I worked as an intern for the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) in a sub-department called the Department of Investigation in Alternative Energy. The government-owned company is located in San Jose, the capital city of Costa Rica. There are many interests for ICE in terms of renewable energy, thus the department is continuously expanding. My project objective was to help ICE better understand the technologies that exist in the energy storage field that could help integrate renewable energies into Costa Rica’s electricity grid. I was also able to expand my knowledge of the Costa Rican culture, the city, surrounding beaches and improve my Spanish. Previously, I had participated in a Study Abroad program in Costa Rica.
This time I became aware how quickly I have started speaking Spanish with the Costa Rican accent. I was able to talk to people and they didn’t realize that I wasn’t a native speaker. I think that this has come from being immersed in the language, more so than with the Study Abroad Program. I am now able to translate English to Spanish and Spanish to English. Having this internship in Costa Rica was a great experience. Next time, I would live closer to my workplace. It was quite a challenge to take three buses to work!