The Crimson White

Student finds joy serving others in Costa Rica

Katie Bedrich is working as a group assistant for Centro Panamericano de Idiomas in Costa Rica.  Photo courtesy of Katie Bedrich

Katie Bedrich

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Editor’s Note: In each issue this summer, The Crimson White will publish a column written by a student who is studying abroad in order to share their experiences in a foreign country. If you are studying abroad this summer and would like to write a column, please email newsdesk@cw.ua.edu.

I work as a group assistant for Centro Panamericano de Idiomas, a Spanish immersion school with three distinct campuses in Costa Rica. University groups from the U.S. come here to study abroad and live pura vida, and CPI provides itineraries and assistants (like me) to ensure unique and memorable experiences for each student.

I’m constantly evaluating the happiness of my students, which in turn results in my own personal joy every day. I’m currently working with a group of 27 students, and it was difficult at first handling such a large group with logistics like transportation and reservations to execute, but watching them explore outside their comfort zones has been more rewarding than I could 
have imagined.

About half of my job is comprised of organization, logistics, communication and supervision. A day in the office is sometimes just a day in the office, but most days consists of zip lining, snorkel cruises, volcano hikes, whitewater rafting and volunteer trips, just to name a few. That’s the other half of my job.

I get to travel a lot. Costa Rica is one of the most geographically diverse countries on the planet, which makes it a top vacation destination along with the laid-back lifestyle of Ticos (natives). In the 17 days that I’ve been here, I’ve lived along the golden coast of Playa Flamingo,
the bustling capital city San José and a quiet town called San Joaquín de Flores. I’m currently living in the Cloud 
Forest of Monteverde, a lush green mountainous region that is literally in 
the clouds.

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Student finds joy serving others in Costa Rica