A Trip to be Remembered for a Lifetime - Costa Rica: Samantha Robison, Ag Science Major, Agronomy and Environmental Inquiry Minors


Posted: January 4, 2013

Samantha holding a native species of bird, the toucan

Samantha holding a native species of bird, the toucan

Over a course of 4 weeks in Costa Rica Samantha Robison, a Senior Agricultural Sciences major learned a bunch of life lessons in such a short amount of time.  Traveling to another country to learn about their agricultural practices was always on Samantha’s college bucket list along with learning a new language. So what better way to accomplish them by spending 4 weeks in Costa Rica with her Intag 297A class.

While in the country Samantha had the unique opportunity to live like “tica”(what Costa Ricans call themselves).  RobisonCR2.pngShe lived right beside an active volcan (volcano) with a host family who spoke no English; an important factor in helping her in speaking Spanish.  While in the College of Agricultural Sciences Samantha decided to take the Spanish for Agriculture course work. This taught her much needed information on how to write and read Spanish but she didn’t have to talk a lot. It wasn’t until speaking Spanish was a necessity to survive that she started to improve her speaking skills.

Learning to speak Spanish was an important concept in the course so, 5 days a week Samantha and her fellow students went to class for 4 hours a day. Once a week they had the opportunity to visit a variety of farms including: an arbol (tree) farm, pina (pineapple) plantation and processing plant (Samantha’s favorite), banana planation and processing plant, and a biodigestor.

RobisonCR3.pngThroughout her journey through Costa Rica Samantha learned a very valuable piece of information about herself.  She now knows that if she would need to move to another country she would be able adjust and learn the culture.  She is also able to say she is intermediate in reading, writing, and speaking Spanish to potential employers. If a fellow Penn State student is interested in studying abroad, Samantha would highly recommend going on the Spanish for Agriculture trip. This trip gives you the opportunity to live with a host family, learn Spanish, agriculture, and about a culture.  Not only does she have memories about the trip she also gained friends and a family in Costa Rica. If one decides to go on the trip it definitely be one that they’ll remember for a lifetime.