My Summer with Beyond Study Abroad
An Adventure in Costa Rica for Student-Athletes
Beyond Study Abroad 2011
- Spanish Classes
I earned spanish credit at Holy Names University by taking classes in Costa Rica. I met with the study abroad coordinator and registrar office at my school to get the courses approved for credit. Spanish class at the Universidad de Costs Rica was a great learning experience and environment. My class only had four people in it and that gave us the opportunity for more attention from our profesora and helped us build close relationships with one another. It was extremely helpful taking a spanish class in a spanish speaking country because you continue practicing the language outside of class. My teacher was great as well! Beyond just teaching us Spanish, she found other ways to incorporate her culture in our class by taking us to a few lunches where we had to order in Spanish and teaching us Salsa dancing!
- Adventure Excursions
Almost every weekend of my study abroad trip was spent traveling to different areas of Costa Rica. I was fortunate to see the beaches in Manuel Antonio, interact with wildlife animals in Puerto Viejo, and see a volcano and go ziplining in La Fortuna! Though all excursions brought new experiences and were absolutely unforgettable, my favorite adventure was when my group planned our own excursion and traveled to Bocas del Toro, Panama. It was such a stunningly beautiful country and a totally new and wonderful adventure of more beaches, a different culture, and everlasting memories.
- Service Learning
One of Beyond's core values as a program is giving back to the Costa Rican communities. We did this by coaching sports camps to the underprivileged kids in nearby towns. Coaching these disadvantaged children, one would forget that they lacked in materials, for they made up for it with their constant enthusiasm and gratefulness of our company. It was yet another opportunity to practice my Spanish. At first I was terribly nervous of how poor my communication with these kids would be, and it was unbelievable to see how patient and helpful the kids actually were. They taught me and helped me out with my speaking skills. It was also amazing to see how they even taught us a trick or two about our own sports! These kids were so athletic! No matter how my day was going, those kids somehow would bring a smile to my face and made me realize how we should not take things for granted and simply enjoy life.
- Athletic Training
I have never been so overwhelmed with training than I was when working out in Costa Rica. To say I was being pushed to limits is an understatement. They were the most intense workouts I have ever had to encounter and it honestly made me frustrated at times. Nonetheless, I feel it got me in one of the best shapes of my life. I had the best soccer season of my college career once I returned to school after Costa Rica, and I praise Beyond's training for my success. The Beyond program was my home away from home and we all pushed one another to improve in our different sports. Their support and encouragement got me through the tough training.