Crazy nerd adventure Past Review

By (Biology, General., The University of Texas at Austin) - abroad from 06/13/2012 to 08/14/2012 with

CIEE: Monteverde - Summer Tropical Ecology and Conservation

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned plenty of conservation issues, I am more conscious about my surroundings. I am grateful for hot water and AC. Very worthwhile.

Review Photos

CIEE: Monteverde - Summer Tropical Ecology and Conservation Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

A lot of information!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The camping...was well camping. The biology station we stayed at was great. We had bunk beds.

* Food:

The food on the camping trips was way better than when we were at the station with a real kitchen. but the station food was still good.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The home stay portion of our spanish class was supposed to emerge us into the culture, but we had so much work to do with our independent project that spending time with our family was very limited.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I got cut up from tripping on one of the hikes and I was quickly cleaned up with the medicine kit they carried around.

* Safety:

We were a 30 min walk from the town, so we weren't exposed to "town crime", which I doubt there really was. When we were in town, I never felt in danger. This is a machista type of culture, so men are not afraid to say hello. Just don't respond otherwise you will be giving them the "go ahead"

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)

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? Yes
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? first 2.5 weeks, 0, because of camping. after that while at the station, 15 food, 20 bar.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Keep a list of souvenirs and their intended owners as you by them, because you will forget what you already have bought and continue spending money when it's completely unnecessary.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

Only the spanish class, which we met once or twice a week for encouraged it. the biology classes were completely separate from this.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? high school spanish
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? talk to the locals.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Other
  • Host Family
  • Hotel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • being so close to the species and topics we were studying
  • hiking/camping
  • the independent project
* What could be improved?
  • home stays should not be so far from the station
  • the cooks should have made more vegetarian food because it is easy for non-veggies to ear our food, but not the other way around. veggies, didn't have opportunities for seconds or left overs.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? there is a lot of camping and hiking. as in 10, 14 and 20 mile hikes. Mammals are very difficult to do your independent project on, practically impossible.