The pura vida in Costa Rica was a fun and opening semester. Past Review

By (International Business., Point Loma Nazarene University) for

ISA Study Abroad in San José, Costa Rica

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Yes! It opened my mind to how different people do things, I became much more culturally aware, and I know I want to return to Latin America in the future. It was not satisfying for my academic expectations.

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 workload was easy, the grading system was fair to liberal, and they taught mostly by lecture and power point. The main differences were that the professors were on a friendship level with students that is considered unprofessional in the US.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The program was the perfect size and the faculty was fantastic! The professors were not as credible as I expected them to be.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host family was great, we had a really sweet host mom who was a creative cook. Everything was provided for us. The home stay was a ten minute walk from school, close to buses into town, and two blocks from the college nightlife.

* Food:

Great! I don't eat many kinds of meat and our host mom was very accommodating to this.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We did a really fun dance class, but only once.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

It's not safe to walk alone at night. The grocery store had very adequate medicine for common cold and flu systems.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100 Half was spent on food for lunch, and the other half was used to travel on the weekends for hostels, food and fun.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Food is more expensive than I thought it would be.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Upper-Intermediate Spanish
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

We practiced Spanish with the professors, ISA staff and other students as well as with our host families and in everyday interactions with locals. Not very many people spoke English.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The excursions, activities and staff.
* What could be improved?
  • The classes and instructors.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? A student looking to use their Spanish and have a lot of fun.