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The Best Way to Spend Your Summer: Heredia, Costa Rica Reflection

After having the most incredible two weeks in Costa Rica, I haven’t been looking forward to writing this final program reflection because its making me realize this is all over and I wish it wasn’t. During my study abroad experience I learned unbelievable amounts of Spanish, I tried new foods that were delicious (who knew rice and beans could be made in so many different ways?), I saw incredible beaches, waterfalls, rainforests and cities, and above all I made some of my closest friends who I will miss like crazy and remember forever.

My favorite parts of this trip were the weekend excursions to Arenal and Playa Tamarindo. On the four-hour bus rides to and from these places, I got to know people from California, Texas, New Hampshire and everywhere in between. The experiences we shared in these gorgeous locations were amazing; we took catamarans to deserted islands, went surfing on beautiful beaches and swam at the bases of waterfalls or in hot springs, and these activities were ones I will remember for the rest of my life.

Beyond the excursions, I learned so much from this trip about living in another country, speaking Spanish, and Costa Rican culture. During our classes, grammar was not the main focus as much, but instead I increased my ability to converse in another language much more than I expected. Staying with a host family was the other main source of this, but beyond learning, I can safely say my host sister, brother and parents are like a second family to me and I will miss them so much.

So to anyone who is interested in this trip, even if they are nervous like I was beforehand, I would say take the leap and go on a study abroad trip. It has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life, and if you want to make unforgettable friends, experience a beautiful place or really learn a different language, a trip like Heredia is the perfect place to do so.

-The above blog post was contributed by Scarlet Bliss, who studied abroad with ISA High School in 2014 in Heredia, Costa Rica.

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