What position do you hold at Cloud Forest School? What has been your career path so far?
Chelsea: I am the External Relations Manager here at the Cloud Forest School. I manage all our international programs here at the school, including international admissions (families and high school students), interns, volunteers, and volunteer groups. This is my fourth year at the Cloud Forest School. I previously worked as the high school math teacher for three years here at the school.
What is your favorite story of a student's experience with Cloud Forest School in Costa Rica?
Chelsea: I remember being so impressed my first year with two international students from the US who were here on their own studying in the 11th grade. The fact that they were able to leave home and come experience a new culture at such a young age, while really making the most of the opportunity, was really inspiring to me.
What does the future hold for Cloud Forest School - any exciting new programs to share?
Chelsea: The Cloud Forest School is expanding its international programs across the board. One of our newest programs, which we hope to grow and encourage more international participation, is our Summer Program offered in June and July. These programs allow for international as well as local families to participate in fun activities on campus, while learning Spanish and about the Costa Rican culture. We also invite interested adults and college students to participate in the program by volunteering or serving as a summer intern.
What's one piece of advice you would offer someone considering a program abroad in Costa Rica?
Chelsea: Come prepared to experience a different culture; that means be open to not only a new language, but different daily customs, cuisine, style of homes, and values. With the Cloud Forest School, you will be placed in a vetted homestay family, who have children enrolled in the school. These are great experiences for our participants who are willing to embrace a life that may be different than what they are used to.