Costa Rica: dizzolving my comfort zone Past Review

By (Criminal Justice/ Spanish, Ohio Northern University) for

CISabroad (Center for International Studies): San Jose - Summer in Costa Rica

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
the experience was very eye opening. It taught you a whole new culture and understanding of the world. Took you out of your comfort zone and allowed you the experience of being the minority.

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.

our teacher was very helpful and spoke little english so it was, again, very good practice. She made everyone in the class feel special and used our individual talents to teach us the history and culture of Costa Rica. The program itself did a very good job of allowing everyone into the program they saw they were able to achieve.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

the school was small so it was run by very few office workers. They really had no vested interest in your progress. In one instance we tried to inquire about staying longer and they had no help to offer and basically told me it wasn't possible through my program.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

it was an unique set up because it was only my house mother living in her home. It led to a great relationship between us and a lot of practice using spanish because she didn't speak english at all.

* Food:

My house mother cooked us typical Costa Rican food and we experienced many restaurants around San Jose. The food was great and we loved talking to our house mother about how she prepared it and what ingredients she used.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

we tried to leave San Jose each weekend to visit other parts of Costa Rica. The places were all so unique and beautiful. The school provided a travel agency which helped us with the buses and any concerns we may have had.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

although they warned of San Jose being extremely unsafe, our accomodations and surroundings were well protected and, when practicing common sense, we never felt unsafe

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* 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?

We practiced all through our course, with the host family and in everyday interactions. Not many people spoke english and if they did it was impolite to speak with them in english

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • culture (dancing, humor, clothing)
  • relationships
  • food
* What could be improved?
  • more organization and answers for student BEFORE going abroad
  • don't push work aside when it involves the future of a student
  • be more readily available to students
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? DO NOT GO THROUGH CIS (Center for International Studies)