A Costa Rica internship in one of the most beautiful countries in the world is of course very different from a normal internship in Germany. But how exactly did the whole process work? I will tell you about my personal impressions from the beginning of the planning until the arrival in Costa Rica.
It`s going to be Costa Rica
One thing was clear quite fast at the end of my school time in Bavaria. Not what I want to study or work later on, but that I want to go abroad after my A-levels. A year to discover new places, get to know other lifestyles and just get a little bit out of Germany. Nothing against Germany, but a little distance and seeing different ways of living might no be a very bad idea .
Now, of course, the first question was: where am I going to go?
That wasn’t all clear right from the beginning, but I have always been interested in Latin America. A completely different culture and way of living, a unique flora and fauna and as an extra plus an opportunity to improve my Spanish a bit.
Besides, this continent is a bit far away from Germany, or better very far away…. on the one hand it’s a bit creepy, of course, because I haven’t even crossed the borders of Europe yet. But also exactly what I’m looking for: something completely new and distant.
After looking around and doing some research, my choice fell relatively quickly on Costa Rica. The huge variety of species, the many nature reserves, the different landscapes from beautiful beaches at the sea to rain forests or volcanoes. You can find all this in the small country of approximately 51.000 square kilometres. Somehow funny, this is even smaller than the federal state I come from. Bavaria has about 70,000 square kilometres.
But in the end the decision was simply based on my gut feeling: I want to do an internship in Costa Rica!
And so the planning begins
Now the “fun” part of a stay abroad began: planning.
What do I want to do? Where exactly do I want to go? How do I earn my money?
After some ideas that weren`t right for me, my mother told me that she had talked to a student who had worked for a few months in a boarding house in Costa Rica. She was totally thrilled and suggested the Hotel Paraiso de cocodrilo. There she did an internship and got a room and food for the time. After a few unsuccessful attempts this offer sounded very tempting. After a short research, the idea became more and more promising. The hotel is located very close to the beach Buena Vista and at the same time directly in the rain forest, so it has a lot of nature to offer. Also the tourist city Sámara isn`t far away.
So it actually has everything you could hope for if you spend your time in Costa Rica.
Then I contacted Rainer, the pension manager, quite simply over email and asked if he was still looking for an intern. We wrote back and forth briefly, exchanged our Skype and shortly afterwards I had an acceptance for an internship from December to March. That was actually very easy and carefree. And of course this has simplified a lot: I had a firm commitment and a place to stay. That’s the most important thing for now.
Thank God I started quite early, so planning the rest wasn`t too stressful. I booked the plane ticket shortly afterwards and started with all the paperwork. I completed a health insurance for a foreign country, applied for a VISA card and, and, and…that`s what you have to go through it if you want to go so far away. But in the end it is worth the effort in any case.
Here we go
As time passed, the time of departure came closer and closer. And so, shortly before I was going to leave, all the last things would have to be done. Packing my suitcases, checking everything, saying goodbye to friends and family and then everything was ready. A cloth sloth that my friends gave me should accompany me on my journey.
On 28 November at 4 o’clock in the morning my parents, my brother and my dog were packed into the car and off we went to the airport in Munich. To be honest, I was a bit scared already, because I was going to fly alone for the first time. Actually it was even my first flight, because I was about three years old at my last one and can’t remember it at all.
But everything wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Check-in and control behind me I was then only waiting for my flight to Madrid as a stopover. It was actually quite simple, and so I sat in my plane to Spain at about 7 o’clock in the morning.
With a slight delay we arrived in Madrid and off we went, not to miss the connecting flight to Costa Rica. There was a little rush but thank God everything went well and so I sat about half an hour later in the big plane to San José. Now I only tried to kill time, because the flight took quite a long time. So for 13 hours I changed positions, maybe to sit a bit more comfortable, watched a movie or slept a little. One time we probably got into a small storm, as the plane shook a little. That was a bit creepy, but strangely enough also funny, as long as everything goes well, of course. Apart from that the flight was quite pleasant.
Finally we landed in San José and now I only had to go through a short check, pick up my suitcase and leave the airport. At the exit I was picked up by my driver, who brought me directly to the hotel.
During the trip it rained a lot in between, but otherwise it was quite relaxing. And so we finally drove in the dark through the forest on a bumpy road to the Hotel Paraiso de cocodrilo.
After the long day I honestly just wanted to go to bed and sleep. I was totally tired and exhausted, but everything worked out quite well. And so an exhausting, but also very interesting day came to an end. In the evening I fell asleep in my room to the nocturnal sounds of the rain forest.
To be honest, I still couldn’t believe that I’m really in Costa Rica now, but I am. Let’s see what I will experience here…