Senior Tate Raub Spends Semester in Costa Rica

Tate Raub at Monteverde Cloud Forest in Costa Rica.

Senior Tate Raub has had the opportunity to spend the first semester of her senior year in Costa Rica learning Spanish and teaching kids English. 

On Tuesdays and Thursdays she spends about two hours at her cousin’s school teaching her own adaptation of the book How to Make an Apple Pie and See The World, written by Marjorie Priceman. 

“Working with the kids has been really interesting overall,” Raub said. “I’ve only ever worked with little kids around the ages of 5-7 and I’ve been around cousins of mine since they were born. But with this I’m working with little kids as young as 3 and as old as 14. So some of them are still learning how to read and others are like miniature adults.” 

She teaches in a school of about 60 students total, and describes how she has had to change her teaching style to reach every student. “…It’s been good to have one-to-one interactions with all the kids, but it’s been a learning curve to figure out how I need to teach something based on the age groups I have for the day.”

Raub shared a story about some of the students she teaches. “So I think one of my favorite [stories] so far was only the second or third time I went to the school for my project. I was with a group of fifth and sixth graders and the week before I gave them a list of countries to pick from…,” Raub explained.”I asked them to research the country and bring their two favorite facts the following week. Two of the girls both picked US and decided to work on it together. I came back the next week and they had made an entire poster on traditions, foods, and general facts from and about the US. They then took it another step further–they put on their poster that a popular dessert in the US is cheesecake so they made cheesecake bites for their whole class and myself. I was blown away that they took such a simple task and made it into much more just because they wanted to. The funniest part was that the cheesecake was better than some cheesecake I’ve had in the US.”

She flew out to Costa Rica Sept. 12 with her father, having a layover in Houston TX, and will be there a total of eight weeks.

“…My first cousin once removed did what I am doing when she was 16,” Raub explained. “She now lives here with her husband, who is from Costa Rica, and their son Max, whose school I’m volunteering at.”

Raub’s family has taken her to many places, including an animal rescue. “So they take in a ton of different animals, including these green iguanas that just kind of roam around the place. So we were walking around and this iguana just comes strolling out of the bushes,” Raub said. “I literally froze because I’ve never seen a three-foot long lizard up that close before while my family was just like ‘yeah this is normal, it’s not gonna hurt you.’ My [second cousin’s] mom got up super close and took a really cool picture [of it]. It was just totally crazy and cool and slightly terrifying all at the same time.”

During the end of middle of her junior year, Raub and her parents had started seriously discussing her going to Costa Rica to study Spanish. “I had been talking about it with my parents since late December 2018/early January 2019 because of the uncertainty of [the] levy, and because I only need one and a half credits/ two classes to graduate,” she said. “I didn’t want to fill my schedule with random classes if the levy did pass, and if it didn’t there wouldn’t have been much to take… I had already been considering doing CCP all year…”

While Raub is enjoying herself in Costa Rica, she is dearly missed by her friends and family. Senior Grace Maragos, Raub’s best friend since the first day of kindergarten, said, “Since I’ve always had basically every class with her, it’s definitely been weird not having her around this year. It’s just not the same having to go through senior year without her.”

Raub flies home December 6. When she returns, she will be taking yearbook with Polly Dierkens, along with College Writing 1 and possibly more CCP classes. She is also getting credit for an online Financial Lit class she is currently taking through Edgenuity.

“…Honestly, I’m having way too much fun and I just really love it here,” she said. “This has definitely made me want to travel more in the future and I would love to do another study abroad in college,” Raub said. “I also really want to continue with Spanish because I don’t want to lose my ability to speak the language just because I’m not practicing it daily. I haven’t even left yet and I already want to come back.”

Tate has been working hard to make blog and vlog posts while in Costa Rica. Check them out via the links below…

View Tate’s Blog Here

View Tate’s Vlog Posts Here