Hi all my name is Durand Brandt and I am going into my senior year here at USF as a 6-12 Biology Education Major. I have recently received the College of Education Global Educators Scholarship and I am thankful for it so I could be able to take this wonderful trip. I am about to study and teach abroad in Costa Rica and I cannot be more excited. I choose this specific program because I have never been out of the states and what better way of exploring than going somewhere close to home. The class I am participating in is an independent study course so I will be writing do’s and don’ts for teachers who are wanting to teach in Costa Rica. While in Costa Rica I will be teaching science a few days out of the two weeks I am there at a private school and one day the group will be visiting a public school. As an education major I have observed many classes and I have also worked in a middle school for five years, so I have seen almost anything and everything you could possibly think of that could happen in a school. I hope to experience a new atmosphere of students, different ways of teaching and learn new activities to bring back to my classroom. I am also interested to see how teachers, parents, and students interact with one another in the schools, as compared to here in the states where you can have all parties not wanting to communicate with one another.
Other than the schools itself I hope to learn about the culture and people who live there. I’ve heard from many people that Ticos, what Costa Rican people call themselves, are pleasant to be around and they are accepting of anyone who comes to visit. As someone with anxiety, I am not a very outgoing person so having people around who are welcoming might be a big weight off my shoulder when arriving there. I have had my bags packed for weeks now and keep checking to make sure I do not forgot anything that might be needed for my trip. I am hoping that this experience will bring me out of my shell and make me more opened for future trips, whether it be with USF or on my own, and even maybe one day teaching in one of the countries that I want to travel to!