Tamia Beckles was a participant on PAA’s Music Volunteering in Costa Rica program. To be put in touch with Tamia to learn more about her experience and see if this program is a good fit for you, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This summer I visited Costa Rica with Performing Arts Abroad. It was such an awesome experience for me! The teachers at Sion and Naciones Unidas were amazing and extremely supportive, and the host family I stayed with has been hosting students for over 20 years! Costa Rican Language Academy was extremely helpful and I learned a lot from the materials provided during orientation. Being in a strange country by yourself can be scary, but once you land, you are never alone, there’s always someone nearby who can help you with whatever you need. Being a Music and Spanish double major in college, I was able to use both areas of knowledge simultaneous which was an added bonus. From this experience, I’ve definitely confirmed that teaching music is one of the things I want to do with my life. I think, even people who don’t want to teach professionally, should jump at this opportunity because firstly, it’s an opportunity to witness the impact of music in a different country and secondly, it’s an opportunity to immerse oneself in music and helping others. Even if you don’t speak the language of the country, one thing that is universal is being a caring person, and the kids there can definitely tell when you care and are interested in their improvement. I advise anyone who will listen to go abroad with Performing Arts Abroad and I can’t wait to do it again!