July 4, 2018
In just 4 short days, I will be sitting in a hotel room in a new country. As I get ready to leave for this incredible opportunity, I can’t help but have so many emotions flooding through me. One moment I’m excited. Next, anxious. Next, nervous. Then excited again. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions and I know I will continue this rollercoaster ride for the duration of my trip. For those who don’t know what the heck I’m talking about, I will be studying abroad in Costa Rica for the next 6 weeks. Before the time for me to leave was only days away, 6 weeks seemed like nothing. And really, it is nothing in comparison to a lifetime or even a school year. But thinking about living in a foreign country for 6 weeks is a little scary, I have to admit. Through the University of Texas study abroad program and the nursing school, I will be studying at the Instituto San Joaquin de Flores. I will be taking 2 classes that go towards my nursing major: Global Health & Spanish for Healthcare Professionals.
I will be living in the town of San Joaquin de Flores, Heredia, Costa Rica which is located about 45 minutes north of the capitol San Jose. I will live with a host family which is one of the aspects of this program I am most excited about.
Essentially, I just wanted to write a short post about how I am feeling pre-departure. I want to be able to look back on how I was feeling and the fears I was having and also outline my goals for my study abroad experience. Like I mentioned early, I am definitely a whirlwind of emotions at the moment. I would say I am about 85% excited & 15% nervous. Firstly, I am most nervous about my spanish just completely sucking and me not even being able to communicate with my host family. I know it will take time and that will be part of the adjustment and learning process, but I am a little nervous. On the other hand, I am extremely excited to be put in an environment where I am forced to speak spanish. That is why living with a host family was one of my top priorities when studying abroad because when learning a language I know how important it is to be immersed. I feel that it really is the best way to learn. My other fear is not exploring as much as I want to because I’m afraid to travel alone. There will be 20 other UT students doing this specific program with me and I really hope I can make friends with some of them and we can travel together! I also want to make friends with the locals, but I know it will be hard with such a short amount of time. At the end of the day, it will all work out and whatever happens it will be a once in a lifetime experience.
Now on to the more cheery stuff. I have always wanted to study abroad to experience a culture and a place different from the United States. Despite the pre-departure jitters, I am so excited. I just know these next 6 weeks will be an amazing, new experience. My goals for my study abroad experience are…
- Improve my conversational spanish and feel comfortable speaking it
- Explore the city and other parts of the country as often as possible
- Push myself outside of my comfort zone to try new things
- Overcome my fears of doing things alone and go out to explore on my own
- Meet & become friends with some locals
- Try new foods!
- Take some amazing photographs
- To not spend too much time just sitting in my room or on social media/laptop
- Write a short journal entry everyday in English
- Also write a short journal entry in a separate journal in Spanish
- Find local cafes/shops to feel at home in
July 8th, the day I will leave for Costa Rica used to seem so far away, but suddenly that day keeps approaching faster and faster. Soon, my alarm will be going off and I will be on my way to the airport to fly to a new experience. It’s crazy to think that a week from today I will have already spent 2 nights with my host family and will be getting ready for my first day of class. Please keep me in your prayers and please don’t hesitate to reach out to me! I can’t wait to share with y’all how it’s going!
Texan On The Go