Program: UMD-Summer: Costa Rica: Sustainable Futures (LARC)
Term: Summerterm 2017
I have always wanted to see how people view the world through the lens of another geographic location and more specifically, how people view my own country. This is exactly what I'm getting out of studying abroad and so much more. Immersing myself in another culture, living with a local Costa Rican family, and interacting with the community has provided me with a rich world view that has changed how I think and act in the best way possible.
Advice for future #TerpsAbroad: Be open minded. At first things might not be so amazing, but give it time to sink in and allow yourself to adjust and you will take away so much more when you return home.
The best moment so far that I have experienced abroad is when my host father took me to his mother's farm where he grew up. We ate an unbelievable amount of fresh fruit and vegetables, spent time with his mother who cooked us dinner, watched the most beautiful sunset I have ever witnessed and to top it all off, the next morning we hiked to what seemed like a secret waterfall and picked fresh lemons on the way back to make some of the best lemonade I've had. It was one of the best weekends of my life.
Advice for future #TerpsAbroad: When I was exploring study abroad options at the [study] abroad fair, I thought to myself that all these booths are just some gimmick. I thought, "how can all these people be offering such amazing [programs]?" I almost convinced myself it was fake. I eventually heard from a friend from my major that I should try the program I'm on now in Costa Rica and so far it has been an amazing experience. So, my advice is to actually talk to the people at the booths, see what they have to offer, and talk to people who have been on these [programs]. They will tell you honestly what their experience was like, good or bad.