Beautiful Country and Genuine People! October 04, 2023

By (Environmental Studies, Brandeis University) - abroad from 06/26/2023 to 08/05/2023 with

CIEE: Monteverde - Sustainability + The Environment

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Worthwhile to experience the Costa Rican culture and learn more about their sustainable practices there but the program itself does not prioritize field studies and site visits throughout the country.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The few field trips that occurred were great but I was expecting more hands on experience and field exercises. Classes themselves were not engaging and could definitely use some improvement.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Wonderful housing accommodations!

* Food:

Food at the dining hall could get quite repetitive, and limited options for vegetarians

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Campus was very excluded from town, but the opportunities we had to visit the town it was exciting to be amongst locals. Learning Spanish was something I was excited about but it was never taught or expected of us.

* 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

The fellow students on the program were wonderful and the open campus style of the program allowed you to easily travel throughout the country with friends on the weekend. The academics of the program were honestly disappointing.


* 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? >$100


* 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

Disappointing, I was looking forward to speaking Spanish and learning more of 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? 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? 0

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* 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?
  • The staff
  • The people
  • The environment
* What could be improved?
  • The academics
  • Field Trips
  • Professors
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Don’t get your hopes up to learn and practice your Spanish….

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.