Traveling to Costa Rica has definitely taught me a multitude of things. I learned the names of over a hundred bird species. I learned about the history and culture of Costa Rica. I also learned that I am absolutely not cut out for intense hiking. On this trip, I especially learned not to take my daily accommodations for granted and the extent of taking our own ecosystem for granted. The two weeks I spent in Costa Rica have truly taught me the importance of the environment and the Earth’s species. It was not until traveling to a country so rich in wildlife to really be able to comprehend how our society is failing to appreciate wildlife as we should. I learned to appreciate how valuable the species were that I was looking at and how their preservation should be a priority. Seeing how rich Costa Rica is in wildlife sadly made me realize how my own community is counterintuitively working against the global effort to preserve the ecosystem. Something else that I took away from the trip was the determination of the people native to Costa Rica for the preservation of their wildlife. It is very evident that they are extremely passionate about conserving wildlife, which is something the United States must learn from. The Costa Rican people are champions for their environment and are extremely knowledgeable about it.
Overall, I am extremely grateful for the chance to go on this study abroad trip. It genuinely was an opportunity of a lifetime and I now know that I serve a purposeful role in being a champion for the environment. I strive to make an effort towards being more sustainable and spreading awareness myself. I will say, once you study abroad, be careful because once you go, you’ll want to go again!