Friday, August 27, 2010

The Big Day

It is hard to believe that this day is finally here.  I have been to Panama twice, and passed through Costa Rica once.  However, I have never lived in another country.  The day that I step onto a plane with a suitcase and a backpack to go to another country, not just for spring break, has finally arrived.
I started the search for a study abroad program during my 1st year of college when I decided that I wanted to spend part of my college time studying abroad.  Now just before the 3rd year of college I can’t believe that it is finally here.  I always knew that I wanted to go to a Spanish speaking country and learn about environmental issues.  I just didn’t realize the only place to easily do that was Costa Rica, so my search was actually much easier than I imagined.  So the official name of my program is: Cultural Experiences Abroad(that is the company CEA) San Jose Costa Rica Fall Trimester-Early Start.
People have differing impressions and opinions of studying abroad.  I have gotten mixed reactions ranging from those who don’t understand why I want to actually study while I am abroad to others asking me why I am not staying longer.  I always tell myself that I am ready for the next thing, not matter how much fun I have had at a certain place I am always ready to leave and go to the next thing.  This is the first trip in which I actually find myself being apprehensive about.  I did not think that I would care about leaving Capital for a semester.  Now I find that I will miss my relationships with everyone and as strange as it sounds I am upset about not being able to take my classes with everyone else in my class.
I will be studying at Universidad Veritas.  For the entire month of September I will be in an intensive Spanish Course.  Then from October to December 18th I will be in two Spanish courses, and two environmental elective courses taught in English.  Altogether this will give me 23 credit hours of course work that I get to transfer back to Capital as Pass or Fail!  I will be living with a Tica (Costa Rican woman) named Myrna and after the first month two other students from CEA will be joining us.  I hope to greatly improve on my Spanish through my formal instruction at the University and by casual conversation with my host.
I have actually been preparing for this day since my freshman year.  I planned my course schedule ahead with my academic advisor, and pushed traditional junior fall classes to my sophomore and senior fall semesters.  This past year I took the intermediate sequence of Spanish and went from not understanding anything on the first day of class to having a full Spanish conversation with my Spanish Professora (Dra. Saunders) over a cup of coffee.  I spent this summer listening to Reggeaton music (mostly Daddy Yankee), other Latin music, salsa dancing, and watching Spanish language movies.  So in less than a year I have developed my Spanish skills immensely and hope to have just as much if not more progress throughout the coming months. 
Thank you for taking an interest in my life, keep checking back for more updates.

David Pickering