An Amazing Experience that will Change the Way You Look at the World
Today's Student Spotlight is:
Name: Jacquelyn Bullock
Major: Psychology and Spanish
Class Year: 2022
Describe your Education Abroad program(s):
I went to Heredita, Costa Rica with SOL Education Abroad. We stayed with host families and walked about 15 minutes to class every morning at a local university. The city we were in was pretty low-key and peaceful, but we were only a 30 minute drive from San Jose and all of the attractions of the big city. We attended class from 8am-11am everyday, with some extra curriculars, meetings, or group trips after class. On the weekends, we either had trips planned as a program, individual trips in friend groups, or we stayed in town and hung out at the mall, pool, etc.
Is this a good program for other students in your major?
I think this is a great program for other Spanish majors because it is a wonderful opportunity to be immersed in the language and culture. This program also offers some Psychology classes through classes with the local university students. In order to be in such classes though, you have to be at a certain level of fluency. There were also opportunities to volunteer at elementary schools or with the university to help with tutoring English.
. Was this your first time abroad? If not, what other countries have you traveled to?
This was my first time studying abroad. However, I have traveled abroad to Nicaragua, Peru, Cambodia, Laos, Canada, and the Bahamas.
How do you feel that you benefited from studying abroad?
I think that being in a Spanish speaking country helped me build my confidence as a Spanish speaker and as an independent person. I had the opportunity to live away from home, to do things without close friends or family near. It really helps you build confidence in yourself in many ways.
. How do you think this experience will impact your future plans?
I think that It has impacted me in many ways. I have so many new and wonderful friends from studying abroad. Many of whom, I still talk to and get together with regularly. I also want to go back to Costa Rica so badly. We had to leave 5 weeks early so we did not get to go on the biggest trip that we had planned for Easter Holiday. I want to go back and go on the trip that my friends and I had planned and see all the places we never got to.
Favorite thing about studying abroad?
My favorite thing about studying abroad was seeing all of the beautiful places in a new country. The waterfalls, mountains, and cities were spectacular. I also loved being able to see them with all of my new friends. SOL did a wonderful job pairing me with my roommate, Addison. We are such good friends now and we went everywhere together in Costa Rica. I am so grateful for her friendship. We went on many many adventures together and I loved every second.
Suggestions for future students?
I think my recommendation to future students is to do your research into the program you are joining. Be sure to choose a program that cares about you, your safety, and your overall experience first. Do your research about the country too. Before you get there, learn some about the public transportation system, the money system, and the local pop culture. It will be so much easier for you if you go into the country, already knowing what to expect in these aspects . Public transportation is especially important because the buses are often the safest and cheapest option for travel, learning about the local stations and bus routes could save you time and money in the long run.
Anything you'd like to add?
Whatever you want to do, wherever you want to go, just do it. It is an amazing experience that will change the way you look at the world and the people in it. Studying abroad is about educating yourself in ways that a university could never.
Published on September 23, 2020