Life-Changing July 22, 2019

By (Cardinal Stritch University) - abroad from 06/22/2019 to 07/13/2019 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?
100% worthwhile. This experience pushed me way out of my comfort zone, but I don’t regret it one bit. It was an amazing opportunity to travel for the first time, meet new people who will stay in touch for years to come, experience a new culture, and feel the pura vida atmosphere. It was a growing experience being away from my family, but it has helped me to see that it is possible for me to be away from them for a time, experience the world a little at a time, and then return home sweetly. I have learned and experienced the idea that I need to take opportunities that may seem scary and enjoy the moment. Take the time to slow down and realize what beauty and opportunity the world has to offer.

Review Photos

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

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?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I got through the experience without any issues, but there is definitely a possibility that safety could be a problem in Heredia, Costa Rica. Listen to your advisors and do not ignore the safety tips they give you. They say it for good reasons. If you use your head and take caution, you will be fine.

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

I would definitely use Sol again, but I would definitely like to visit other countries offered in their 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)

It all depends on what you want to spend. There are no requirements to spend a lot of money outside of certain meals on excursions. You will spend money on souvenirs and additional excursions that are available to plan, but none of that is required.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50-$100 (mostly souvenirs)
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Now that Uber is legal in Costa Rica, use it especially at night. It is much cheaper than a taxi. When traveling during the day use the train or the bus because they are also very cheap.

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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? SPN 204: Composition and Conversation
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? Try to encourage your group to use Spanish with each other. Maybe not all the time, but set times during the day where you only use spanish to communicate. I know English is a comfort zone, but it will really help you feel more comfortable if you use it frequently outside of your host house. I wish I would’ve done that more. Also speak with your host family a lot because they are very patient and are willing to help you improve if you’re willing to speak without fear. Another thing I wish I did more.

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?
  • Excursions
  • Cultural activities
  • Host family experience
* What could be improved?
  • Communication between directors and students
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? There is a huge mall and plenty of big stores nearby where you can always go to get anything you need. You do not need to pack like you’re going to the middle of nowhere.

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.