, and horseback riding. I saw sites and views that I thought only existed in cliche travel advertisements. My goals going into this experience were to not let myself get into my own head and take in every moment of the experience as well as discover the differences between our countries and some important takeaways we could take from their country’s way of life.  I think it was a great experience and a test of mental endurance at some points simply because our days were so packed with different activities. I was able to recognize that they have a very sustainable way of living and that some of their methods of sustainability could be translated into our country.

Also, while this class and study abroad trip did not relate to my major I definitely tried to find moments to recognize things that were different or interesting when it came to my major. For instance, I was able to notice some of the sound systems that people had set up in different areas and I believe it was amusing to see what brands or products they used. There were some brands which I understood being there as there are certain industry standards and other brands that were just a surprise that it existed in their country. I found interesting and helpful that I still was able to apply part of this trip to my own course of study.

Below is a picture of me grinding sugar cane on my first day in Costa Rica. Sugar cane is one of the crops that many people have in their yard or one their farm and is ground to make sugar water. The juices from the sugar cane got all over me and I was very sticky, but it was interesting to experience another part of their culture.