Costa Rica: an individual adventure Past Review

By (International Business., Western Washington University) for

AIFS: San José - Universidad Veritas and Internship Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Through this experience I have grown so much as an individual and as a citizen of the world. I learned that there are other versions of history than what we learned in our high schools in the US, everything has another perspective.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The program size was great, it was very small so all excursions were intimate and I felt like we actually got the opportunity to interact with the culture of the country. The administration before arrival in the host country was incredible, the staff was super helpful with any and all questions and I felt that I received all information necessary to feel prepared for traveling to a new country. Upon arrival, the introduction staff was great as well. The only problem I had was with the resident director because she played favorites and didn't take our suggestions for activities or interests seriously.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I enjoyed the location of my house and the house itself was very comfortable. I wasn't satisfied with the relationship I had with my host family, I didn't feel that we made a true connection or that they made much of an effort to interact.

* Food:

I didn't feel I was given enough food at the beginning but the family was accommodating after I approached them about it.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The field trips provided through the classes were great. The activities provided by the program were few and far between and I didn't feel that they were a true taste of the Costa Rican culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Healthcare was easily accessible and the insurance plan provided was great, everything was covered with a $50 deductible. The resident director was available to go with you but I felt more comfortable going to the hospital by myself. No vaccines were necessary for the program even though my doctor recommended some. Malaria pills were not necessary even though the program recommended them.

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


* 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)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

Most of the staff spoke English which was great at times but was definitely used as a crutch.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Don't be afraid to venture out from the comfortable group you came to the country with, step out and take the risk to interact with the actual culture of the country. You will experience more if you stick with a smaller group.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Intercultural Communication

Course Department:
Instructor: Joaquin Lozano
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Discussions were interesting but because the class size was large not all students would have the opportunity to voice their opinions and I felt that much time was wasted getting the class on the same page. Also, the class wasn't as structured as I am used too.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Introduction to Economics in Latin America

Course Department:
Instructor: Joaquin Lozano
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Was a super interesting class that taught me about topics that would never be touched in an American University. I was frustrated at times because some of the class objectives were not clear.
Credit Transfer Issues: