Hardly Anything Happened Except for Things I Wish Hadn’t September 11, 2019

By (Lord Fairfax Community College) - abroad from 05/11/2019 to 08/03/2019 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?
A lot of people who you assume would care about you don’t, and a lot of people who you assume would not do care. I would have rather learned that a different way.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

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?

My pharmacy visits were all self-guided

* Safety:

Was robbed at gunpoint

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

I did very little with the program beyond the first three weeks and I felt the program’s student support structure was deeply lacking.

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 no money on traveling

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

In SOL activities, there was little encouragement to use the language; however, in classes and with my host family, the language was almost exclusively used.

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? Intermediate
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? Spend time with your host family

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • 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?
  • My host family
  • Classes
  • The program guided activities
* What could be improved?
  • Having more activities
  • More efficient emergency response
  • More accessible mental health services
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That I would do almost nothing after the first three weeks.