To say the least, my experience studying abroad in Costa Rica was absolutely amazing. It was truly an experience that I will never forget because of all the remarkable memories. As an Avian Biology major, you could imagine how much I enjoyed traveling to Costa Rica to study Avian Biology. Going to the most biodiverse nation in the world to see over 160 bird species and many other reptile, amphibian and mammalian species was the most remarkable thing ever! Not to mention, we also did horse back riding, boat tours, a coffee tour, and countless hikes to scenic waterfalls and viewpoints!

Something very impactful that I experienced in Costa Rica was being immersed in a different culture. Everyday, I was able to learn more and more about the culture and traditions of Costa Rica and also had many opportunities to practice my Spanish with the Ticos and Ticas! I also learned about Costa Rica’s efforts towards sustainability and conservation. 

Other highlights of the trip to note were the challenges that were faced. Traveling to a foreign country isn’t always easy at times, which is why it is very important to prepare yourself. This program in particular consisted of regular extraneous hikes. Being tired, sore and dehydrated was a regular occurrence, but bird watching came at a cost! We weren’t just going to see rare bird species out in the open, we had to work to see them! Another challenge that had to be faced was the culture shock. Because we were staying in a third world country, amenities such as air conditioning or hot water were not always available. This definitely took some time getting used to, but that absolutely did not mean that I didn’t like the places we stayed at. With a passion for photography, I was able to photograph capuchin monkeys and toucans right from my window!