The Magic of Pura Vida January 15, 2015

By (International Relations and Affairs., University of Colorado - Denver) - 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?
It was more than I could have ever imagined. It was truly an eye opening experience that has strengthened my international perspective and my desire to make the world a better place. I feel more comfortable with my conversational skills and have opened up so many more doors of opportunity by being able to communicate with a greater number of people across the globe.

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.

It was a wonderful learning experience that truly opened my perspective of the world in an international way.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Costa Rica is a magical country and may steal your heart.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My mama tica is my second mother. She and I have and will continue to stay close though we are thousands of miles a part.

* Food:

The fresh fruits and vegetable are incredible, though the heavy use of grease to cook was difficult to deal with.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Though I had no health care issues, there were many student who received immediate medical attention when necessary.

* Safety:

Though there were bars on the doors and windows, I never felt like my security was jeopardized.

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)

Most of my money went towards traveling on free weekends.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Not including traveling, $50 each week.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Budget before the trip so you know how much money you have to spend in weekly periods.

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? 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? Advanced reading and writing
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? Always speak spanish. Even when you are talking to your english speaking classmates.

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
  • Americans
  • International 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?
  • Living with a host family
  • Applying spanish to practical everyday use
  • Obtaining an international family
* What could be improved?
  • I have no suggestions for improvement.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? To pack a rain coat and boots to Costa Rica. Should have read through the packing list a little more thoroughly.