Pre-Departure Post

¡Buenas! My name is Reid, and I am a rising Sophomore at ND! I am a Spanish and Pre-Health student with intentions on going to Med School. This summer I have the wonderful opportunity to travel to Costa Rica with the generosity and guidance of the CSLC. There I will be participating in a Foreign Language Internship. Working with the Praxis Center in Costa Rica, my internship will be located in a primary clinic where I will be able to experience the day-to-day interactions among patients, doctors, and administrators.

These past few weeks the various cohorts for the different Foreign Language Internships have been completing various reflection exercises. I have found them very valuable in their ability to challenge me to look deeper inside myself to see why I truly want to participate in this experience and how I hope to grow my intercultural mind as a participant. We did various activities to reflect like the IDI analysis. But the most recent reflection was an intercultural goals sheet. I discovered that my two goals for this summer are adaptability and collaboration. The first goal revolves around my desire to challenge myself in a new environment. For most of my life, I have lived in a state of comfort as a member of a dominant group. Either at home in Tennessee or at Notre Dame, I have never felt like an outsider. In Costa Rica, I will be relatively new and different from the cultural practices. I want to learn to appreciate the customs I encounter but also to appreciate the ones I have already developed. I feel adaptability comes to encompass the ability to change to appreciate and understand the various things we encounter. For collaboration, I want to focus on my introverted self. I have grown up relatively shy. Although I have taken immersive Spanish classes for the past six+ years, I sometimes lack confidence in my communication. I want to go out of my way to connect with others and to work with them in understanding each other on various levels.

I’d be lying if I said I am not nervous. I have never been away from the States for so long. But I am so excited to see where this journey takes me and the people I will meet along the way!