Even though my Instagram and other posts make it seem like all I do is travel around and hang out with my friends, I promise I do actually go to class. Tuesday through Friday, I have class. This is my schedule:
Environmental Policy 8-11am
This class has four students in it and is focused around discussions. Before each class, we have about 50 pages of readings and a summary paper to write on the readings. We come to class with these materials and a student leads the discussion for the day. This week we are talking about biodiversity and the costs of agriculture on tropical rainforests.
Tropical Ecology 8-11 am
This class is one of the most popular ones offered by USAC with thirteen students taking it. A lot of this class is just learning about basic ecology concepts and applying them to tropical ecosystems. We learn about geography, plants, animals, and interactions between organisms. We don’t ever really have homework for this class, unless it is writing a report based on an activity we did, researching a topic, or something related to the field study. This is also a field study class, so we have two planned trips this semester. We just got back from the first one: La Selva. This was a really good learning experience as we went on a couple different nature hikes. Now we just have to write up a report based on what we did and saw.
Natural History of Mesoamerica 8-11
This is my favorite class with my favorite professor. It also only has three students in it, so we are able to learn a lot from each other and have great discussions. This class is really lecture and presentation heavy. Our homework comes from doing presentations on a natural history topic and writing a report on the information we find. This is my other field study class. This past weekend, we took a day trip to Irazu, Costa Rica’s tallest volcano. It wasnt the best day for this, as there were a lot of clouds, but we saw cool geology structures, changes in vegetation with height, and endemic bird species.
Dance of Latin America 5-7
At night, I have a dance class. We start each class by stretching, then we move into learning/practicing local dance styles. Recently, we have been doing a lot of Bachata, Swing, and Cha cha. We are also working on a regfaeton style dance routine for our final.
Sustainable Development: Women and the Environment 8-11
This class is very discussion heavily. Our weekly assignment is to research a topic on women and the Environment and have a discussion on it in class. This week we are talking about women and beauty standards. After the discussion. Which usually lasts 1-2 hours, we watch a video or a documentary.
I take classes only with other USAC students, taught by professors that mostly speak English, but i do this on University of Costa Rica: San Ramon’s campus. My class sizes range from 3 to 13 people, so pretty small class sizes. I opted out of taking any language classes (for credit and graduation purposes) so I am only taking electives. Because of this, I really enjoy all of my classes and I feel like I learn a lot