The first week abroad is definitely the crazy one. You want to see and experience everything you can! Especially if you are only staying a month like myself. I have tried to fit everything I can in this one week. I have been probably everywhere around a 2 mile radius of Universidad Veritas. There is so much to see and do. My advice, if you want to try and see as much as possible, is to get up early if you can. I try to get up around 6:30 or earlier because I want to work out. If you don’t want to work out, then I recommend you go around: grab a bus or walk, go downtown and start seeing the city with some of the new friends you’ll be making.
In my first week, I have gone to San Pedro’s mall, the National Museum, the Mercado de Artesanías (you’ll learn about it when you get here. It is, withouth a doubt, the best place to get amazing Costa Rican souvenirs), the Casa Presidencial (the President’s Office), the national bank, the US embassy, and explored the night life here. I have done all that and I still haven’t even scratched the surface.
I also advise to add on Facebook the other study abroad students you’ll meet on the first day, because it is really easy to get ahold of them with it. I made the mistake of not doing that on day one, and I had no idea what everyone was doing that night or the next day. So the next day I added like 6 contacts, and got to explore with a lot of new people and make new friends from all over. And this is number is constantly growing!
This is a random comment, but I have to tell you because it is amazing. I highly recommend getting the Nutella smoothie from Observa la Pizza -the pizza place right next to Veritas. It’s by far the best chocolate shake I have ever had. I don’t even like chocolate that much and I got two of them in one day. I will probably get at least one every week (I’m working out anyway!).
My last advice from my first week is to try new things. No matter what it is: go to dance class even if you don’t dance; it is a great experience and a great way to meet new people. Try to make Tico friends, even if it is awkward because you don’t speak Spanish that well; they can help you with it. If going out to see the night life isn’t your thing, at least go out once with your friends and experience it. When you try new things, it can be an amazing experience because you never know what you might enjoy until you take that chance.