Costa Rica Trip with Castleton University Chorale

Shirley with the Castleton University Choir

Studying at Castleton University has been a very enriching experience for me. I remember the orientation day when other new students and I were encouraged to be involved in on-campus activities by Victoria Angis (Associate Dean of Students) saying, “This is a university with many opportunities for you to be successful, come out of your comfort zone and do new things, get engaged!” Those words impacted me and led me to join the choir.

It was a great opportunity because I got to experience new things, such as visiting a foreign country and experiencing a new culture. It was good to be able to connect with the American culture and the Costa Rican culture by music and also helping the chorale group with the Spanish language for some songs, I felt very useful and appreciated for translating them.

I felt amazed about the way Costa Ricans approached tourism, they really do a great job with the resources that they have. We got to see places I haven’t seen before, like the waterfalls and the rain forest. We saw different animals in their natural environment and even got to visit a coffee farm, which inspired me to work closely with my dad at his coffee farm and innovate. Even if we were only there for a few days, I am thankful that I could develop close relationships. I got to learn about working with excellence and passion, these are things that have helped me grow as a person.

Written by Shirley Benitez Mejia, 2018-2019 Global UGRAD Student from Honduras at Castleton University