Past Review

By (Journalism., 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?
The program was wonderful overall. MonteVerde was beautiful. It was a very unique place where I was able to see lots of plants, flowers, and wildlife I had never seen before. The people were very kind and helpful. My instructors were great. Ie specially enjoyed the walk I was able to take with my converstaion professor to the Women's Shelter and to the MonteVerde Cheese Factory, which I was told was the main source of employment in MonteVerde. I gained a lot more knowledge about the culture and the language here, and I will never foregt the time I spent in MonteVerde.

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: New Mexico State University
The term and year this program took place: Summer 2009

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

My educational experience in MonteVerde was wonderful. Both my morning and afternoon instructor were excellent. They worked with my personal strengths and weaknesses in Spanish and even took me on walks around MonteVerde to learn about various things converning the culture.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

All of the staff members at CPI MonteVerde were very helpful. The Activites Director and the secretaries were very nice and welcoming. They were willing to answer all my questions and were almost always available. Activites at MonteVerde were a little expensvie, but participating in one or two was definitely worth it, expecially the Canopy Tour, which the Activites Director arranged for us. She was very helpful with the planning, payment, adn transportation for activites, and for moving to and from the other CPI campuses in Costa Rica.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host family was amazing. I also enjoyed helping with the meals, because they were able to show me how they do things and tell me the names for certain fruits and vegetable I had never heard of before. my host family's house was very close to the school, so was able to walk. I also enjoyed it when my host sister walked around with me and showed me different sites of the town. The town is very small, and there isn't a lot to do, but the night life and gift shops are very close to everything.

* Food:

The food was wonderful. My host mom was a baker, and I also enjoyed it when she showed me how to amke certain things.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

MonteVerde is said to have the best Canopy Tour in Costa Rica, and I agree. Three other students and I went on a weekendtrip to an adventure park in MonteVerde, which the school Activities Director set up for us. It was fairly inexpensive and included zip lines and hanging bridges. It was so much fun and is a must n MonteVerde.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I got rather sick when I got to MonteVerde. It is very humid and can get a little bit cold there at night. take a jacket and an umbrella. Also, take tissue, cold medicine, and pain killer with you. That is a must, because it's too difficult to get these things while you are there. Bring them with you and be prepared in case you get sick, because many students often do get a little sick when they get to MonteVerde.

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


* 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? Be careful at the ATM, and it is a good idea to go in a group of students, because it is safer that way, and other students often need to go to the bank as well. There is an ATM at a local hotel that is close to campus, so I recommend going there. You will most-likely see it, or you can ask your host family where it is.


Language acquisition improvement?

My Spanish-speaking skills improved so much as a result of this program. Only speaking in Spanish and having an instructor who is willing toe ncourage and help improve my Spanish was great.

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Be prepared for the unexpected, but also be prepared to have a lot of fun. Get a group of students together and explore, because there are some beautiful walking trails in MonteVerde. Go on a Canpoy Tour, because it was awesome. And, as always, don't be afraid to ask a lot of quesitons and to talk as much in Spanish as possible to get the most out of your learning experience as possible.