Category Archives: Costa Rica

A Different Kind of Study Abroad

Judy Ortega, Class of 2021, talks about her experience doing a virtual internship with a Costa Rican company over the summer in quarantine. To read more of her reflections, watch her vlog by clicking more.

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A Rewarding End

Hi everyone! So, weeks five and six have honestly been quite a ride! To see all of my research, time spent behind the laptop, and my filming and editing come to life, there’s just been a whole mix of emotions! Personally, it’s always a weird feeling to see a project come to an end, especially when it’s one that you’ve truly relished and learned from. I’m not sure if I’m the only one who feels this, but in the midst and peak of completing any project, you may experience some stress and hardship, but to actually complete the task and present your work is such a rewarding sensation. Continue reading

Transitional Period

What a week! I guess you could say this is the week where all of my research and time behind the laptop is finally coming to life! After hours upon hours of research and navigating through various databases, I finally have the opportunity to unfold my creative side!…Which I don’t actually quite have…Bummer. Personally, I know I lack a creative outlook and have a stronger angle on logical thinking. So, this is where technology comes into play, and what better time to use this tool than now?! Continue reading

Trust the Process

Hello! My name is Judy Ortega and for the past few weeks, I have been virtually interning for a company based in San José, Costa Rica. I did not intend for my summer to play out like this but I’m sure along with everyone else’s agreement, the COVID-19 pandemic has pretty much shattered all of our plans. Am I right?

So, from the beginning of the Fall 2019 semester, I have endlessly planned with Jennifer Crystle from the CGE, on this huge intern abroad opportunity. I’ll also add in that I am currently studying Health Sciences with a concentration in Pre-Physical Therapy as well as minoring in Spanish. Traditionally, any individual aspiring to work in the medical field would need some sort of hands-on experience prior to actually working in their career, but through perseverance and continuous communication with the superiors of my department, I was able to gain approval for this unique experience during this unprecedented time. Continue reading

The LAST Blog Post

“It was about my fifth time I was rereading my host mom’s name, “Carmen”. I had waited weeks and weeks for the information about my host family to arrive. I quickly called my mom to tell her about the family. The months leading up to the trip I was eager to tell everyone I was going to Costa Rica but, in this moment it all became real. I was going to be traveling to another country by myself. I had limited information about what I was going to be doing once I got there, and I had very limited knowledge about Costa Rica. There have been a few times this week, where I could not even talk about leaving home without crying. I honestly have no idea what I am doing and who I am going to be with.“ Continue reading

Why Would You Ever Do That?

While abroad, I have stayed in contact with a few of my friend back at home. Coincidentally, one of my two friends I have kept up with is studying abroad this summer in Europe. When messaging in our group chat I jokingly asked my other friend, “When are you going to study abroad?” This joke quickly turned into a small debate we always have. She wonders why I would want to leave Michigan and accumulate debt, when I could simply stay at home in order to work to save up money to pay for college. I think the easiest way to justify my choice is to explain the importance of experiential learning. Continue reading

What It Means to Be A Tourist

Part of the ISA program includes going on two excursions; the first being to a beautiful national park called Manuel Antonio. This national park has two beautiful beaches but, in order to get to the beaches, you must walk through a lush rainforest. Monkeys can be heard in the distance, little crabs dig holes in the dirt, and sloths hang in the trees. The second excursion is the Arenal Volcano. We did not visit the volcano, but the volcano could be seen in the distance. We stayed in a secluded resort 15 minutes from the nearest town. These two excursions were equally beautiful and I thoroughly enjoyed my stay during both weekend trips. While on these trips, I began to think about tourism. Continue reading

Open to Connections

The number one problem I foresaw when studying abroad was making new friends. I am very selective when it comes to choosing friends. Friendship is one of the most important things in this life. Choosing to talk to or hang out with someone solely because you like who they are as a person is pretty profound and should not be taken lightly. Also, friends say a lot about you are as well. Therefore, I find myself being selective about the friends I make. When in a situation where I am meeting new people for the first time I simply just sit and observe in order to gauge the personalities’ of others. I realized this slightly judgmental approach would not fly when I left the country. There would only be a small number of individuals who are part of my program and an even smaller group of individuals in my classes. Therefore, I made it one of my goals to get off of my social high horse and be open to making a diverse group of friends. I was quickly reminded of this goal when I arrived in San Jose. Continue reading

Learning Where to Walk and How to Talk

More often than not I find myself overestimating my abilities. This may have come to my detriment when filling out the housing questionnaire for my study abroad trip. On the questionnaire I emphasized my desire to be in a household that I was able to practice Spanish. In my mind I was going to be able to speak fluent Spanish by the end of the month long program. I mean I know how to conjugate -ar, -ir, and -er verbs, what more could you ask for? Another piece of evidence I used to justify my unobtainable goal, was then fact that while in Cuba I was able to order food on my own and asked for directions in Spanish. Of course, I failed to remember the strange looks on native speakers faces when I uttered grammatically incorrect phrases. I simply remembered the fact that I spoke Spanish, and I received an answer in Spanish, which I partially understood. Continue reading