I chose the Blyth summer program for a number of reasons. Firstly, it was a safe and reliable program that had exceptional reviews for students like me. Additionally, I love adventure and I knew Costa Rica would be a perfect country for someone like me to explore. Last but not least, I was able to get a high school credit which allowed me to take higher-level courses during the year (at my school).
What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?
The Blyth Summer program for high school students is well organized and required very little planning on my own. I was able to choose what excursions I wanted to participate in (for an additional fee). However, many excursions were included in the initial program fees.
While in Costa Rica, the trip was well planned with lots of free time for us to explore on our own. During these hours of the day, we would get into groups with our friends in order to decide what we wanted to do (ie. go to the beach, eat lunch, study, go swimming, etc.).
What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?
The biggest piece of advice I would give to someone enrolling in the program is to stay open-minded! It is the only way to make new friends and truly enjoy the trip. There are definitely going to be times where things don’t go as planned and staying open-minded will allow you to solve these problems while having fun!
What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?
7:30 Wake up
11:00-5:00 Free time (sometimes you will have an afternoon class between 1:00 and 3:00)
5:00-6:00 Study time
6:00-6:15 Evening announcements
7:15-11:00 Free time/ organized activities (depending on whether you want to participate in the activities run by the activity coordinators)
11:00- Room checks
Every day was different and during days where we were in Arenal and Monteverde, the schedule was slightly different.
Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?
My biggest fear going into the trip was not being able to make friends! Lucky for me, I was surrounded by like-minded students who were super friendly and easy to talk to. In the end, I was able to make life long friends who I continue to talk to every day!
Looking back, I have realized that making friends is easy with an open mind!
What was your favourite part of the trip?
Definitely the most memorable part of the trip was meeting all my friends and making memories that will last me a lifetime.
My favourite part was going on the snorkeling excursion! We got to go on a gorgeous boat before jumping into the stunning blue water and seeing awesome wildlife! Then we got to eat some snacks while watching the sunset. Before returning to shore, we had a little dance party on a boat while the sun set behind us with our life long friends! It literally felt like we were part of a movie!