Studying Spanish in Beautiful Costa Rica Past Review

By (Human Services, General., Western Washington University) for

ISA Study Abroad in Heredia, Costa Rica

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Yes, definitely. I gained a lot of Spanish skills. The internship I participated in afterward was absolutely incredible and life-changing. I gained much knowledge and skills about environmental and social justice issues in Costa Rica that I will use in my future.

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.

I really do not feel as though my Spanish was improved because of my classes. The immersion in Costa Rica definitely helped to this end, but I retained very little from the class despite the effort I put into it. Better organization and better teaching materials would have been greatly appreciated.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Everybody was great!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I could not have asked for a better host family; they were friendly, welcoming, fun, and amazing in every way!

* Food:

My host family were incredible chefs! They were very conscientious of my dietary needs and preferences, and everything was delicious!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The weekend excursions were terrible. There is nothing "cultural" about spending the weekend at a superfluously fancy resort with a bunch of other U.S. citizens. I was greatly disappointed.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

If you were smart, safety was not an issue. My host family always made sure that I was aware of safe choices (for example, not walking home in the dark), and was available for help if I needed it. I also got very sick during my abroad experience, and had no problems getting health care from a local doctor, getting reimbursed for the costs, and getting my flight changed free of charge.

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)


* 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?

I spoke only Spanish, except when I was talking with fellow classmates. My host family was absolutely incredible, and I was able to practice Spanish a lot with them.

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?
  • my internship
  • my host family
* What could be improved?
  • better "cultural activities"
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Opt not to participate in the ISA weekend excursions, but rather plan your own trips with fellow students or travelers.