Name: Faye Wassinger’15 (below, left)
Hometown: Bensenville, Ill.
Where did you studying abroad? I studied abroad in Heredia, Costa Rica, at La Universidad Nacional.
What is your favorite place in your host city/country? I would really have to say that my favorite place to be was at my host family´s house. I traveled a lot with my friends, and I loved going to different beaches and to different places in Heredia and San Jose, but my favorite place to be was in the kitchen with my host mom. Every day after classes I would come home and we would drink coffee and just talk. It was where I learned the most, and where I had some of my best experiences.
What is the best meal you’ve had abroad? Okay, meal-wise I would say the Gallo Pinto, which is one of the most common breakfast foods in Costa Rica was something that I love to eat, especially when it comes with plátanos. However, I had some of the best fruit I have ever had when I was in Costa Rica, and there was always fresh fruit juice, so that is something I´ll never forget.
What did you miss most from home/Beloit? I missed just being completely familiar with where I was. Though the city I lived in didn´t feel that big, I remember feeling like it would have been nice to see familiar faces more often. Most days though, I really liked living in the city and everything that came with it.
What is the biggest difference between Beloit and your host city/university? Similarity? Beloit and the Universidad Nacional are different in a few ways. The UNA has over 12,000 students and is a public school. All of the students are on career tracks, so in the classes I took, unless it was a gen-ed course, all of the students knew each other.
Still though, I was really surprised at the similarities between our schools. My classrooms were fairly small and the student-teacher relationship was really familiar, just like in Beloit. People called professors by their first names, and the classroom setting was really relaxed and open for discussion. The atmosphere was really similar to Beloit in some ways.
What has been your proudest/most exciting moment abroad? My most exciting moment was when my 3-year-old host nephew started to talk to me! At first, he really wouldn´t say much to me, only ¨hi¨ or ¨bye¨and even that was questionable. At his Spiderman-themed birthday party though, after he opened all his gifts and everyone left, we stayed up and played with the presents that I had gotten him (which was really just Play-Doh). After that, he would run to say hi to me every time I got home, and, because of him I think I´ve watched the beginning of Spiderman 3 about 50 times. Really, though, my relationship with him was one of the best parts of my experience abroad.
What did you bring home as a souvenir? I brought home some coffee, lots of cool earrings, some decorations, dolls, and other little things for my family. Oh! I also brought home some cacao that I had gotten on one of my program's trips.