Pura vida! Past Review

By (Medicine, University of Nebraska - Lincoln) - abroad from 05/24/2015 to 06/26/2015 with

CEA CAPA Education Abroad: San Jose, Costa Rica

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
This experience was completely worthwhile. I came into it having a solid knowledge of the Spanish language, but by the time I left, I could understand nearly everything people were saying and speak with considerable ease. Not only that, I also learned a lot of independence. One can grow up a lot when traveling by themselves! Would definitely recommend this experience to pretty much anyone, especially those who have a taste for adventure or want to learn a new language.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

The home cooked meals are amazing! Finding something at the grocery store to make for yourself for lunch, though, is a different story.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Your time here can be safe, as long as you NEVER walk alone, especially if you are a female. It is best to limit your time walking after dark, which can be hard considering it gets dark around 6.

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
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

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

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Advanced
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Several 300 level Spanish courses
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? People will speak to you in English. Respond in Spanish! Chances are, they will continue the conversation in Spanish after that and you can get some good practice.

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?
  • Gave you plenty of time in the afternoons and on the weekends to explore
  • CEA employees were great resources, very friendly/accessible, and extremely organized
  • Teachers were very friendly
* What could be improved?
  • I cannot think of anything.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That bug spray is a must for weekend trips and that I should have brought my own peanut butter from home because it's hard to come by here.

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.