At this point, we are now over half way done with our study abroad in Costa Rica. I wasn’t sure what to expect when coming here, but it ended up being much different than I imagined. The area we are staying in for the majority of the trip is San Luis de Monteverde where UGA has a remote campus. The campus has cabinas where the students stay, and a main “student union” where we eat our meals and meet for our daily activities. It also has many other buildings that are used for class and research.

The meals have been very interesting. They are not exactly something I would go out of my way to make back in the U.S., but I actually look forward to the meals every day here. We have rice and beans for every meal every day, which I thought would become tiring, but actually is enjoyable since the kitchen staff change up the sides for variety. I could easily see getting tired of this, but for just a week it is fine.

We have daily excursions which have included going to many coffee plantations, learning about chocolate production, zip lining, going out to eat, or seeing the town. We also have class or lab each day which further educates us on anything and everything about coffee. In addition, we do activities around campus including bird watching, night walks, hikes, and learning about the campus’s efforts towards greater sustainability.

So far it has been a lot more fun than I imagined, and it helps that everyone on the trip is so easy to get along with. I love that we are all up for adventure, and open minded to new experiences. The biggest obstacle I have encountered is not knowing any Spanish, but many locals here know English or at least enough to communicate a few words.

Though I know by the end of the trip I will be ready to go back, I am enjoying being stress-free for a few days and not thinking of all the things that were previously clouding my mind. It is absolutely beautiful here; it’s hard not to have a good time, even through all the rain!