A life enriching experiance! Past Review

By (Nursing, Indiana University - Purdue University Fort Wayne / IPFW) - abroad from 07/04/2015 to 08/08/2015 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 gained new lifelong friends, with an experience I would not trade for the world. I learned that my Spanish is not near as good as I thought it was, but this just makes me rise to the challenge just the more. I have a greater and deeper appreciation for my American Citizenship and the American that I was born! I had an awesome time and look forward to my next study session abroad. challenging

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 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? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Always there to help and answer questions, but left me behind on a field trip after being alerted that I was in sight of the bus, but they kept on driving anyway. I found my way to the site with the help of locals, this was partially my fought because of a bathroom stop I made.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Lots of bugs, but the host family did a very good job in pest control and making me fell at home.

* Food:

Food was very good, but food preparation was not as sanitary as I would have liked, but then again it was not my kitchen either.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

No issues during program

* Safety:

We had security on the way to and from classes which can be intimidating to some. I grew up in Detroit and L.A., so I felt safe, others who have not been exposed to this kind of life-style change have to really be vigilant. There were no incidents of violence towards students during my visit.

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)

You absolute must have a budget before going! You do not get lunch in this program and during excursions you are responsible for your own food in most instances!! Depending on how active you are and what you want to do and see will determine your budget. I spent over my budget of $500. Transportation is very affordable and the excursions and trips that are not included are affordable as well. On average that I can remember a lot of nice packages were at or around $200 to 250, without meals. Your going need money for souvenirs, I didn't think that I would need much for that, but I had a good time and wanted things that reminded me of the trip, and for family and friends as well.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? About $40 a week on food while in classes, about $10+ a week in taxi's depending on if I was at school.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Save as much as possible for the trip, no less than $700 for 5 weeks of school. Make sure you have someone you can trust at home with emergency money for you, but don't use this as an excuse to spend! Pace yourself once you get in country, you may want to buy something at first glance, but you will see it again, so give yourself a chance to think about the purchase. Take advantage of homestay meals if they are offered, because eating out everyday can and will become costly. Keep snacks in a container at home, this will help prevent going out to eat until the homestay cooks, if this is your case. If you are a picky eater, then most of your "fun or play money" will be spent on food.


* 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

Full submersion!

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? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Beginner
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? Learn the local dialect where you are going, some variations differ from what we know and have learned in the U.S. Learn past-tense, listen to Spanish speakers as much as possible and become a baby all over again; try to mimic exactly what you hear (pronunciation), please don't speak like the typical gringos. Practice with an actual native speaker who can help correct your mistakes.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
  • Host Family
  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
  • 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?
  • Alternative approches to Healthcare class
  • Spanish everyday all day
  • The food
* What could be improved?
  • Better seats in class! The seats were horible and made paying attention in class very challenging!
  • Teach in English and Spanish like the information stated
  • Get rid of every single metal chair on campus!!
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? 1.How to speak better beginning Spanish 2. Bugs are extremely common 3. Save more money for things to do 4. Do not take an expensive phone, back up all information as you go! 5. Take some type of battery back up or charger that's small-lipstick small (Anker). 6. Make sure you know where everyone is at all times and have a meeting spot at a certain time in case of an event.

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!

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Spanish for health care professionals

Course Department: Spanish
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: Instructors spoke very little English, and spoke fast in Spanish. Their expectation of our Spanish level was unreasonable and basically were told that it was terrible. The experience made me realize that even for one semester of Spanish my skills were still sub-par at best. The program did offer relevant field trips that were educational and enjoyable. Class work was reasonable just all in Spanish. I participated very often in class and did learn more than what I knew before I left the U.S. I plan to return to study more, but this time I will be better prepared!
Credit Transfer Issues: