Let the Adventures Begin!

Lauren Weihe is a student at Doane College and is an ISA Classmates Connecting Cultures  blogger corresponding with students at Pound Middle School in Lincoln, Nebraska. Lauren is currently studying abroad in San Jose, Costa Rica on a Fall 2B program.

I can’t believe this is my last night at home—the last time I’ll sleep in my own bed or look out my bedroom window at our quiet suburban neighborhood.  Well, the last time in three months anyway.  In 24 hours I’ll be on my way to the land of “pura vida” (while enduring several more hours of my overnight layover in Houston, which is sure to be an interesting experience).  But let me back up a bit and tell you more about me.

Some of you reading this are friends or family who already know me, but I know many of you readers are from Senora Sanchez’s class or you may have just stumbled upon this.  As you have already figured out, my name is Lauren Weihe and I am a junior at Doane College studying Psychology and Spanish.  When I was in high school, my older sister studied abroad and since then I’ve done some world travelling of my own.  I love visiting new places, though I never expected I’d end up studying abroad myself.

I began studying Spanish at Pound Middle School with Senora Sanchez.  I decided to take Spanish because foreign language is strongly recommended in high school.   I never imagined the opportunities it would open up.  At Doane (and, I would imagine, other universities, although I have nothing to compare it to), studying abroad is highly encouraged.  Talk to anyone on campus and they are immediately willing to do whatever it takes to make the study abroad experience work and give you all the help you want along the way.  Early last semester I heard other students talk about their experiences studying in a different country.  I got to thinking and realized that regardless of whether I wanted to or not, in the future I’d regret not taking the opportunity while it was hanging right in front of my face.  So I began talking and making preparations.  Several months and much paperwork later, here I am with my suitcase open and (partially… getting everything done last minute seems to be my M.O.) packed, my colorful Costa Rican colones picked up from the bank, and my new passport ready to make its maiden voyage.

The next time you hear from me, I’ll be all settled in my new home away from home.  Until then, pura vida!

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