-You probably won’t have to take cold showers in your casa tica (Costa Rican home), but the water pressure won’t be very strong when the water is warm.

-(For iPhone users) Download Viber or WhatsApp before you come because they require a text to get it set up and it will cost if you don’t have an international plan.

-Spanish classes are 4 hours a day, 5 days a week (but they are so worth it).

-San José is about 2 hours away from the nearest beach, I thought it was on the beach before I came.

-Talk, talk, talk! You may be embarrassed by your level of Spanish, or lack of, but you can’t improve if you don’t talk! Especially to your host family!

-The food is delicious! But unless you’re used to eating rice and beans multiple times a day, almost every day, bring some medication for your stomach. It’ll come in handy.

-Your casa tica will have an internet connection!

-Bring jeans! I only brought one pair and I definitely could use one or two more. It’s not as hot in San José as you would think. It’s usually between 70 and 80 degrees, but some nights can get into the low 60’s.

-Don’t forget sandals/flip flops. Obviously you’ll want some for the beach, but Costa Ricans wear shoes in the house all the time, so when you get up for breakfast, you will want to slip on some shoes!

-Products are way more expensive here, especially SUNSCREEN! I just ran out and I checked for some at one of the stores near campus and most of them were about 20 USD!! The conditioner I had to buy was only about 7 USD, so if you need extra space, skip extra conditioner and shampoo, but bring the sunscreen.

-I’ve only used my bug spray once and I haven’t gotten one mosquito bite my whole time here (some of my friends have gotten a bunch of bites though). That may not be suggested, but there aren’t many mosquitos in San José. I only brought one can, but if you think you will be using it more often, maybe bring two. Bug spray is expensive as well.

-You have plenty of time to do everything! Well, not everything. But there are so many things and adventures to go on, you’ll want to pack as much as you can into your first few weeks. You’re going to get so exhausted so quickly, so take your time and enjoy everything!

-The best food I’ve had here: Las Leñitas, about 2 blocks from campus has amazing Chorizo (sausage-ish meat) tacos and Chicken “gringo” quesadillas. The french bakery right beside Las Leñitas, Le Rendez-Vous, has a little pastry with chocolate inside. Best dollar I’ve spent! La Musa Confusa- mmmmmm yes. It’s right down the street from campus, too. The FRIES! They’re soooo delish, let me tell you. The coffee and their desserts are pretty amazing, too. El Gaff is my favorite place in San José. It’s this really cool bar-restaurant about a 10 minute walk from Veritas. They have deals almost every day! (They’re closed on Monday, just a heads up because I tried that already).

-Meet people! I’m super introverted and quiet, but last week, I FINALLY made a tico friend! It’s going to be super awkward, but if you have a chance to meet some Costa Ricans, do it! If it means ticos at a Market, in the restaurant-bar, or on campus, just try!

-Lastly, you’re going to have an AMAZING time! It’s a weird feeling to still be connected on social media with everyone back home and be in a totally different world. They’re still going to love you when you get back, so don’t put too much time into missing them. As bad as that sounds, you can’t have one foot here in Costa Rica and the other back home. You need to be all here! It’s ok to miss them, of course, but don’t try to be in both worlds!

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