Pura Vida: An Amazing Semester! Past Review

By (Architecture., University of Minnesota - Twin Cities) - 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?
Do every new thing you can, even if it scares you. You will probably regret not doing it afterward! This program offered so many opportunities to step out of your comfort zone, and it was incredibly rewarding when you did.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

This semester taught me more than any other semester I have had in college. It was a very intense few months, but worth every second

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

All of the professors, TAs, and support staff were friendly, helpful, and great resources

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My family was pretty great!

* Food:

I did get a little sick of beans and rice by the end of the semester, but it was definitely all very tasty.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

During classes during the week, we were always speaking english and mostly only with each other, so transitioning at night to the home, family life was a little difficult sometimes. Field trips and weekends were much more integrated into the culture!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I felt very safe in Monteverde and during the field trips

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)

Since all food was provided, I just spend money on weekends at the bars and cafes.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $25-$50


* 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

During class, we weren't allowed to speak any English, even to each other. Outside of the classroom, we spoke Spanish to our host families.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
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? Fourth semester college level
How many hours per day did you use the language?

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

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The two field trips
  • The professors and staff
  • The biodiversity in Monteverde
* What could be improved?
  • Extending the program one or two weeks longer to have a little bit of break time some weekends
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How few things you really need. I overpacked like crazy!

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.