Semester of a Lifetime May 31, 2019

By (Missouri State University) - abroad from 01/12/2019 to 04/13/2019 with

Sol Education Abroad - Study Abroad in Heredia, Costa Rica at Universidad Latina de Costa Rica

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a lot of self confidence and made so many close friends. 110% 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.

Courses with the program were low difficulty however classes with the locals were higher difficulty. Higher level program courses and all courses with locals were taught entirely in Spanish.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

SOL really takes into account your preferences and you can be placed without an American roommate if you prefer that.

* Food:

Food varies from household to household but as long as you are open about your likes and dislikes, the host family is really accommodating.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I didn't have a roommate so I felt extremely integrated to the local culture; however, having classes with the program and not with locals made it harder to make local friends.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't have any issues with healthcare. I had a stomach bug and if it had lasted for over 24 hours, I would've had access to a doctor the day I needed access.

* Safety:

We weren't supposed to walk alone at night, so basically like any college campus. I felt safe the whole time but you have to be smart: don't walk with your phone out, be aware.

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

The excursions were a ton of fun and we learned a lot. SOL only goes to four countries and they do those four countries really well.

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)

SOL provided every meal except for some on excursions and university was in walking distance. Some kids spent a ton of money and other spent hardly any.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $20
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Save up so you don't have to worry about money while you're there. Also don't waste your money on alcohol, you can get trashed in your home country when you get back.

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? Advanced
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Spanish Translation
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? Take any classes you can and try listening to songs in your target language or watching shows in the target 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 mom
  • excusions
  • class
* What could be improved?
  • scheduling
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? It's okay to just relax in another country because there's enough time to do everything, and you have to remember you're there for school.

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.