On May 14, 2017 I set abroad for my first adventure into another country. I have the privilege and honor to be provided the opportunity to teach ESL in Costa Rica. I am teaching at the Copey Learning Center until June 10. So far this has been a wonderful experience. I am the first one in my family to travel to another country outside of the United States. Overall, I have so much to be grateful for.
The directors at the center are very passionate about what they do. It is so inspiring to see how much they care for the center and the education provided for the students. They have been an amazing resource for volunteers like me when it comes to the curriculum for the students.
Another component to my overall experience in Costa Rica is staying with a host family. This has been a wonderful advantage considering I receive three authentic Costa Rican meals from my host mother every day! Not to mention mornings include fresh fruit picked from their trees such as mangos and more. In addition, I have received fresh homemade juices of different types every day! U.S., you don't know what you're missing!
The people here only speak Spanish. However, this has given me a chance as a Spanish minor to practice what I've studied with the locals. Yes, I have messed up many times, but it has been a great learning experience. I have learned more about Spanish by being in an immersive environment than sitting in a classroom anyday.
This is also my first teaching experience. Since I'm an English major this is the perfect chance for me to practice teaching the language. The students I'm teaching are first and second grade.They are so full of energy and are ready to learn! I also assist teachers with preschoolers and high school aged children.
The culture in Costa Rica is obviously much different than here in the U.S. However, it is a nice change for me. The people here are very friendly. They don't have nearly as much as we do in the U.S., but they are so generous and gracious. Costa Ricans have treated me with nothing but kindness and humility. I feel safe and welcomed into their country. People greet you wherever you go and smile at you. How different from the U.S.!
I'm not even through my first week in Costa Rica, but I'm enjoying it so much! I am so thankful for this opportunity and look forward to the adventures that await me.
If you're thinking about going to another country do it! As I'm sitting here typing in a different country from my own I can assure you that it is worth it !
Go out and explore the world, you won't regret it.