Studying abroad with Living Routes in a rural Costa Rican farming community was one of the most fulfilling and enlightening experiences I have had yet.
Living Routes is an accredited study abroad program through the University of Massachusetts, with locations all over the world. I travelled to Costa Rica with a group of 12 students. We each lived with a home-stay family in a rural dairy and coffee farming community, and took classes together at a local grassroots research institute.
While there, I learned about the local ecology and many factors that threaten the longevity of the treasured Cloud Forest. I explored the relationship between Central America and the United States, focusing on free trade regulations and their impact on life in Costa Rica. I participated in service projects in the local village schools, teaching children english and engaging them in fun activities. As my home-stay family only spoke Spanish, I strengthened my conversational skills while learning about their day-to-day life.