overall, solid experience Past Review

By (International Studies and Spanish, Trinity University) - abroad from 09/06/2014 to 12/11/2014 with

ISA Study Abroad in San José, Costa Rica

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Improved Spanish, traveled a ton--was able to see a ton of Costa Rica

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.

For me the educational experience was good because my spanish was at the level where I could take classes with locals. However, if you were at a beginning level, I would say the experience was pretty poor...or in other words the classes are extremely easy--almost to a fauly

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

If there were any problems, they were most certainly taken care of, but, as I am abroad now with a different program (IES), they I realize that they were very disorganized

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Lived with a wonderful host family. Awesome parents and two little daughters

* Food:

A bit repetitive sometimes, but my host mom was a great cook

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Like I mentioned earlier, I was able to take classes with the locals, so I felt quite integrated. But if you weren't able to take classes with locals, you wouldn't be integrated at all

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Had no health concerns

* Safety:

San Jose is a little sketchy. I know a number of kids who were robbed. But as I quickly realized, you dont go to Costa Rica for San Jose, and the towns I visited were much safer.

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)

Despite common knowledge, not all of Latin America is cheap. In Costa Rica services (haircuts, massages etc) are very cheap. But goods are insanely expensive because of the import taxes

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Including going out, and excluding traveling expenses, $75-100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? not really


* 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

They didnt encourage that much...you kinda have to do it yourself

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? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? SPAN 400
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? Find local friends. It is unnatural to speak spanish with english speakers.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
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?
  • Costa Rica itself
  • meeting locals
  • laid back setting
* What could be improved?
  • Class choices--theyre terrible
  • staff accessibility
  • na
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? They had a set list of classes to choose from before coming abroad. So, I had a lot of classes approved for my major in advance, and when I arrived they just didnt offer the classes, which left me scrambling. I am abroad now and the class selection was way more

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.