Sol's Costa Rica program by and large destroys the competition. December 22, 2016

By (Lehigh University) - 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?
A new language. A global perspective. Lifelong friendships.

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

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I did massive amounts of research on other Spanish study aboard program and this by far blew away the competition. This program delicately balanced our time between school work and free time that allowed us to fully immerse in Costa Rica's beaches, nature, and people.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Knowledgeable and world-class site leaders that always have your back. Whether we were going on excursions, like Punta Mona or impromptu Christmas caroling in the streets, I applaud both Jessie and Janiva for creating a family atmosphere among the Sol students.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Incredible. I lived in an amazing modern complex with my funny Costa Rican brothers sisters, and mama.

* Food:

From exotic fruits, like "jocote", to Costa Rica's staple, "Gallo Pinto", I enjoyed every single rich cuisine I was introduced to or my host mom cooked for me.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Very. I mostly had tico friends. Didn't want to leave Costa Rica because I felt, I was leaving behind an important part of my life.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

No issue for me, but others Sol students who had issues had the help of not only our site directors, but also their host family to seamlessly resolve the issue.

* Safety:

No issue. Just don't go walking by yourself at 3am in the morning and you should be fine. Be smart.

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

No contest.

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)

Taking into consideration the cost of living in Costa Rica and the fact that I enjoy exploring sites and doing things, I budgeted $500 for personal expenses and had some extra cash left over.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 0
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Eat with host family. Buy local food and fruit. A whole pineapple was around a $1.50

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

Beside the host family experience, every time Sol mates came together, we tried our best to speak Spanish with one another. Our ratio breakdown: 60% Spanish: 40% English

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? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Duolingo ( Conversational)
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? Make tico friends.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • International Students
  • 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?
  • Sol students drive to learn spanish
  • Costa Rica and its beautiful people
  • Family atmosphere
* What could be improved?
  • Nothing
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Nothing, did all my research before going on my program.

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!