share a smile and receive a smile in a new place not expected to be like home Past Review

By (California State University - Fullerton) - abroad from 03/25/2017 to 04/02/2017 with

AIFS: San José - Universidad Veritas and Internship Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My way of thinking of Cultures and Diversity has grown even stronger. I love to explore other cultures, but living with a family for a week and in a different country made it grow and realize things I had not lived before. I come from Mexican parent and they tell me there stories of living and some of those I was able to experience in Costa Rica. It was wonderful and something I will never forget.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I really feel like I was able to learn from this experience. I performed the tasks I was expected to. I also learn culturally, which was something amazing because I instead of reading and reasearching I was able to live and experience the life style.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

In Heredia the administration was very welcoming and knew how to handle everything well.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I felt very comfortable and I loved it!!!! My roommate and the family were very loving. They welcomed us and made feel like home. I was the one who spoke Spanish and was able to communicate and translate for my roommate. I have to say this made my experience even better because they showed us a bit of the Costa Rican Life. I was super satisfied with my housing experience. I would suggest that for people who don't speak Spanish to at least get paired up with someone who does, because some girls in my group had that issue of communication towards there family.

* Food:

The food was amazing!!!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt safe and aware of what was right and wrong. The culture was similar to mine coming from a Hispanic background.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Everything went well for me personally but was told if anything happens to let someone know.

* Safety:

Just make sure to watch out when crossing the road, just be aware of your surroundings and having a partner with you. Also knowing that whistling is normal. It was the first thing my host family told me to be aware of. I thought it was funny, but it happens

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

The surrounding felt safe and was easy to get around. The people introduced me to their life style. I came to meet new friends, who have now introduced us as part of their family. The program was wonderful because I went there as part of an internship to teach, and the location and school I worked with made me realize why I want to teach. I had a good time working with the children and the school setting in Heredia.


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

I went for a week and spend less than $200.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I only went on week and spend less $200 than, because I didn't go big on suvineiors.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I personally didn't go big on suviniors but buy some. This was because I wanted to enjoy my trip and spend less time at a shopping place. But if you do buy a couple of things like I did, you only need $200.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

Yes spanish was used at the market and at the school I work at, along with communicating with our host family.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Fluent
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 0
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Try learning the basic: greeting, asking questions, and knowing how to say your interests in Spanish.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The Directors Lady/ Angie/ Janiva
  • The activities
* What could be improved?
  • Pairing a non Spanish speaker with a Spanish speaker
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Well that our teacher let us know that maxi dresses or short are okay to take instead of many pairs of jeans. Even though everything was still great!!!

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.