The ELISA program gives Reserve students the opportunity to go on several different trips around the world, to places such as France, China, and Costa Rica. The goal of the program is for its students to improve in their chosen languages and broaden their worldviews.

This past summer, Sebastian Fields ‘20 was one of the ELISA students, who spent four weeks in Costa Rica. He took language classes, at a school called ICADS learning Spanish, he completed an internship for two weeks in San Jose, he helped with vending at a fruit stand, and he spent a dashing week on the beach of Sámara relaxing at a beach house and enjoying Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast. Fields added that his most memorable part of the trip was living with a host family, who opened his eyes to the Costa Rican foods that they ate on a daily basis.

Sebastain was enthusiastic about the pros of his trip: “I think the pros of visiting Costa Rica with ELISA are being able to experience Costa Rica unfiltered. It’s also really rewarding to be able to speak Spanish to strangers. One of the cons of going on ELISA is it’s all Spanish which makes it hard sometimes, unless if you’re going to France, in that case it would be all in French.”

I asked Sebastian what advice he would give to future students that may be contemplating on visiting another country which he replied with “I think is really important to have an open mind. Then you will be able to learn more of the language and be able to enjoy your time there.”

All in all, Sebastian made it clear that he enjoyed his time in Costa Rica and would recommend the ELISA program to any students who are eligible. Thank you Sebastian for your time and sharing your enlightening experience in Costa Rica.

-Benjamin Sindell ‘20

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