Costa Rica is a beautiful country January 19, 2017

By (University of North Texas) - abroad from 12/26/2016 to 01/14/2017 with

Sol Education Abroad- Heredia - Universidad Latina de Costa Rica

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained greater Spanish skills and more confidence in myself.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The directors really care about the students and are always willing to help.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

All meals are included and they are provided by the host family. In Costa Rica, this includes lots of rice and beans. I'm not a huge fan of rice and beans, but the meals are typically very healthy.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

You really become as integrated as you let yourself. If you only spend time with the other international students, then you won't be as integrated as if you spend more time with your host family and other Costa Ricans.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Heredia is a pretty safe city, but be careful crossing the streets. This was the most dangerous part for me. Drivers do NOT yield for pedestrians. Getting hit by a car or motorcycle is a very real possibility.

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

Sol is very supportive and they do their best to give you the best experience possible.

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 took out $100 in colones at the bank and it lasted all of the three weeks. I spent more on my credit card for souvenirs, but you don't need much money to get by in Heredia.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $0 on food. Less than $10 on buses, taxis, and trains. About $50 on souvenirs.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Meals are provided, so you don't need to buy any food. Gift shops are very expensive. Clothes and shoes are fairly inexpensive at the mall, which is right across the street from the university.

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? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* 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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The excursions
  • The directors
  • The country
* What could be improved?
  • Nothing
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known how homesick I would get. I was only there for three weeks, but I got a lot more homesick than I thought I would. Pushing through it, though, you will adapt and feel better in 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.