This past Friday was my last day in Costa Rica. I had to end my program a bit early, so I did my best to take everything in during my last week. I spent most of my time in the library at the University of Costa Rica campus finishing up my final presentations, and between that I made time to see my Costa Rican friends. They all seemed super busy, so I assumed I probably wouldn’t be able to see them a final time, but they all made the effort to come out and see me which was a great feeling.
Between all that, I spent a lot of time taking pictures and videos of my neighborhood and the places around it that I frequent. I realized I had a lot from my trips outside the city, and during my social activities in the evenings with my friends- but I was lacking adequate documentation of where I actually lived.
I had many bitter sweet moments, but I overall felt very lucky. I have a wonderful life at home in Philadelphia, and I enjoyed my time in Costa Rica as well. As I walked around my neighborhood, I realized there were just as many things there that I would miss as I did about being back home.
I made sure to buy some thank you cards to give to the ICDS staff, my professors, my host family (and gifts), and some other friends I made such as employees in the corner store near my house. I also received many compliments on my Spanish throughout my last week, which made me feel much more confident about returning home and being able to converse more comfortably with the native speakers in my life.
I managed to only bring one suitcase and a carry-on with me as well as my bookbag for school, so I was a bit stressed about packing everything back up but it was surprisingly easy. I was glad that I accomplished so much throughout February and early March- by the time my last week came, I was able to just take it all in without feeling rushed or having regrets about things I hadn’t done.
All in all, I’m very happy to be back home but I took away a lot from my experience. In my next post I will go into more detail about transitioning back to life at home and my biggest takeaways from my abroad experience.
A Message from the Office of Global Engagement:
The safety and security of Drexel students is a priority for the University. As part of the efforts to support Drexel students that are studying abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office of Global Engagement has conducted a rigorous review of programming and provided additional support to participating students with customized pre-departure orientations and regular check-ins during the required self-isolation period and the term.