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Maria Ewing

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N.U.in Costa Rica

While the thought of spending their first semester of college abroad can be daunting for some, Maria Ewing had no reservations about participating in N.U.in Costa Rica for the fall term of her freshman year. “N.U.in was a dream come true for me. I was looking for something exciting and different than high school, something that would have an immediate benefit on the world around me.” After having traveled to Central America in high school and falling in love with the people and culture, Maria knew the Costa Rica site was the one for her. “N.U.in gave me the opportunity to mix the idea of an abroad service project with my first semester of freshman year. I was sold.”

Maria volunteered in a small elementary school outside of San Jose, teaching English to children in grades 2 through 6. The rewarding experience of working with the local children was one that stuck out in Maria’s mind after she returned to Boston. “It really put into perspective my reasons for traveling to Costa Rica. It made me feel amazing to see the kids starting to understand English and be able to speak and write the words.”

Maria also credits the on-site staff with making her experience so enjoyable and memorable. “I was rarely in the International Office for help, but I became really close with the staff and cannot thank them enough for making my experience amazing.” Maria took advantage of many of the services offered by the on-site staff such as tutoring and charity projects to help make the transition easier. “I knew that I was being taken care of, and it was something that I deeply appreciated.”

To anyone with hesitations about The N.U.in Program, Maria offers some words of assurance. “I believe that we have to get out of our comfort zones in order to truly experience life, and N.U.in is a great way to transition into college.” The personal growth and learning experience Maria took away from N.U.in has benefited her now that she is back in the states. “My mom is really pleased about how much I have grown up. I see myself as an adult now and have taken on more responsibility.” With no regrets on her decision to participate in N.U.in Costa Rica, Maria says “go for it! I am really glad I chose to do it!”

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