Best experience, Pura Vida! Past Review

By (California State University - Fullerton) - abroad from 03/26/2016 to 04/03/2016 with

Sol Education Abroad - Custom Faculty-Led Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
As a future professional the experience gained allowed me to undersatand that I'm going on the right path professionally and personally. As well regardless of the program that we may be going to always go with an open mind, open heart and by all means avoid being judgemental we must understand and respect everyone as their own person and not by their situation. Something important I was able to gain was new members to my family, my host family have gained a by space in my heart.

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.

It was a wonderful experience being able to get to know the history and culture of Costa Rica, such as the reason for Posada de Belén.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administration was wonderful and very welcoming.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Housing there were no issues at all, the host family was so welcoming, caring, attentive it felt as I was with my own family.

* Food:

The food was so delicious, that I can honeslty say I miss eating it.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Everyone that would approach me was kind and very easy to talk too.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

No vaccines were needed prior to the program. Personally, I believe the program gave us proper information of where we can get assistance with our health issues, it was a bit different from home; in the sense there was an on-call doctor/ pharmacists in the pharmacy.

* Safety:

Safety wise there were no issues, everything seemed safe when we would go to the sites, and when we were out with the family. In the local transportation the only advice given was to have our belongings in front of us, to be able to keep them safe. But, I felt that was not an issue at all.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

I was able to gain knowedge about the Costa Rica culture and the people. The places we worked are the places I would like to work as a professional. My focus is to help children, their families and their community. Such as in a nonprofit organization. Therefore, of I had the chance to choose the same program without a doubt I would.

Finances

* 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? 200
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Take extra US dollars, and please support the fair trade, if you go to a souvenir shop it is better to go to the shops not located in typica tourist spots it can be very expensive.

Language

* 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

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Fluent
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? I am fluent in Spanish, therefore, it wasn't as difficult.
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? If you don't speak the language ask your peers if they can translate, or download and app that can translate. Even take a course on the specific language or get surrounded by peers who would gladly teach you the language.

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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Host Family
  • Excursions
  • Nonprofit site
* What could be improved?
  • Activity organization
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How the weather was going to change would have been great to know. As well that we shoild have brought clothes that was professional/casual, refreshing.

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!