School So Far

By Hannah Gieseket – Guest Blogger Studying in Heredia, Costa Rica
It is hard to believe that is has already been two days since I first arrived in Costa Rica to begin my studies. The morning of classes we were asked to arrive early to the school so that we could complete paperwork and perform an informal interview in Spanish in order to determine our placement. That morning my house mother walked me to school to make sure that I knew where the school was in relation to her home. The walk is about twenty minutes but not difficult. It was a great time to see more of the neighborhood. All of the houses have wonderful colors and there are many small shops tucked into the rows of houses. The houses are all built in rows with no spaces and all have tall gates around the entrances. The closeness is very similar to the way houses are set up in American cities but quite different from rural and suburban areas where there are usually green spaces separating the homes. The weather here is beautiful but windier than I expected.
A school we received our placements and then gathered in a group for an orientation. After that we were split into smaller groups so that some people started classes and my group went out into the city for a tour. The city itself is quite busy with many taxis, buses, cars, and pedestrians. It was very exciting to see all of the new sites, smells, sounds, etc. Given that I have no sense of direction on a normal basis, I have been taking lots of time simply walking around the city on my own so that I can begin to get a sense of the layout. Even after only two days of classes I already feel much more confident with the language especially when speaking with my host family. There is much opportunity to practice speaking the language, which is so valuable to understanding and using Spanish. The school has many activities planned such as dance classes, cooking classes, and excursions so there is plenty of opportunity to also experience the local culture. I hope to attend many of these events to further my experience.

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