Amazing experience I'll never forget. Past Review

By (Agriculture Education, Cornell University) - abroad from 02/06/2013 to 05/18/2013 with

CIEE: Monteverde - Sustainability + The Environment

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned to be patient, to take every opportunity that comes at you, to be compassionate and understanding, and to ask questions.

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.

This program was amazing. It was academically rigorous, I learned SO MUCH, and yet still had a lot of fun and got to explore. However, I think it could be greatly improved by simply adding a week or two and taking out weekend classes so that there is more time to experience and explore the area and culture. I felt like I didn't have enough time for that.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host family ROCKS.

* Food:

My host mom was an amazing cook, so I had no problems :)

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Wish I could have been able to make friends with more locals and become more integrated with the culture... I still kind of felt like a foreigner by the end, even though I felt much more comfortable than the beginning.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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... but I'm also really cheap.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't eat out if you don't have to... you have authentic Costa Rican food being cooked for you by your host family! Bars are fun, but boxed wine is better. Hoard snacks when they're given to you so that you have an endless supply. Decide what big (expensive) adventures you definitely want to do (zip lining, spelunking, etc.) early on so that you can budget for them.


* 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

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? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 2090
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? Don't be afraid to speak to your host family. They have experience with Americans, so they are patient. Also LISTEN to your host family. I picked up a lot of useful phrases and expressions from them. And don't be afraid to use Spanish around town. Order things in Spanish, greet people in Spanish, buy things in Spanish, etc.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • 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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Host Family
  • Internship
  • Field Trips
* What could be improved?
  • make it longer
  • no more weekend classes
  • more help/local guidance from TA's
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? When they say there will be classes almost every saturday, THEY MEAN IT. It's a lot of work, but it's WORTH IT. If you just want to travel around and not really care about class, go to Europe.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.