My Summer with Beyond Study Abroad

An Adventure in Costa Rica for Student-Athletes

Last summer, I spent 6-weeks in Costa Rica with Beyond Study Abroad. I want to spread the word about this opportunity so please share with people who might be interested!

Beyond Study Abroad 2011

- Spanish Classes

I was able to earn Minnesota Morris credit while in Costa Rica. I met with Sarah Ashkar in the ACE office and she was very helpful proving all the information I needed. I had a form signed by my Spanish professor to approve the course.

I really liked the small classes at Veritas University. There were only 5 of us in there, so you couldn't really avoid class participation. Also, once you leave the class, you still need to use your Spanish and practice things that you just worked on. That's one big difference from taking Spanish in the United States, when you just go back into an English mindset after class.

- Adventure Excursions

We traveled throughout Costa Rica on weekends to beaches, rain forests, and volcanoes.

My favorite excursion would probably be Volcano Arenal at La Fortuna. Especially the Hot Springs at Baldi and the trip to Lake Arenal.

- Service Learning

At the core of the Beyond program is service-learning in the community. We coach sports camps and teach our sport to the disadvantaged youth. It is a great way to practice your Spanish while really becoming immersed in the culture.

It's always a little stressful getting into a new environment, but the kids are so enthusiastic that it doesn't take long to push away the nerves. It was amazing how much they looked forward to our arrival and how big of an impact it seemed like we were making with them. I will never forget seeing the kids waiting at the bus stop for us to arrive and then giving the kids piggy-back rides to the camp.

- Athletic Training

Beyond provides athletic training 4 days per week so athletes can maintain off-season workouts while abroad. They have developed all kinds of opportunities to practice and scrimmage with local Costa Rican teams. The workouts are intense but everyone pushes each other in a team environment.