The Veritas experience absolutely changed my life. Past Review

By (Texas A&M University - College Station) - abroad from 06/01/2014 to 07/12/2014 with

ISA Study Abroad in Valparaíso/Viña del Mar, Chile

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Veritas was the gateway to me being able to find myself. It allowed me to set aside my fears and live in a different country for the summer. It was beyond a worthwhile experience, and still 8 months after returning, I think about my life there every day. When I think of the Dominican Republic, I think of the place that I found out who I was.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The Spanish classes that I was enrolled in where taught by Dominicans which was very beneficial because I caught onto their accents and sayings.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The support that I was given by the on-site staff was amazing. They worked with me and even talked to me about being home sick. I also had my very own mentor while there who helped me find ministry opportunities and became the person that I could talk to everything about.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host family was awesome. My host mom taught me how to cook and was pretty great at cooking herself! They even took me on vacation with them one weekend.

* Food:

My host family began to notice the types of foods that I preferred... I am a very picky eater and I didn't lose all my weight while there so that says something! Dominican food is very sweet and they eat a lot of fruits and juices.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt like I was one of them by the time I left. I immersed myself as much as I could within the culture by attending church services, visiting families in different communities, and speaking the language as much as I could.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

While there I accidentally stepped on a dogs paw in a friend's house. Out of defense the dog bit me, so we went to the hospital and I got a vaccination just in case. I was very nervous, but the pastor I worked with helped me out and made sure I understood everything. We were in and out of the hospital in 1 hour. It is different, but I got treated well.

* Safety:

The city is as safe as you make it. The on-site staff will tell you what to do and what not to do. I never took public transportation after dark, I didn't use my phone while walking places, I made sure to look confident- just a few examples. There is nothing at all to be worried about if you take the advice giving to you.

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)

Since there are excursions every weekend, there are a lot of opportunities to spend money. The mindset is always- "When will I ever get to do this again!" I didn't spend more than $75 dollars a week though. Also, souvenirs were very cheap.


* 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 encouraged us to always use the language. I had only taken the entry level course before coming so they understood my struggle, but I tried to use it as much as often.

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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Spanish 101

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • 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? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • I had a mentor to help me find ministry opportunities.
  • I was able to live with a family and mesh into their normal life.
  • I got to see the coolest parts of the island because of the phenomenal excursions.
* What could be improved?
  • I would've liked communication with my host family beforehand.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? 1. I know that organic insect repellent cannot combat the Dominican mosquitos. Find the most powerful insect repellent offered. 2. I know that I can do anything I set my mind to. I thought I could never live abroad because I was so scared. Once I got there, I was still scared, but I began to fall in love with everything about the city I was in. It gave me motivation to face my fears (I even jumped off of 27 waterfalls while there!).

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:


Course Department:
Instruction Language:
Comments: This class was more challenging then it would have been at my home university because of the language of instruction. It was definitely rewarding and I know that I learned a lot more taking it abroad than I would have at my home university.
Credit Transfer Issues: I got my credits transferred, it just took a while. I would recommend allowing time for the transcript to come in.