The GoGlobal Blog

Halfway there!

Halfway there!

It is very exciting and very sad to say that I have reached the halfway point of my study abroad here in Costa Rica. I have friends counting down the days I come back, and I won’t lie, I have a countdown app on my phone as well, but it’s bittersweet to think about leaving here.

Over the last few weeks, I realized I would wish I would have done these two things before I traveled 2000+ miles away from home. I would love to make this an opportunity to share some words of advice.

1. Plan out your financial spending!

Although this is mentioned in just about every handbook students receive, most of us don’t pay this any attention. I was so excited to be here and I wanted to experience everything all at once. BIG mistake. Enjoy your time, but spend your money wisely. Although things are less expensive here, they add up.

2. Don’t leave behind unsettled issues back home!

This is one of the worst things some one can do. Before you leave to study abroad, make sure that any disputes you have with friends are solved. Otherwise, this will take a toll on you and the fun you could be having while abroad. Leave at ease, not with lingering problems. Think about it, you are going to another country. This means for some things like language barrier, culture shock and homesickness are going to be problems. The ones back home don’t need to be weighing you down even more!

On a more positive note, last week we had a whole week off from classes. I had a blast during that week collecting more visa stamps for my passport! USAC gave us optional trips to either Panama ($600) or Cuba ($1,900) to choose from. The whole week was planned out for us from about 7am to 7pm, which at first was upsetting, but turned out to be the best mini-vacation ever! I chose the Panama trip.

In brief, our first 2 days were spent in Tortuguero, Costa Rica. It was densely humid there and most of the time was spent in a resort, relaxing by the pool. Then we traveled by bus, for 6 hours to get to the border of Panama. We crossed the border on a heavily traveled bridge (picture below), got on another bus and then a boat.

Our days in Bocas del Toro, Panama included beaches and snorkeling. This was easily one of the best experiences of my life! The clear waters, the coral, the sand. I couldn’t get enough. I was even brave enough to hold a starfish!

If your program offers an extra trip as this one, I highly recommend taking it! Save, budget, do what you have to do, but go on the trip! I heard from the students that went on the Cuba trip that they fell in love with the country and would love to have stayed longer.

Enjoy the pictures and PURA VIDA!


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