Felicia Homan

InterFuture Class of 2010

Research Project: Fashion Dictators or Style Promoters: The Relationship between Fashion Magazines and Consumer Behavior in Costa Rica and the United States

When I landed in Costa Rica it was so dark I could barely make out the difference between the U.S. city I had left and the Central American city I would soon call home. I awoke the next morning in my host family’s house to the smell of coffee and five family members waiting to greet me in Spanish. Only in Spanish.

For the next 6 months I was fully culturally immersed. My family taught me colloquial phrases and cultural taboos, such as never say “pues.” This insider knowledge proved helpful as I conducted my self-directed research on fashion trends with locals. After only a week on locale, I landed an interview with the head of the fashion magazine I was researching. It was invigorating to watch my research unfold and develop in more vivid colors than I’d ever imagined.

I arrived a wide-eyed, naive American student eager to learn about Costa Rican culture. I left a Spanish speaking Tico with a new appreciation for culture, an incurable love of adventure and invaluable research experience.