Nina lives in the moment in Costa Rica
Nina Cornelius, Business major, Spanish minor - TRIO Student
Winter 2020, Ecotourism Adventure in Costa Rica (Faculty-led program)
Growing up, I wasn’t a part of the kind of family that took vacations to Disneyland or Hawaii. Coming from a low-income family, my dreams of becoming a first generation college student were barely realized, so studying abroad, a passion of mine, did not seem realistic or possible.
However, being a part of TRIO made me realize that coming this far meant that anything was possible. I began the application process to study abroad in Costa Rica during Winter 2020. Going through with this process filled me with so much anxiety and courage all in one, because I still had to obtain a passport and I knew that I wasn’t going to have any financial support from my family.
Before I knew it, a few weeks later I was crying to my roommate after booking my flight to Costa Rica, realizing that my dream had come true. Arriving in Costa Rica, all I could do was take it all in and live in the moment. I was overwhelmed... not because I was scared of being in a new country or of the language barrier, but because I was so proud of myself and simply couldn’t believe I had made it. I had the opportunity to learn a new culture, visit national landmarks, engage with the wildlife and locals, and practice my Spanish! Most importantly, I had learned so much about myself and could clearly see what I wanted for my future and how attainable that was. I am forever grateful for this amazing experience!