Studying Abroad is 100% Worth It! Past Review

By (Washington State University) - abroad from 01/07/2017 to 04/01/2017 with

CEA CAPA Education Abroad: San Jose, Costa Rica

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Independence, confidence, and life-long friends. I'll never regret going abroad, I'm actually planning on doing a second program next summer.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

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?

I didn't speak any Spanish when I first arrived in the country, so I requested to be placed with a host family that had some English speaking abilities. Unfortunately, that was not the case, but everything still worked out really well.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Though there were plenty of cultural experiences, the school aspect of it had very minimal cultural integration because all of the classes were with other international students, which basically meant other students from the US.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I got really sick while I was abroad but my program directors and host family coordinated to make sure I saw a doctor who spoke English and got the medicine that I needed. It went really well, plus they have universal health care in Costa Rica so even if I hadn't had insurance it still would have been very affordable.

* Safety:

The safety was overall not bad, but it could have been better. There were a couple of situations that made me nervous, but nothing bad happened to me personally. The program also took measures to try to make us as safe as possible, which worked well and were really nice.

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

I would personally chose a different program just because I studied French throughout high school and early college, so I wish I had gone to a French-speaking country, rather than trying to tackle Spanish with absolutely no prior experience with the language.


* 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? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? None
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? Watch movies with the subtitles in the language you're trying to study, or watch them in that language with English subtitle. It makes a world of difference, plus you see a side of the language that you won't always get in a traditional classroom.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • 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?
  • Living with a Host Family
  • Improving Language Skills
  • Outdoor Recreation
* What could be improved?
  • Cultural Immersion in an Academic Setting
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The course selection and price point are very important in choosing the program that's right for you, but they're not the only thing that matters. Look into other details as well, especially if you're trying to decide between a couple of programs.

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.