Heredia rekindles Rivera’s love for life

University of Cincinnati student discovers herself while living abroad

Studying abroad through University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC) helped University of Cincinnati student Stephanie Rivera find her spark again, according to a release from the institution. The journalism and international affairs major spent her spring term in Heredia, Costa Rica, which was her first trip outside of the United States.

While taking classes at the Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica (UNA), she enjoyed getting to know the local ticos — a nickname for Costa Ricans — in and outside of class. The Tico Friend Program helps students on campus get together and practice their language skills. On weekends, she ventured out and explored the nation.

“I got to travel almost every weekend.” Stephanie said. “I visited La Fortuna, Monteverde, Jaco, Puerto Viejo, Cahuita, Panama, Bocas del Toro, San Jose often, Tamarindo, Samara, and several small cities and towns in the mountains.”

The experience of traveling abroad and immersing in another culture forced Stephanie to be truly aware of herself. Her strengths and weaknesses became very clear to her, but at the same time she was moved and inspired by the beauty of the world around her. The Heredia program really helped her focus on what she wanted to do with her life.

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