Do You Even Go to Class? – by Mariah Kauder

Why, yes of course! Forever my reply to all those people who somehow get the impression I’m only here vacationing… After all, they didn’t put the “study” in study abroad for no reason at all! Have no fear though, I promise this has been the easiest time I’ve ever had making myself going to class. Because I actually want to go to classes here. (And no I’m not being paid to write this).

Well, actually I do get a free lunch once a week to talk about skills and tips for writing blogs, so I highly recommend taking advantage of this opportunity to share about your experience abroad! Besides all of the fun, engaging activities available at Veritas and around Costa Rica, my classes have a lot to offer in themselves. Personally, I love the way in which sustainable development has been incorporated into the curriculum practically across the board.

Yet, there is still a diverse spectrum of elective subjects available, with everything from the sciences and politics, to marketing and art. Two of my electives have specifically focused on material relating to the United Nation’s latest Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) released just last year. Being able to see these goals in action really makes me appreciate the practical application offered in all of my courses.

Thankfully when it comes to homework, the professors are rather understanding of our need to travel and see Costa Rica on the weekends. Moreover, they are very personable people to begin with and seem to be genuinely interested in what us students want to learn about and our experiences in Costa Rica. It makes having very small class sizes and discussion-based classes all the better!

And as if the engaging discussions weren’t enough, we even have field trips in many of our classes. Yes, field trips in college! And not just any field trips, but to beaches and volcanoes all around Costa Rica. Depending on the material you’re studying, your classroom might be anywhere from the ocean, to a national park, or even a sustainable farm for the weekend. Plus, my classes have had small day trips to downtown San José or various museums around the city as well! It’s the perfect opportunity for hands-on learning about sustainable development and Costa Rica’s culture.

Taking classes at Universidad Veritas is an experience unlike any other offered at universities back in the USA. I feel much more like I am actually here to learn about topics of interest to me and not just to get a grade. I strongly encourage you to find out for yourself and take the next step to applying for your adventure in Costa Rica!

 

 

Excursions

Volcano Victory – by Lillian Williams

One of the many amazing things I love about living in San Jose (and Costa Rica in general) is that there are so many amazing things to do that aren’t too far away. Most weekends I’ve been here have been spent on a beach or in the city, and I figured it was time to shake things up a bit. So, since I don’t have Friday classes, I decided to check out one of the local volcanoes with a couple of friends. Talk about a day off right?

We began our journey at 7:30 am from our houses in order to catch the downtown bus early enough to depart from San Jose and arrive in Alajuela by 9:30 am to take our third and final bus to Volcan Poas. In total, the trip took about 4 and half hours just to get up there. And what a view it was that greeted us after we took the 20-minute walk to the mouth:

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Nothing but clouds and flowers

To say we were disappointed would be an understatement. We were hungry, tired, cold, and now come to the realization that we had just traveled over 4 hours to see clouds. We kept up good attitudes, trying to make the best out of a not so desirable situation, but it was hard to stay positive in all the wind, rain, and abrasive cold front.

Then, all of a sudden, and without warning, the clouds started to shift. We didn’t really think anything of it because they had done this multiple times, the best view we had had was of the rocky side of the volcano. But this time, the clouds kept moving. Faster and faster they cleared out and left us breathless when this finally came in focus:

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To say we were disappointed would be an understatement. We were hungry, tired, cold, and now come to the realization that we had just traveled over 4 hours to see clouds. We kept up good attitudes, trying to make the best out of a not so desirable situation, but it was hard to stay positive in all the wind, rain, and abrasive cold front.

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Excursions