An adventure that never stops giving. December 15, 2016

By (The Catholic University of America) - abroad from 09/03/2016 to 12/17/2016 with

Sol Education Abroad- Heredia - Universidad Latina de Costa Rica

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned that there's more than meets the eyes and traveling isn't a privilege but a right everyone should have but unfortunately can't.

Review Photos

Sol Education Abroad: Heredia - Universidad Latina de Costa Rica Photo Sol Education Abroad: Heredia - Universidad Latina de Costa Rica Photo Sol Education Abroad: Heredia - Universidad Latina de Costa Rica Photo Sol Education Abroad: Heredia - Universidad Latina de Costa Rica Photo

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.

Having the spanish language background I grew up with, I thought it would be really easy to do homework and projects and not have to do much work but I was wrong. The academic portion of studying abroad inb Heredia, Costa Rica was intense that I truly was able to improve my spanish and learn universal topics in spanish. It was a challenge that I very well took on and appreciated because it wasn't the simple education I assumed it to be. Costa Rica has great professors and a high level of education.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Jessie and Janiva are both wonderful directors. Janiva is like the mom of the program who is always on top of the activities and tries to promote unity through many group projects. Jessie is a knowledgeable woman who has demonstrated who 'Ticos' truly are and what the 'pura vida' lifestyle is. She has the ability to educate whomever over various eye-opening topics and is wonderful to all the students. I will truly miss both of them and cannot thank them enough for creating this amazing adventure.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My Mama Tica, Ube, is the most wonderful mama tica ever. Since the beginning, she immediately took me under her wing as her child and created a strong bond. She is such a dedicated woman that even when she is sick and tired from a lot of strenuous work or from the weather, she thinks of us above herself. Mama Tica also sends lovely messages in the morning and at night reminding me that she loves me. Being abroad and having a real family with people who truly care about you makes you not feel too homesick; it creates a strong bond.

* Food:

I just love all types of food. Best thing here are the constant eating of empanadas and plantains though.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I lived the pura vida lifestyle and although hard at times, I did it.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Got mildly sick once but it was a cinch to go to the doctor and get checked out. The directors took me immediately and instructed me how to file the paperwork so its my turn to do my part.

* Safety:

I havent had any problems here but it truly isn't smart to walk around without protection or some sort of knowledge for self defense. Wherever you go in general, you should always be safe and know how to defend yourself. Here the males do enjoy staring or talking to you as a female walking the street to the point of trying to create conversation. Not dangerous because of the security guards around but definitely not entirely safe.

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)

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Eat at home with Mama tica. Saves you a lot.

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
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? Talk to locals, especially mama tica and don't be afraid.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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?
  • The strong bonds created
  • The adventure
  • The food
* What could be improved?
  • Better directions on how to travel easier
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew that this wasn't going to be just a few months abroad, it was going to be a life changing experience with true friendships and real relationships that will both affect you and last forever. Going in, I had the mentality that these friendships were for a short period of time.

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.