Amanda Arroyo is a student at California Lutheran University and is an ISA Classmates Connecting Cultures blogger corresponding with the Study Abroad Center at Cal Lutheran. Amanda is about to depart to study in San Jose, Costa Rica on a Fall 4 program.
I’m about 2 weeks from my departure date and I couldn’t even begin to tell you exactly what I’m feeling because I honestly have no idea. Anxiety, excitement, nervousness, fear, pressure, all wrapped into one little person. You would think that after talking to numerous people who have gone to Costa Rica that I’d feel better about leaving… Nope. Somehow I still always manage to psych myself out and end up worrying about leaving. But apparently that’s totally normal. I will say though, this is going to be the experience of a lifetime and I can’t wait to start the adventure!
I remember waiting anxiously for my homestay information because I wanted to know ALL about the family I was going to call my own when I got there. When I finally got it, I was SO excited I couldn’t contain myself (which was bad timing because I was at work at the time and my boss thought I was a little nuts). It was that one moment when studying abroad got real. I couldn’t look back now. There are people waiting for me to arrive that have graciously opened up their home for me. I contacted my housemate – another ISA student – right away because I wanted to get to know her before we met face to face. The more we talked, the more we both realized that we are one in the same. Though we are from opposite coasts, our minds and goals are very similar. I feel very blessed already.
I’m not really a good packer. I am that person that packs the night before I go anywhere. So I’ve made progress since over the last month I have started to make piles of things to pack. What I need, what I really need, what I probably don’t need, etc. None of these piles have actually made it INTO the suitcase, but it’ll get there. I’ve got 2 weeks right?! It’ll be interesting to see what I actually pack vs. what I thought I was going to pack.
As days dwindle down and I have less and less time here in the States… saying goodbye is getting harder. All my friends have started school while I’m in this lull period. I won’t be able to spend that much time with them since they’re back to their daily grind. I’ve been spending more and more time with my parents which is making it harder to leave. It’s weird getting closer to those you love when you’re about to leave. I do know that everyone I love is fully supportive of this amazing opportunity and choice that I have made for myself. They already see the growth in me and are excited for my return. I know that I will learn a lot about myself as I take in this country for every ounce of beauty it has.
The next time I’ll be writing to you all I will be in Costa Rica. Til then… Pura Vida!