Costa Rica and Sol Education Abroad changed my life! May 18, 2017

By (Western Carolina University) - abroad from 01/09/2017 to 04/22/2017 with

Sol Education Abroad- Heredia - Universidad Latina de Costa Rica

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained an open mind, and my heart grew for others and their differences. It was definitely worthwhile.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The directors of the program in Costa Rica were fantastic and always willing to help in any way possible!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host mom rocked and my program matched me with the best roommate on the planet!

* Food:

The food in Costa Rica is unlike any other country! The fruits are fresh and the gallo pinto is to die for!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

By the time April arrived, I felt like Costa Rica was my second home!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I personally didn't have any problems, but I know friends who did and the healthcare in Costa Rica was so convenient! They took care of you and it was covered by insurance! It was also clean and trustworthy!

* Safety:

I would not suggest walking at night alone, and listening to the suggestions your directors give you! Costa Rica was overall a safe, beautiful country!

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

I without a doubt would do this program over and over again! I learned how to live the Pura Vida life and the directors of this program truly make it and incredible experience! SOL Education is an amazing program!

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Make sure to have an extra 500 to 1000 saved for souvenirs, extra excursions, and things like that!

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? Intermediate 2
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? Listen to music, surround yourself with the culture, make friends from the country you are studying, practice, practice, practice

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?
  • Organization
  • Excursions
  • The people I met
* What could be improved?
  • Speaking Spanish 24/7
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How to budget my money and how to better study spanish

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'