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Meet Your Advisor - Bonnie Matheson

Learn all about USAC Lead Program Advisor, Bonnie!

Where did you study abroad?

Bonnie posing on a bridge overlooking the rainforest and Arenal in Costa Rica.

I studied abroad in Puntarenas, Costa Rica in 2010 and 2011.

What is your favorite memory from your time abroad?

Bonnie with her host family in Costa Rica.

I was invited on a weekend vacation with my host family to a retreat resort vacationed by many locals. I was so nervous, as I didn’t really know what to expect, and it was going to be the first time away from my USAC friends. This trip ended up being more than I could have hoped for. I built a great relationship with my host family (I felt like I became part of the family), I learned more about the “Tico” lifestyle, and enhanced my confidence in speaking Spanish and communicating. It was such a great trip that I am grateful to have experienced.

What is your favorite place you've traveled?

Munich, Germany! There is such a mix of history and modern-day life that coexist. From the history and architecture to the cafes, pubs and Bavarian cuisine, experiencing this city was truly vibrant and intriguing. The people are friendly and helpful with questions and navigation and anything else I needed.

What is your funniest travel memory?

A few of my USAC friends and I took a trip to Guatemala. We were backpacking through Central America using the local bus transportation. At one bus stop, a local lady sat next to me with baskets full of produce and groceries. I helped her hold them as the bus continued to fill with people. At one point one of the baskets started moving. Before I knew what was happening, a chicken flew out and was flapping around our heads. I screamed and swatted at the chicken. As I was doing this, the woman I was sitting next to slapped my hands away from her chicken. As I tried to apologize, she started laughing. Another passenger who spoke English told me that the chicken was for her family’s dinner.

If you could go on any USAC program, what would it be and why?

San Sebastián, Spain. To start with, the pictures of the beaches, Concha Bay and city, look breathtaking. Also, I’m very passionate about Spanish language and culture. It would be an amazing way to continue growing in these areas, as well as diversifying myself in Basque culture.

What do you like to do outside of work?

Outside of work I love anything outdoors; camping and hiking are always on my list. In addition, I love to cook, spend time in the yard gardening, or take my two dogs on walks.

What is a weird fact about you?

I would say it’s more of a “fun fact:” I have traveled to more international countries than U.S. states.

What's on your bucket list?

I’d love to learn a third language. I’m leaning towards German or Italian.

What's a meme that describes your life?

A turtle lying on its back saying "OMG...I'm flying!!" with a caption that reads "Optimism is the best way to see life."