Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of features on recipients of the Judith Oliver Brown Memorial Award. The award, named after the late 1963 Keuka graduate, is supported by Brown’s family and the Class of ’63. It is designed to assist students pursuing culturally-oriented Field Periods.
For her Field Period, Katherine Kostuck is visiting several cities in Costa Rica and staying with a host family for two weeks
The junior occupational science major admits that living with a Spanish-speaking host family “will be exciting but challenging, as my Spanish could use some work around the edges. Living with them will teach me more about their culture first-hand and help develop my language skills.”
The Cortland resident is also taking a Spanish class.
“Being immersed in the culture will allow me to truly participate within it and come to appreciate everything it has to offer,” said Kostuck, before she left for Costa Rica. “I am excited to try the food and experience different customs. I believe this will be a life-changing opportunity.”
In addition to her Spanish classes, Kostuck will have the opportunity to visit volcanoes, rain forests, coffee plantations, hot springs, and gardens.
After Costa Rica, Kostuck will travel to Tacoma, Wash. and spend two weeks at Pioneer Place, an Alzheimer’s care center.
“My grandfather died of Alzheimer’s disease and when I was younger, I didn’t quite understand the disease, but I would like to,” said Kostuck. “This Field Period will allow me to better understand it by taking part in the patients’ daily activities. I intend to learn from the staff, as well as from the patients. I will not only take this knowledge into my occupational therapy classes, but also to the nursing home in which I volunteer in Penn Yan.”
Going to two different locations for her Field Period gives Kostuck “the opportunity to better understand other cultures. Everything I will experience on these trips will make me a better-rounded person. My brother and sister both had the chance to travel abroad and they told me how much they had learned and what they learned about themselves. Now it’s my turn.”