My time in Costa Rica was the most pivotal and memorable part of my college experience Past Review

By (Environmental Studies., Brandeis University) for

CIEE: Monteverde - Summer Tropical Ecology and Conservation

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I developed a deeper love of ecology/science/nature, improved my Spanish, learned what it was like to live in a developing country, and made some great friends. More than anything else, it has made me consider going into an environmental field.

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I was very occupied with my studies throughout the program.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Administration was exceptional.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

I fell in love with rice and beans.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I saw a bilingual play, went to a Quaker meeting, visited 5 national and 3 private parks.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Monteverde is pretty safe.

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)


* 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 with my fellow students, TAs, my host family, park workers, everyday folk in Monteverde. I spoke Spanish most days while in Monteverde, and it improved dramatically. More time with a host family or a more intensive Spanish course (perhaps at the beginning) would've helped even more.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? If you love adventure and nature, seriously consider this program. If you're squeamish, don't like hiking, or need indoor comforts, I'd advise against it.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Tropical Biology

Course Department: BIOL 3001
Instructor: Alan Masters, Karen Masters
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Great, I learned a lot.
Credit Transfer Issues: not yet
Course Name/Rating:

Humans in the Tropics

Course Department: ECOL 3003
Instructor: Alan Masters
Instruction Language: English
Comments: A lot of fun, relatively easy.
Credit Transfer Issues: not yet
Course Name/Rating:

Independent Research in Biology and Ecology

Course Department: BIOL 3003 MVSU
Instructor: Alan Masters, Karen Masters
Instruction Language: English
Comments: I studied ants, it was great.
Credit Transfer Issues: not yet