A truly "Pura Vida!" February 18, 2017

By (Grand Valley State University) - abroad from 09/03/2016 to 12/17/0016 with

Sol Education Abroad- Heredia - Universidad Latina de Costa Rica

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Totally worthwhile. My spanish improved so much and I was able to see so many new and different things. Studying abroad has made me want to travel so much more in my life.

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

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I absolutely loved my home stay. My host family was so welcoming and loving to me. They were the best part of my study abroad experience. My host mom and I would take different trips together throughout the provinces of Costa Rica.

* Food:

For the most part I really liked the food. I ate a lot of rice and beans, every day. That got a little old after a while, but I know that is a part of the culture there. Also, I have some food sensitivities and allergies so at times I had problems with that.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt like I learned a lot about Costa Rican traditions and family. I do wish there would have been more volunteer activities and times available during the program for us to experience more cultural events.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had to go to a clinic and a hospital after having a severe peanut allergy reaction. The facilities were clean and the doctors were great. I was really impressed by their health care there.

* Safety:

I felt really safe in Heredia.

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

The best experience of my life so far. I absolutely loved studying abroad with Sol Education Abroad in Heredia, Costa Rica. The adventures I was able to go on, all of the classes I was able to take, the wonderful host family I was able to stay in, the different Costa Rican students I was able to meet at my university, as well as other Americans all over the U.S that I spent so much of my time with....made this semester truly special. Study Abroad in Costa Rica!

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 would say a 4. At times I would spend more than a 100 a week but that usually was when I was doing extra traveling.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Between $50-100 usually. Give or take.

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? Spanish 322
How many hours per day did you use the language?

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

  • 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?
  • Host Family
  • Excursions
  • Classes
* What could be improved?
  • More cultural activites
  • Less extra costs.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I would have a better idea of the area I would be living in. Sometimes I wish I could have chosen the Puntarenas location that was closer to the ocean. I was in a small city where there was a lot of American stores and a mall just across from my university.