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Journals from Costa Rica

2013-12-20 'The End of an Amazing Semester

Today marks one week since our group arrived home from Costa Rica.  We had a safe and fairly smooth trip home, despite a three-hour delay due to mechanical issues with the plane.  Leaving our families in Costa Rica was very hard, and the majority of us were crying when we left.  Our families were sad to see us go as well, as they had truly accepted us as members of their families.  The majority of us plan on returning to Costa Rica sometime in the future to visit our families. 

Our final papers and presentations went very well, I learned a lot listening to everyone’s presentations, and it was clear that everyone learned a lot through their community service and their investigation.  On Monday evening, we celebrated the official end of our semester by having dinner at a local restaurant with our Director Doña Mayra, our Assistant Director Vanessa, and our four professors and their families.  It was great to have one last get together with the people who taught us so much and always supported us over the past four months.  After we finished our semester, we had two free days to spend with our friends and family before we left for the United States.

Although I was excited to get home, it has been hard to come to the realization that my study abroad experience is truly over, that the semester that I had been looking forward to for over a year is officially over.  Even though it is a hard reality, I know that I learned a lot, in and out of the classroom.  The best piece of advice that I can give to students studying abroad in Costa Rica, or anywhere for that matter, is appreciate very moment, the good ones and the bad ones.  Know that you will grow immensely as an individual because of these experiences and that you will also accomplish feats that you never could have imagined. 

Until my next trip to Costa Rica, Pura Vida and Happy Holidays.

Brianna Epstein

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