Ciera Fitts

International Experience Country:
Costa Rica
Cohort Year:
2021
Home Institution:

Waynesburg University

Heinz Programming Area:
Learning
International Experience Summary:

Ciera’ Fitts spent a total of 32 days taking an online course in San Jose, Costa Rica. She was able to study the conversion of water and the climate effects in the tropics of Costa Rica. Her major is Marine Biology and she is a senior that will be proudly graduating in the spring of 2022 from Waynesburg University. She primarily learned about the acidification of the ocean. This crisis is occurring due to an abundance of carbon dioxide usage and it causes a negative outcome within the ocean. Coral reefs are being bleached, meaning whitened, and can initially die from this bleaching. She adapted to terrible internet connections and internet failures, so she could successfully pass the course. Unfortunately, she was not able to get much international experience due to all of the connection difficulties, being the only student online, and the course is conducted as a regular online course.

Being online put Ciera’ at a natural disadvantage, so she was not able to learn more about the culture nor truly experience it. She tried to emerge herself into the culture by attempting to conduct interviews, yet the only Costa Rican she was exposed to was her teacher. Unfortunately, her teacher was far too busy to conduct one. If she was able to go through his experience again she would do it in person and if virtual was the only option she would respectfully decline.