Costa Rica: Living Pura Vida! Past Review

By (Biology, University of Minnesota - Morris) for

AIFS: San José - Universidad Veritas and Internship Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Yes! I learned a lot about not only different culture, but I also learned a lot about myself by taking a leap of faith and doing something totally different than anything I have ever done

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.

The workload was much less than I am used to, but I also spent much more time in class than I was used to. I still learned a lot and the learning was very interactive. They took into account that though we were there to learn, we were also in a foreign country for only 5 weeks and needed time to explore.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Though my host family was quite accomadating, the house I lived in was a large distance from campus and not near any other students. The rest of the students in my program lived all in the same area and were able to walk as a group to places. My roommate and I, as two young women, were forced to take taxis everywhere and spent a great deal more on transportation than others.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

San Jose was fairly safe if you are smart. As Americans, we knew we were easy targets so we always stayed in groups and never took taxis alone. If not careful, getting mugged was something not unheard of.

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
Language acquisition improvement?

As it was only a 5 week course, it is difficult to go from novice to anything much beyond, however I did learn a large deal in regards to the amount of time I was there.

If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
  • Host Family

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? A student who wants to see the world and broaden their horizons but also wants to see a part of the world with a tropical atmosphere would love this program