Natural beauty all around and heavenly fruit! October 18, 2019

By (Mills College) - abroad from 07/13/2019 to 08/17/2019 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?
Yes, my experience was worthwhile. I was grateful to have the opportunity to focus on only learning Spanish during class because I improved at a much faster rate. I was able to use what I had learned in class in my conversations with my host family and therefore hone in my Spanish skills a bit more.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Great way to better my Spanish. Teachers were very kind and patient.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Very kind and helpful.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

My host mother cooked pretty good food. Bring snacks or money to buy snacks because meals are placed many hours apart.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Staying with a host family allows for great immersion into the culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Watch out for the cars because cars have the right of way not pedestrians!

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

I would choose the SOL program but I would want to explore a different country. I would choose a SOL program in another country the second time around.

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 depends on how much you like to spend. I don't like to spend a lot of money so I mostly bought snacks rather than a lot of souvenirs.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100 to $150
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Ask yourself if you really need the item you are buying. If you buy excessively and without awareness you will spend a lot more money.

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

Frequent encouragement was encouraged but my other Solmates tended to only talk in English with each other when we were on excursions. Instructions were mostly in Spanish and clarifying information was in English. The majority of my Spanish was used in class and with my host family.

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? Spanish IV
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? Get comfortable with making mistakes. Make conversation about anything and everything. I had many interesting conversations with my mama tica ranging from politics to history to fashion.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • 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?
  • Staying with a host family.
  • The freedom to do our own activities with our Soulmates..
  • The excursions were really fun and made me get out of my comfort zone.
* What could be improved?
  • Spanish could be enforced more on excursions.
  • Spacing out the activities would be helpful. Especially in the first three weeks, it was hard to handle all the new things coming at us.
  • Personally, I would have liked to see more of CR's natural treasures. I wanted to visit more forests and volcanos.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I didn't know how exhausted I would be at the end of everyday. I would have brought more snacks because I was usually hungry. My brain and body were always working so hard trying to keep up with the language and other stimulations of being in another country.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Intermedio uno

Course Department: Spanish
Instructor: Leviette
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: Yes, the course work was fast paced because we had three weeks to cover all the material.
Credit Transfer Issues: I need to make an appointment to check on my credits at my college.