Past Review

By (EDUCATION., New Mexico State University) for

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I was disappointed in the increased crime in Costa Rica, but I believe the school offers a good opportunity to study with good-excellent teachers. Ticos are sweet, respectable people and a joy to know.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Most of the teachers were good-excellent.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I had a medical emergency. The staff was efficient and reliable in assisting me.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Independence of an apartment required more self responsibility and independent conversations.

* Food:

Rice and beans are the staple, served three meals a day. I like this dish and eat it at home; that helps. It's good to avoid buying US snack food--chips and such--in order to fully experience the culture. US foods are available, but expensive. Hamburgers are usually awful.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I am an adult. There were plenty of students my age with whom to socialize.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Crime in Costa Rica has increased to an alarming level. I carried only a copy of my passport and $20 always, expecting to be robbed. I was not able to carry phone, camera or anything I carried about not losing. Students were being robbed regularly in Heredia, even those who took ordinary precautions.

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? I have traveled all over the world with an ATM card. But, in Costa Rica, I was surprised that only certain banks would honor my card. I had taken a large sum of US currency and was glad I had it.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

My skills were advanced when I arrived; improvement potential was limited. But there was near immersion possible.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • N/A

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Take seriously the precautions recommended by the school. Travel in groups, especially at night; use "official" cabs; keep your personal style low key; carry the minimum-- no big backpacks, don't flash cell phones, cameras, wallets in public or you will almost certainly be robbed.