The most amazing and unbelievable trip of a life!time January 29, 2016

By (Costa Rica Sea Turtle Study, High School) - abroad from 07/14/2015 to 08/02/2015 with

Broadreach: Multiple - Costa Rica & Nicaragua Sea Turtle Ecology

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Not only did I learn, very extensively, about turtles, their habitats, their anatomy, biology, and ecology, but I also learned about a whole new culture and their way of life. I learned about the rainforest and the animals and creatures that live there. I gained a whole new level of knowledge of that country and the people and animals that inhabit it.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

This program covered all important bases in-depth. I learned more than I originally thought I would and came home with a whole new level of knowledge on many different things from the sea turtles and their biology and ecology to Costa Rican culture.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Everyone we met and had experiences with on this trip were beyond amazing. Our instructors were kind, caring, funny, and just generally good people. They made sure to connect with us on a personal level and that made the trip ten times better. All of our tour guides and activity guides were so amazing and made sure that we were safe while we had a good time.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

We stayed at three different locations and each location was beautiful and well-kept. We had no issues at all with the living arrangements this trip.

* Food:

The food was delicious. We got a great mix of traditional Costa Rican cuisine and food options that we were more used to and more comfortable with.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We were very involved with the culture and their way of life and traditional day to day things for them. We din't fell like tourist outsiders, we felt as if we were part of them.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

If there were any health issues on this trip then it was dealt with perfectly. Our instructors came prepared for whatever we may need to keep us healthy. They were always ready to help us if we needed anything medical or health wise. They were sure to remind us to take medications if needed so that we didn't forget to take them.

* Safety:

Everything was planned so well for our safety that we didn't have to worry about anything. Our tour guides made sure that everything was safe for us to use and that we knew how to safely use it. Our instructors made sure that we could still have a good time but with certain restrictions to keep us close and safe.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

I had an amazing time on the program I chose and it was absolutely unbelievable and I will definitely be going back to Costa Rica but I also want the opportunity to experience other countries and other programs to make new friends as well as the ones I have made on the trip I was on.

Finances

* 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)

With a steady student budget from a part-time job it was a bit difficult to spend a lot on this trip because the trip itself costs quite a bit and then expenses there cost quite a bit as well

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? For three weeks I spent about $50 each week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Make sure to save money ahead of time for these programs. If you are interested in one of these trips definitely set aside money from each pay check or from each form of income.

Language

* 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

We were encouraged to speak as much spanish as possible even if we didn't know much. We were taught on the trip that every little bit counts and aside from the academic marine biology component, we did have great lessons on basic spanish language and communication.

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? High School bilingual program for Spanish diploma. Spanish background.
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Us it as much as possible. Even if you are unsure about whether or not you are using it correctly, still try your best. The more you practice it the better you will get and it is important to have a fundamental knowledge on a second language for future reference and future trips abroad.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Other
  • Hotel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
  • N/A
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
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 people I met
  • The activities we got to do
  • All the different environmetns I got to experience
* What could be improved?
  • Listening to what the students want
  • More variety in the food
  • shorter class lessons
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? It is extremely important to follow the packing list exactly.

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'