Past Review

By (Biology, General., New Mexico State University) for

Centro Panamericano de Idiomas (CPI): Heredia - CPI Language Center

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
This experience was totally worthwhile. I learned so much about the country, have gained a new appreciation of those from different countries, have been humbled by all that we have here in the US, and gave me an eagerness to continue practicing the Spanish language. This has confirmed even more that I would like to work overseas some day.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

This was a great program that had a great cirriculum to learn Spanish. Everyone was so friendly and helpful and being fully emerged in the language helped me pick the language up even quicker. I really loved the small classrooms. I felt like the individual attention is what I needed to accel in the Spanish language.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Everyone was really friendly and nice to talk to. They had so many activities offered and would really take time to help you learn and understand the language and cultural differences. The classroom size was great and all my expectations were met ans surpassed.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The families that I stayed with were great. I felt very safe and was in beautiful areas of the towns. In Heredia it was a little far for me but there were plenty of things to do in the evenings. I bought only a few snaks but nothing to really settle in. I was treated like family from all of my host families. It was great.

* Food:

Everything was great, rice and beans just got old but I understand that is cultural preferences. They would give me anything that I wanted and were respectful of my no seafood diet.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I loved the cooking classes that were given by CPI and I also loved white water rafting and touring arenal and the hotsprings. All of which were arranged by/through CPI

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

The people of Costa Rica are extremely friendly but there is a lot of theft. Just make sure you keep all of your valubles locked in your host family's house or keep them in front of you at all times. I didn't have any health issues so have no experience with the health care.

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)

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? It is easy to go to an ATM but all of the banks are crowded so I would avoid going to a bank if possible. However, the exchange rates are better at banks than local places although dollars are generally accepted.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
Language acquisition improvement?

I practiced Spanish with my host families, the teachers at school, as well as my fellow classmates. I definitely needed to use it everyday because none of my host families spoke English and my teachers spoke limited English. Also, for transportation purposes I needed to speak Spanish. Most of the people did not speak English but English was spoken in the tourist areas.

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

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Host Family

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? To get as much as possible out of this experience, you must be willing to try new things, eager to learn, and not shy about meeting new people. You can't expect life to be like it is in the US but be willing to fully experience the culture

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Intermediate Spanish 1

Course Department: SPAN 211
Instructor: Longwell
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: This class was at the level I needed. It was challenging, the professor was very helpful and I feel like it helped me a lot to improve my speaking skills.
Credit Transfer Issues: Not that I know of
Course Name/Rating:

Intermediate Spanish 2

Course Department: SPAN 212
Instructor: Longwell
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: This was a nice continuation of the first intermediate spanish. The diaries and the quizzes wer challenging and helped me really learn.
Credit Transfer Issues: Not that I know of.