Skip to main content

Learn how to make Costa Rica feel like home with Spring 2022 student Alayia Coleman! 

***This is an example of a student’s experience from Spring 2022. Specific programming and activities are subject to change semester by semester.


Heyyyy Everyone! I’m Alayia Coleman and I’m from Lincoln Nebraska. This experience has been a roller coaster from the time I heard about Verto until landing in San Jose, Costa Rica- and I’m excited to share it with you! The semester started on the 24th of January, but I ended up coming on the 21st just to explore a little before linking with the Verto group. At the time I was staying at a hotel in Santa Ana, about 15 Km from San Jose. First thing I did was ask for the best food around and I discovered that lamb and fries are the best combo.

Before learning about Verto, I never had the intention of going to college abroad. I was just scrolling through snapchat looking at stories when I saw a Verto ad that caught my attention. I wasn’t sure about it at first but after doing some research and getting connected to an admissions counselor, I knew I had to be a part of this opportunity. Now that I’m here, I’m looking forward to getting the chance to learn and explore the cities!

My goal for this semester is to make sure I do well in all of my classes while also taking in the fun I will have for the time being. My academic success coach is understanding, and she has a consistent positive attitude when helping me figure out my situations. I’m hoping to find myself when doing and trying all of these new activities. Fun fact: I’m a very picky eater but the lamb I had was very good and different from anything I have eaten before. Outside of the program, my fear is not being in contact with my mom on a daily basis just due to the fact that she isn’t a five-minute drive away. I’m not really a fearful person but that is most definitely my number one concern for this semester.

First Week in Costa Rica


The first week in Costa Rica I slept very well! I was expecting to wake up throughout the night but the night calls with my mom helped me fall fast asleep. One thing I’ll have to get used to is timing. I woke up at 7am to get ready for breakfast at 8am and still ended up being late. The birds in the morning are another alarm clock for you. It’s different not having to hear trains or having streetlights beam in my room.


Campus is very beautiful, the grass is green and short, and the mountains are full of trees with green, yellow, and red leaves. Everyone on campus is very nice and positive and for me, that was a perfect reason to wake up with a positive attitude every morning. Class started and I was very excited about all the classes I chose such as social problems, a class that talks about all the problems that are affecting the world. I’m also looking forward to Interpersonal Communications. This class is based on how people communicate with each other via text message, face to face, or letter.

My last two classes are photography and Spanish, both are beginner classes and something that also caught my attention. We have a hammock outside and it’s satisfying especially when it rains outside. Capturing pictures of the scenery around me made me feel at home and at peace. I was extremely nervous at the beginning because this was my first time living on campus outside of the country, but it was easy getting used to. My advice is to always stay active and EXPLORE, learn about the place you now call home, and respect it. Very much ready for this semester abroad- until next time!