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Curious about what Verto life in Costa Rica is like?! This week, we’re featuring Verto Education Trailblazer Shaiel Scotte! As a Trailblazer, Shaiel will share stories of her fall semester in Costa Rica. Here’s her dreamy, exciting, and vivid description of her first few weeks in Costa Rica!

*** This is an example of a student’s experience from Fall 2021. Specific programming and activities are subject to change semester by semester.

Student Blog: Living the Pura Vida!

It’s a beautiful, slightly chilly morning in the Annex building. I wake up and, of course, I hit my snooze button just about twenty thousand times. Not even a new country can stop me from delaying my waking! I wake up at 7:00 AM, get dressed, and head to the cafeteria to eat what a typical Costa Rican plate looks like: rice and beans, cheese, your choice of meat and bread. Yum! Afterward, I head to class on foot, ready to soak up all of the information that awaits me. One of my favorite parts about my semester here is that my classes are spaced out perfectly. This leaves me enough space to rest and discover the beautiful town of Turrialba.

Shaiel hangin’ out in a hammock! Talk about a wonderful break from classes!

Towards noon, I hit up some friends to meet up for almuerzo, (that’s Spanish for lunch 😉 )After washing our hands before entering, we stand in the line and see our options for the day. Most of the time, there’s rice, beans, your choice of meat and veggies. Of course, no meal is complete if not accompanied by salad and fresh fruit!

We sit, eat and laugh, and leave the cafeteria fulfilled. At this point, there’s so much to do! On some days, I’ll have class with only a couple hours of break in between. On other occasions, I’ll have the rest of the day off. On the days where I have some time to chill, I’ll catch up with friends, or play some ukulele on the hammock while enjoying a fresh breeze and a beautiful view. Other times, I’ll go to town and see what new things are waiting to be explored!

Student hanging out in Turrialba

Turrialba is rife with nature, culture, and activities for students!

At the end of the day, my friends and I will make our way to dinner to fuel up before completing our day. Afterward, the fun still continues. Sometimes, we’ll get together and watch movies, do a karaoke night, go to a basketball or volleyball game, or just chat! Most nights end in a binging of sweets, like brownies, ice cream or Oreos. Whoops!

Towards bed time, I hop in the shower and reminisce on what an adventurous day I’ve had. Once I’m dressed and my skin care routine is complete, I hop into the top bunk, pray, and drift off knowing that the next day, I’ll be woken up by the loud sounds of birds chirping. By the way, the birds here have full blown conversations. All animals in Costa Rica are on X games mode.

Waterfall in Costa Rica

Shaiel shared this stunning picture of a waterfall in Costa Rica! Are you swooning like we are?!

All in all, I feel like I’m living in a dream! Never did I ever think that I’d be able to study in this paradise! I’ve already learned so much of who I am and what I want to accomplish, and it’s barely been the first month! I am so excited to continue immersing myself in the Costa Rican Culture, and plan on taking all of this knowledge back home! This truly is a Pura Vida!

Interested in learning about how you can start college like Shaiel?! Read all about our semester offerings and check out our admissions process! Don’t forget to stay tuned for next week’s blog post –– We can’t wait to share more stories like Shaiel’s!