Heart, eye, and mind open experience that I will never forget December 18, 2014

By (Western Kentucky University) - abroad from 08/30/2014 to 12/20/2014 with

Sol Education Abroad- Heredia - Universidad Latina de Costa Rica

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned more about myself and a lot about the culture here in a small Latin American country. I gained a greater appreciation for love and family from being immersed in such a close knit and loving culture. Every second was worth something.

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.

Sol leaves nothing wanting academically or culturally.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The director does a wonderful job of handling all of the activities and any possible problem that could arise. She's very open and approachable. She also pushes the students to try harder and to be open to new experiences.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host mom was so nice and caring. She took the best care of us and was understanding when it came to personal preferences with food. I'll really be missing her.

* Food:

Costa Rican food can be a bit bland at times and our host mom had the tendency to fry everything with a bit of oil but other than that I loved the food.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I could have been more integrated into the culture but that's my own fault for not involving myself more.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't have any health issues so I wouldn't know but other students who did were very well taken care of. Every weekly meeting the director would ask all of us about our health.

* Safety:

Heredia is overall pretty safe. I recommend avoiding walking alone especially at night. And never with your headphones in or carrying anything that would draw attention to you like your nice iPhone.

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

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)

I didn't spend all that much money but I hardly ever went out anywhere or travel all that much. $100 a week I feel is more than enough.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? less than $20 on a typical week

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

Every time our director heard English she would ask us to speak in Spanish instead. This happened frequently

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
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? Intermediate 1
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? Keep a personal dictionary of words you hear at home and in class.

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
  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Living the every day life of a tica
  • Learning another language
  • Touring the country
* What could be improved?
  • An announcement of the university website for classes
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Rain jackets and boots or other closed toed shoes are a must.

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.'