Kelsi Brooks is a student at Georgia College & State University and an ISA Featured Blogger. Kelsi is currently studying abroad with ISA in San José, Costa Rica.
One of the best parts about studying abroad is how much time you get to travel. It is a student’s dream come true and an awesome reality for those who take advantage of their time abroad.
San José is a wonderful place, but so much of the charm of Costa Rica also lies outside of the city. Take a bus outside of the city limits and you’ll see gorgeous mountainsides, towns of charming people, jungles and forests full of wild life, and bodies of water that take your breath away. You would miss this if you only stayed inside the city limits.
Traveling around Costa Rica not only allows students to see many wonderful sights, but it also helps ease some of the hesitations and insecurities that many students have when first abroad. The fears seem to subside once students travel outside of their home base to other parts of the country. If one is not used to city life, San José can be pretty intimidating. Taking public transportation, crossing a highway, or even having to plan what to do in your free time can stress you out. Taking a trip outside of the city can help to gain confidence and can give a different, more relaxed perspective to Costa Rica.
Outside of San José, there are also many opportunities to explore and speak Spanish to locals. One of those ways is to stay in a hostel. A hostel stay allows students to stay with their peers and makes them less hesitant about making decisions to explore their surroundings. Below are my tips for taking trips outside of the city.
- Do research about your destination. It comes in handy when you don’t know the area.
- Research hostels and hotels, weighing out the pros and cons (www.hostelworld.com)
- Make a budget for the weekend. (Create a Travel Budget)
- Pack light! You will learn what you need versus what you want.
- Shop for souvenirs. You can learn about the local Tico culture by communicating with the shop owners.
- Manage your time wisely. Don’t be late for your ride back to San José!