We just landed in Houston and with that, my summer in Costa Rica has come to a close. These two and a half months have been full of new experiences, challenges, and accomplishments.
I began this summer with only a very limited knowledge of Spanish from a few years of classes in high school. It was very difficult to be in a country where I did not speak the language for so long, but being immersed in Spanish all summer has resulted in some improvement. I can now successfully order food at a restaurant or have a simple conversation with a taxi driver. Though I definitely cannot understand every word, I can usually understand the main points of a sentence in Spanish.
Aside from my internship at Boston Scientific, this summer was filled with many other eye-opening experiences. My teammates and I started out with visits to hospitals and clinics in Costa Rica, where we were able to learn about the healthcare system and identify potential projects for us and other Rice students to work on. We took a short course with students from local universities where we worked on a design project that we presented at the end of the week. We were also able to travel on the weekends to Arenal and Manuel Antonio, two beautiful tourist destinations. Through each of these experiences, I was able to see many parts of Costa Rican society and culture and meet some great people.
This summer has held many new adventures and learning experiences. I’m happy to now be at Rice and I am ready for what the rest of the GMI program brings!