What I’ve learned throughout my first week at Veritas is that you shouldn’t have too many expectations when you come here. Coming to Costa Rica for the first time with expectations won’t do you any good because it is probably nothing like you expected it would be.
I personally didn’t have too many expectations upon coming to San Jose. I thought that Costa Rica would be filled with tropical jungles and beautiful beaches everywhere. And it is, just not very close to San Jose. I knew we were going to be living in the city and we were going to be far from the beach but I didn’t actually do any research. Now, I know San Jose is nowhere near the beach. I thought we would be able to day trip to the beach after class most days of the week, but that isn’t the case at all. Not to mention it rains every single day, so going to the beach wouldn’t necessarily be your typical sunny beach day. (I attend University of Hawaii, so I was really excited for the beaches). To be honest I didn’t even know it was the rainy season in Costa Rica, so soon after arriving I realized it wouldn’t exactly be what I had expected. My advice is to get out of the city as much as possible. There are things to do in the city, yes, but once you’ve done them, you’ve done them. The first day I was here I went white water rafting on the Pacuare River and it was so awesome, best decision ever. Most people are only here for a short time and won’t be back anytime soon so do everything! Don’t stay in the city for too long, get out and explore Costa Rica!
Even though some things weren’t what I thought they would be, there are of course other things that were very pleasant surprises. It’s hard to explain, but before you get here you don’t really understand how much better your Spanish will be after just a short month. I didn’t realize or maybe just didn’t think about how much Spanish I was really going to be speaking. I obviously knew I was going to be speaking Spanish a lot but I didn’t realize how amazing it was going to be to be thrown into it. It’s amazing how not even being here for a week and my Spanish has already improved so much because you have to speak it there’s no way around it.
All in all, don’t expect too much because sometimes when we expect something to be a certain way and it isn’t we can end up disappointed. If we come in with an open mind and except everything for how it is, we can find ourselves being very satisfied. Most of us are here for a short time so taking advantage of every single opportunity is very important. Enjoy every moment and Pura Vida!