Name: Luz Alcala
Major: MA, Higher Education and Student Affairs
Future Career Aspirations: College Academic Advisor
Why did you choose to study abroad with the Baker Teacher Leader Center Global Education Initiatives?
It was a great opportunity to travel somewhere I had never been and engage with young students learning English. Making connections with the students and seeing their English improve throughout the week was one of the most memorable experiences there and allowed me to see how much planning goes behind teaching.
What were your big takeaways from the trip, in other words, how did the trip change you and what did you learn?
I gained a bigger appreciation for teaching. I learned more about myself and the strengths I can use in my future career. Being able to go on hikes and see dolphins was an amazing part of the experience that taught me more about Costa Rica. I also enjoyed talking to the locals and learning more about who they are and how much they care about their environment. They work together as a community to see that their environment is kept clean and healthy. Visiting the indigenous family and learning about their traditions and how they can use many plants for remedies also opened my eyes to how indigenous communities are treated in other countries.
Would you recommend this trip to others?
I would highly recommend this trip because you gain personal growth, a lot of new friends, and an understanding of a beautiful culture.
What would you say to someone who was thinking about studying abroad?
Do it. This is the time to go abroad and learn while in a different country. You will get to appreciate other cultures and spend
time in places that challenge you to be a better person. Studying abroad gives you the chance to meet new people and expand your knowledge in a new setting. I’ve been able to study abroad twice, and I would say each experience taught me something different about myself.