Best Money I've Ever Spent Past Review

By (Spanish Language Teacher Education, St. Cloud State University) - abroad from 01/11/2014 to 04/25/2014 with

ISA Study Abroad in Heredia, Costa Rica

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained more than I can even begin to explain. If it's even a thought to study abroad in Heredia, do it. You'll regret it if you don't. Promise.

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 courses were challenging but not too hard. They definitely benefitted my Spanish.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

My directors were one of my favorite things with my program.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I adored my host family. I can't wait to go back and visit them!

* Food:

I miss Costa Rican food.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

If you make an effort, the locals will accept you as one of their own... Make that effort mae! I promise it will pay off.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

There is an on-campus health services office and the directors are willing to help you with any illness or injury at an actual hospital.

* Safety:

I always felt safe. I felt safer there than I do in the United States at times.

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)

It's possible to do cheap, but I don't recommend it. You won't be able to explore and immerse yourself, but I know people who lived off $15 a week.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 20-50 (I traveled every weekend, so including bus fares/hostels)
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Budget and plan trips prior!


* 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

You won't get better if you don't use it! Also, the locals appreciate you making the effort and won't make fun of you. I promise.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Advanced
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? College 300 level
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Talk to the locals! Your host family is an amazing asset. Also, try to talk Spanish as much as humanly possible.

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

  • Local Students
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Directors
  • Location
  • Host Family
* What could be improved?
  • Nothing.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew dress code. I packed too much that I never even touched.

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!