Past Review

By (Government, 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?
This was a life changing experience for me. I personally think every student at NMSU should do a study abroad program. There are some things that you learn about life that you could never learn anywhere in the US because of our materialistic and capitalistic culture. The locals are very friendly. In my opinion, more friendly than Americans. I would love to go back to Costa Rica again in the future by myself and visit the families I stayed with. I honestly wouldn't mind living in Costa Rica one day. It is the most relaxing place in the world.

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: CPI Heredia, Monteverde, Flamingo
The term and year this program took place: Summer 2009

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Of course each teacher has their own techniques and differences in teaching, but overall I thought every teacher in CPI did a great job of helping me understand and use Spanish.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

All of the administrators in CPI in all campuses are very friendly and helpful. If you have any problems or just want information about something they are happy to help.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived with a local family. The standards of living are a lot lower than in the United States, but I never felt too uncomfortable. All three families I lived with were very nice and welcoming. There was never a single second where I felt unsafe in Costa Rica.

* Food:

The food was very tasty and filling, but it is always the same: rice and beans.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I ended up making a lot of friends with people who lived in Costa Rica. I also became friends with a lot of people from CPI. I had a lot of memorable events while I stayed in Costa Rica, too many to talk about here. Anyone who decides to participate in this program will not regret it.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I never had any health problems while in Costa Rica. Costa Rica is a very safe country. I never once felt scared for my safety.

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? You are going to want to have a lot of extra money to spend on activities and hanging out with friends in the towns.


Language acquisition improvement?

I arrived in Costa Rica not knowing to much Spanish. I studied in the country for 2 months, and now I am very confident in my Spanish. My only problem is that I need to memorize more vocabulary.

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? CPI is an amazing program. The school is great for learning Spanish, and the country is beautiful and relaxing. My favorite campus was the Monteverde campus, but all three are great in their own way and have a different feel to them. If you travel to multiple campuses, it is easy to see the slight differences in cultures, similar to the differences we have in the different regions in the US.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Spanish 112, 211, 212

Course Department: Span 112, Span 211, Span 212
Instructor: Jeff Longwell (NMSU)
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: I was challenged for the first few weeks of learning Spanish, but by my third and fourth weeks I found the classes to be a little easy. I had about 10 different teachers during my stay on all three campuses and I liked every single teacher I had. All of them are nice, and I even became personal friends with a few of my teachers.
Credit Transfer Issues: I was given all of my transcripts in an envelope. When I returned to the country I had to make copies of the transcripts and mail them to the school. It would have been easier if CPI mailed my transcripts directly to NMSU.