CENet Scholarship Blog: Evi Ugrinsky
Evi is an international studies and economics double major who will be studying at the University of Costa Rica during the spring semester. She was selected as a Cultural Exchange Network scholarship recipient because of her involvement in CENet and other student organizations, such as the Melting Pot (a student group that she founded). She will be blogging about her time in Costa Rica.
I can not remember one time somebody has tried to discourage me from studying abroad. Quite the opposite – other NC State students have told me time and time again what a life changing experience they had while abroad. So, finally, it is my turn! My journey starts tomorrow.
Tomorrow I will step off a plane in San José, Costa Rica. What a relief. For a while, in the midst of all the paper work, I started to become dismayed. I can only encourage students planning to study abroad to think ahead and get started early with the VISA process (start as soon as you become accepted into the program). You do not want to be told that your VISA application is due in one or two months time if obtaining all necessary documents takes up to 14 weeks. While the NC State Study Abroad Office is not allowed to advise on visa processes, they are a huge support in all other aspects.
Moving to Costa Rica for five months is a dream come true. Up until I started packing a few hours ago, it seemed too good to be true that I was leaving. I have made sure to check weather trends for the upcoming months and pack appropriately. Luckily, the weather is looking great! I will be entering Costa Rica during its dry season, what would be considered summertime in North Carolina. I have also packed a few items to make myself feel comfortable in my new home, such as pictures, small little lights, and a small lavender pillow. For my host family in Costa Rica, I have packed local North Carolina honey from the farmers market and German chocolate, souvenirs from where I am from to express my gratitude for sharing their house with me. I am really excited to meet them and to be emerged in the local culture.
In the process of trying to fit 5 months of my life into a suitcase and carry-on: