Costa Rica education abroad: Caroline's experience

Costa Rica education abroad: Caroline's experience

13 Jun 2019    By Caroline Jacobs

When I first decided to go to Costa Rica, I had no idea how impactful such a short trip abroad could truly be. I find myself already incorporating things I learned from my experiences into my everyday life, such as taking time to reflect and being more conscious of my environmental impact.

I think the biggest influence this trip has had on me, however, is pushing me to think about what kind of school I want to work in, what kind of educator I want to be, and what kind of world I want to help shape. 

In the future, I hope to be working as a speech pathologist in part of a special education program in schools. I hope that I can be an advocate for inclusion in my school while also meeting each child’s specific needs as we discussed at Centro Nacional De Recursos Para La Educación Inclusiva.

I also hope that I can be a part of a school with a good balance of quality and accessibility. This concept is one we touched on at Centro de Educación Creativa while comparing their private school setting to the Monteverde Friends School. Although one of my favorite and most memorable experiences of the trip was learning about Quakerism influences in Monteverde and getting to experience their religious service with no hierarchy and no speakers but only introspection and consideration for others, I had to keep in mind that this school is not as accessible to students because of its small size and huge waitlist. 

Overall, this trip has helped me find what is important to me when working as a speech pathologist in the future and taught me that I have the power to make a real impact on students, schools, and the world around me. 

The author, Caroline Jacobs, is a speech-language pathology major from Olathe, Kansas. She traveled to Costa Rica May 11-25 with a group of 12 other undergraduate students for a study abroad experience led by associate professor of practice Sue Kemp and professor John Maag from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders. To learn more about what they did during their two weeks in Costa Rica, visit the group's Facebook page.

Special Education and Communication Disorders