Past Review

By (Bio, Tufts University) for

CIEE: Monteverde - Summer Tropical Ecology and Conservation

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned so much about tropical ecology and conservation. I enjoyed living in a Latin American country and discovered that I wouldn't mind living in a place like that for an extended period of time.

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: None
The term and year this program took place: Fall 2009

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

We lived in Biological stations for most of the time and in a home stay for 6 weeks. <br /><br /> See comments from previous section.

* Food:

Costa Rican food is not that great. Pretty bland. Lots of rice and beans.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Great. The bars are fun, the people are fun. You will have an amazing time if you do this program.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

San Jose is not the safest place in the world, but you're not there very long.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $10 for beer.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? The program takes care of you. Don't worry about food or anything.


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Advanced
Language acquisition improvement?

Living in the country is the best way to learn the language.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Other
  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? You do the program and have fun.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Tropical Diversity

Course Department: Just go online
Instructor: Anjali Kumar
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The diversity tests were tough. You have to memorize around 120 species that we find in the field and talk about. Seeing all the species was great, but memorizing everything about them was pretty challenging. Overall the course was really good, because you get introduced to so many species.
Credit Transfer Issues: Just make sure you get lab credit from the Bio department
Course Name/Rating:

Tropical Community Ecology

Course Department: Just look online
Instructor: Alan Masters
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The mini-experiments are great. For one day, groups collect data, perform analysis, and present the findings to the rest of the class. You get a really good idea about what doing research on the various topics would involve. I studied capuchin monkeys, heliconia pollination syndromes, and aphid/milkweed interactions
Credit Transfer Issues: Get your lab credit
Course Name/Rating:

Humans in the Tropics

Course Department: Just look online
Instructor: Alan Masters
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Fun class. The class basically involves going on field trips to various business the impact the environment. i.e. sustainable forestry, coffee planation, cheese factory etc.
Credit Transfer Issues: No Bio credit, but good for Environmental Studies
Course Name/Rating:

Independent Study

Course Department: Look online
Instructor: Alan Masters
Instruction Language: English
Comments: You pick a research topic and collect data for about a month. Eventually, you write a paper and present at a symposium.
Credit Transfer Issues: Impossible to get credit for this.