Pura Vida! The Linfield Group of students studying abroad in San Ramón this fall has now been in Costa Rica for almost three weeks; it is crazy how fast time goes by! This year there are 7 of us students in Costa Rica, 6 girls and 1 guy. We have all learned so much about Costa Rican culture, food, and festivities in the past few weeks.
Within the first few days of arriving in San Ramón, our group got to experience “El Día de los Santos,” (Day of the Saints) which is a day in San Ramón that recognizes all of the Saints that played a part in the creation of different cities in Costa Rica. The whole festival lasts over two weeks with music, food, and different events each day.
We also had orientation during the first few days, where we got a tour of the center of town, learned about Costa Rican customs, and received advice for adjusting to a new culture and forming good relationships with our host families. We all feel very welcomed and accepted by our host families, who take good care of us and help us learn about San Ramón and Costa Rican culture.
We arrived in Costa Rica on a Wednesday and the following Monday we started classes. We all take the same classes, History and Culture of Costa Rica, Ecology in Costa Rica, Spanish, and Service Learning. The first weekend after we began our classes we went on our first field trip. On Saturday we went to San José, the capital of Costa Rica, and went to the National Theater and National Museum with our history professor. On Sunday we went to Volcano Irazú with our history and ecology professors, and then we also visited landmark churches in Cartago and Orosí on our way back to San Ramón.
After completing our second week of classes, we were able to take a short vacation of our own to Puntarenas, the beach closest to San Ramón. The water was very warm and it was a great learning experience to travel on our own.
The past three weeks have been a time of adjustment and many great learning experiences in Costa Rica and we have many more great experiences to come in the next three-and-a-half months. We are all excited for our upcoming adventures and opportunities to improve our Spanish and learn about a new culture.