Very meaningful and appreciated. August 16, 2019

By (Western Carolina University) - abroad from 05/11/2019 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?
My experience was worthwhile and i learned a lot about myself that could affect my future. I gain friends, confidence, and more.

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

I did not enjoy everyone’s way of going about things when it came to being an on-site administrator. But for the most part everyone else was very easy and good to work with.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My living arrangements could not have been better. I enjoyed my family and everything else about living there.

* Food:

I enjoyed the foods for the most part. I atleast tried the food before saying i didn’t want it or i didn’t like it.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt very integrated with the local culture. Being there for so long made me even get close to locals who worked at a frequently visited store or restaurant of mine.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I got a common cold while i was in Costa Rica but i didn’t not visit a doctor. I took medicines that my host family suggested and waited it out.

* Safety:

I felt somewhat more safe walking by myself because i looked like a local but when i was with my group of friends, who all happened to be white and blonde, there was more attention brought upon us. I still felt as if i had to always look over my shoulder because of all the crimes that had happened to other students in my program. Do not walk much at night and do not travel in huge groups if you don’t want to attract a lot of attention. Also stay in the loop about what happens to other students. Two student who were in my program got robbed and we never found out where the act took place so we could know to avoid that area.

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

I really enjoyed the program itself minus one situation.

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 spent way too much right away and it was hard to stop.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? More than $900 for the entire time abroad.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Do not eat out a ton because ultimately you’ve already paid your host family to cook meals for you as well so it’s kind of wasting money to eat out as well.

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

They encouraged it a lot. They always spoke to us in the language and in the classroom we always had to use it.

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? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Advanced Spanish II
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? Do not give up. Whatever superior authority says to you about how bad you are do not give up and prove them wrong. Speak the language to your American friends as well not just to your family, locals, or in school.

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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The people
  • The food
  • The program and personal excursions
* What could be improved?
  • More motivation
  • Being kept updated on crime that happens especially if it happened in your neighborhood
  • More time as a group beyond the first 3weeks. A chance to meet other sessions as we did our own session.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish i knew how to pack better and how to better spend my money throughout the trip.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Advanced Spanish 1

Course Department: Spanish
Instructor: Elisabeth
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: The class was challenging at first because i was shy and not confident in my Spanish speaking skills. With Elizabeth allowing me time after class to just sit and talk with her and actually helping me speak the language fluently i became more confident. I appreciate her so much for it.
Credit Transfer Issues: None of my credits have not yet transfered