Awesome Adventures in Costa Rica Past Review

By (Thiel College) - abroad from 07/05/2014 to 08/09/2014 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned that Americans are spoiled and take a lot of things for granted. I also learned that Costa Ricans are very friendly and willing to help everyone. It was so worthwhile. I was able to meet all different types of people from all over the United States. I gained insight on human rights abuses in Latin America as well.

Review Photos

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

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The classes were meaningful, and I was able to learn a lot. I knew practically no Spanish before I went, but by the end I was able to write short paragraphs and descriptions for my class.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Our on-site director in Costa Rica was great! She always did her best to plan activities for us on top of the excursions included in the program.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My house was simple, but perfectly livable. I stayed with a host family, and they made me feel so welcome. Living with a family was one of the biggest highlights of my trip.

* Food:

The food took me a while to get used to because it was a lot of carbohydrates. Overall, I enjoyed it. Costa Ricans really know how to cook. We were responsible for providing our own lunches every day so you could buy whatever type of food you wanted to eat.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I didn't really meet too many natives other than my family, my on-site director, and a few other people. Of course, you could seek those people out. I didn't do that because I didn't feel comfortable. My family was able to tell me a lot about the culture and religion.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not have an experience where I needed medical assistance. I think the healthcare system is less regulated than it is in the U.S. For example, I am pretty sure you can just walk into a pharmacy in Costa Rica and get the medicine you need without a prescription. I did get a typhoid fever vaccine before I went to Costa Rica, but it was not required by the program.

* Safety:

I felt relatively safe in San Jose. I did have a night class so I had to walk to the university in the dark. I always walked with other students and never alone at night. If you use common sense and are aware of your surroundings, your safety will not be compromised.

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)

I think that if you really have a tight budget you can probably manage. I was not too concerned with how much money I spent because I received a scholarship to cover the tuition. Much of my money was spent on souvenirs, all of which were not necessary.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? about $100-$150
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't buy something unless you really want it. Save money by grocery shopping instead of eating out.


* 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

We were encouraged greatly to speak Spanish in our Basic Spanish class, at the university, and at our home stays.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? None
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? Online learning apps like Duolingo.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • 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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Host Family
  • Excursions
  • Intensive Spanish Class
* What could be improved?
  • Class Field Trips
  • Motorized Security for Students walking to their houses
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Things to bring such as lots of shorts and tshirts, a lint roller, etc.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!