Back in April 2013, High-School Graduate Robert from Germany contacted us at Intercultura, looking for an opportunity to gain life experience, to improve his Spanish skills and to volunteer at the same time. At Intercultura we believe that there is no better decision in life than going abroad, fully immersing yourself in the culture, learning the language and acquiring work skills in a foreign work environment.
Robert arrived in the beginning of September and will stay with us for one year. He is supporting our administrative Team at our Heredia Campus, and in return he receives free Spanish classes and can particpate in our daily cultural activities.
At our Intercultura Blog we will post regular interviews with Robert. We will accompany his time in Costa Rica, the stages of his language learning acquisition, as well as the good and less good experiences he will make, but which all will contribute to his whole Costa Rican experience.
Three weeks after being in Costa Rica and in Spanish class…here is the first interview:
1. What is your first impression after being two weeks in Costa Rica? (People, atmosphere, Intercultura work, etc…)
I am getting to know CR as a country! Staff is friendly, inclusive, warm and welcoming. The first 2 weeks have been to get familiar with my new working field and tasks and I am sure with time I will get to the point of knowing what is needed. The people at Intercultura have offered me the chance to work and helping me to learn Spanish. That’s why I have found the right place I needed to do things well.
2. What do you think about the food? Is there something you already like a lot?
I haven´t eaten anything yet which I didn´t like! I have to get used to the quantity of rice I have been served everyday as it is too much, but I like it…especially Gallo Pinto (the national dish of Costa Rica).
3. How is your Spanish after almost two weeks of classes? Can you understand the people? What is harder for you – speaking or understanding?
Speaking is more difficult but what I have realized is that the classes at Intercultura have helped me to improve the grammar base. Speaking Spanish four hours a day in class, the daily conversations I have with students and Intercultura staff and with the local family where live help me a lot to improve my Spanish.
4. Do you feel you have improved in you Spanish during this time?
Definitely, even after 2 weeks!
5. What do you like the most about the Spanish classes?
The structure of the class is very special due to the intervals, and also because it is very interactive which I like a lot.
6. How would you describe Heredia and Intercultura?
Heredia: It is a vivid town, very interesting due to the historic structure of the city, the streets, the cultural places, etc.
Intercultura: Very impressive, not only the classrooms, but also the campus as a whole (gardens, terrace, etc.). It is an efficient place but not chaotic.
7. How do you like your Volunteer Residence?
It´s beautiful! I feel at home and that my ‘familia Tica’ is like my own family now. I truly feel comfortable, and the house is very cosy.
8. Which word in Spanish is more difficult for you to pronounce?
9. What do you think about Costa Rica in general?
Costa Rica stands out in comparison to other Central America countries due to its progress, anti-military thinking and attitude, security and welfare.
This experience will change you and you will take home skills which you just cannot acquire when you stay at home!