Jenna Fox spent eleven weeks in Costa Rica over the summer, completing two ten-week sessions of study abroad work with the University Studies Abroad Consortium to earn thirteen transfer credits. Her courses included two spanish courses taught by native Costa Rican women, a medical spanish course taught by a Nicaraguan doctor, a biodiversity course taught by a Costa Rican woman who had obtained her PhD in the United States, and a global health course taught by a visiting American professor. Along with written work, her classes gave Jenna the opportunity to participate in field work within the university reserve as well as the chance to observe the Costa Rican practice of medicine in both the public and private sectors. Aside from classwork, the program included several trips to national parks and other various sights, including a week-long trip to Drake Bay. Jenna felt fully immersed through the program, as she lived with a non-English speaking Costa Rican woman and became part of a close-knit group of ticos (Costa Ricans) her age. She experienced a culture quite different from her own and discovered an ability to adapt quickly. She gained unprecidented Spanish speaking proficiency during her stay while conversing with ticos about cultural differences, traditional recipes, healthcare, politics,and various other topics related to both the United States and Costa Rica. She enjoyed her time in Costa Rica immensely, especially the time she spent learning latin american dances and the weekend traveling she was able to coordinate with various American students and ticos. Jenna hopes to return to Costa Rica in the future and is looking forward to her next abroad experience, wherever it might be.
CEE Title: Health Literacy Initiative