Past Review

By (PSYCHOLOGY., 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 believe my spanish improved and I take less for granted of what we have here. The program made me want to return to improve my spanish even more becuase it was very enjoyable.

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: CPI
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.

I liked the intense studying. There was a lot of homework given, but the experience was well worth it. Class sizes were all small 1-3 people compared to classes at NMSU. Spoke all in spanish, but only works if they can speak slow enough that I can understand. Didn't teach all tenses that are taught here and different approach to what is being taugh than at NMSU.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Administrators were always around and willing to help with whatever was needed. there were many nmsu students there and the school was very familiar with dealing with what was needed for these students. Classes are all small and focused. Was placed in an inappropriate level at the second campus, but was easily remedied by speaking with the administration office.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Long distance to walk to class, especially with Knee problems. Felt fairly safe walking with someone, even late at night. Wouldnt walk alone though. Treated very well by host families, treated as a guest, but environment was very relaxed.

* Food:

Eating out is relatively cheap in heredia, but very expensive in monteverde. Eat with your host family if possible. Always given enough food, however was wasted when it was something I dont eat (mayonnaise and mustard are used a lot).

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Zoo was interesting, Zip lines are a blast. Many activities were offered, but I had to skip a lot because of conflicts with class schedule. Many students went to Manuel Antonio and said it was dissapointing. I went to Volcano Arenal. This was basically a hotel stay with a few hours at a hot spring and some hiking. I liked seeing the areas that are being reforested.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Was warned of a student mugging on first day. Little unsettling to be told this first thing, even though I know it was for our proteciton. I got food poisoning the last day I was in country, but couldnt see a doctor due to my flight time. I didnt need any vaccines. Access to medicines is available on most street corners, but the effectiveness of these medicines compared to what is offered in the states was lacking.

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? Make sure students are aware of exit taxes and how to pay in advance. Monteverde offers a lot more excursions than Heredia so try and save money to do things at Monteverde. Food and souvenirs are very expensive at monteverde. Eat at your homestay if you can and buy your souvenirs at other campus sites. If you eat out in Monteverde expect to spend twice what you would in the states.


* 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?

I practiced language at shops, at home stay, at school, and everywhere in between. A large part of people working in the tourism industry could understand or speak limited to proficient english. I believe I would have been able to improve a lot more if the base knowledge that I went over there was better. I believe I learned more in the 2 weeks I was at CPI than I did in the 2 semesters I studied in the states.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • 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? Skip the monteverde campus, or dont spend more than a week here. Be prepared to spend a lot of time studying and for very early classes. Dont be afraid to try new foods, their fruits and vegetables taste very different from the US>

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

CPI - Spanish 211

Course Department: Spanish 211
Instructor: Multiple
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: Had six different professors throughout my stay. had a hard time when different professors would tell me different things. Was helpful when professors understood english so they could help me with what Im trying to say. All were very well-prepared. I participated in class a lot more than I would have at NMSU.
Credit Transfer Issues: No