Not Always Rainbows and Butterflies: Adjusting to Life in Costa Rica

Hello again,

Before I left for London two years ago (I can’t believe it’s been that long), I published a post about what my life would be like there. If I recall correctly, I  decsribed my class schedule and where I would be living in order to provide a general understanding of what my daily life would like while abroad. I realize I never did that before I left for Costa Rica. So here is an explanation of what my life is like here.

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From now until mid-December I will be attending Universidad Latina in Heredia. I will be taking four classes, three of which are taught entirely in Spanish (the other is an economics class taught in English). Since I arrived late due to a flight cancellation, I had to attend classes on my very first day here. I’m going to be honest, I was very overwhelmed. I was still quite tired from my travels, and listening to a lecture in a foreign language was difficult to adjust to (especially since one of my professors speaks quite quickly). Self-conscious of my Spanish speaking abilities, I only spoke when I was specifically asked to. That first day really stressed me out and I went to bed around 8:30 PM. I knew I just needed to get used to my new environment, but honestly, that night I could only think about how long this semester would feel.

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This view of the mountains is from the outdoor cafeteria on campus!

Good news! After only a couple of days, I began to feel so much better. It turns out that listening to lectures in a foreign language is a lot easier when you’re not exhausted. I’m not saying I woke with the ability to understand every Spanish phrase ever spoken, but generally understand the professors as well as the assigned texts. I am still working on speaking, but each day I am less afraid to do so. Plus, I am working really hard to learn new words each day as well as recall words that I have forgotten.

Anyway, while I am here I am staying with a Tico family. My Tico parents are in their late 60s and are both retired. They are very kind and Mama Tico is so patient and understanding. She also makes incredible Costa Rican food! I am living here with another study abroad student (she is from South Carolina), but I have my own room in the house. The other student is also very nice and is practically fluent in Spanish after studying abroad in two other Spanish-speaking countries (which I find to be helpful).

Overall, now that I am feeling more comfortable in this home, at this university, and in this country, I am super excited for the rest of the semester. I look forward to seeing new places and improving my Spanish skills. And I look forward to rereading this post at the end of the semester and seeing how far I’ve come. I came here to challenge myself and I am determined to work hard until I reach my goals.

Just a quick little note: I’m really enjoying sharing my honest thoughts with all of you. If you have visited this site before (or any of my social media accounts for that matter), I tend to only display the most cheery aspects of my life. But life isn’t always rainbows and butterflies so posts about life don’t always need to be either. However, in true Eden fashion, I can’t leave only negativity and walk away. I find the bright side and share it with the dark.

 

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