Traveler Bio


Waterfall in the Children's Eternal Rainforest

Hi everyone! I'm Vanessa, and I'm originally from Green Bay, Wisconsin. I studied biology at the University of Alabama (UA), along with Spanish. Following my undergraduate degree, I pursed a master's degree in Spanish literature while also teaching introductory Spanish at UA. I also volunteer for several organizations as a teacher, tutor and mentor. 

If I had to pinpoint a moment where my global mindset truly bloomed, I would point to the first time I visited Costa Rica while I was in high school. I had the opportunity to stay with a host family and take Spanish classes in the capital city, San José. After tasting local cuisine, learning about traditionally painted oxcart wheels, and growing to understand the connection that Costa Ricans have with nature and their environment, I knew that one day I wanted to return!

During the pandemic, I took the time to examine my future goals and alter the path I was taking professionally. I chose to listen to the spark of curiosity within me -- the voice that was urging me to travel abroad. The Fulbright Program stood out to me as a way to explore this interest while also providing the space to create life-long friendships within my host community. I currently work in Ciudad Quesada, assisting in English classes at two different universities while also devoting time to volunteering and hobbies (like playing volleyball and taking dance classes)!

Want to learn how you could be a Fulbright Scholar like me? The Fulbright Program is the United States government's flagship international exchange program. Fulbrighters foster mutual understanding between the United States and partner nations, share knowledge across communities, and improve lives around the world. Learn more by clicking here!