Study Abroad Opened My Eyes to a Whole New World Past Review

By (Elementary Education, Stephen F. Austin State University) for

Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA): Traveling - Student Teachers in Costa Rica

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
This program deffinantly opened my eyes to be mre culutrally aware. I grew up with prodominantly white americans and never really had the experience of learning about different culutes or experience a struggling ELL learner. We have talked about it many times in classes and played out many senarios, but to actually put myself in an experience were I was not the majority, I became the minority, and where I English was not the primary language was a whole new experience and has taught me what many of my future students may go throught everyday.

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.

Our workload was very managable, we were given one or two articles to read each day in our down time and then we would discuss them after dinner each night.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Our professor was very knowledgable about the country and had many great things to teach us. I learned alot and was very impressed witht the curriculum. The one thing that I was not fond of was our professor left us to fend for ourselves multiple times when we did not know where were going or how things worked in the city.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

Almost everywhere we ate was delicious and that means something coming from me. I am a super picky eater, but this trip made me become more adventurous while eating, because often times I did not know what was going to be on my plate when I ordered.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We were able to see many attractions of our country while we were there. We visited numerous national parks and did things such as ziplines, beaches, and viewing waterfalls.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Before leaving we were told many times how to keep ourselves safe. At times the advice came in handy, but often times the country was very friendly and welcoming. I never really felt in danger at any point on our trip.

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


* 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)

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Our expense list was under budgeted. My biggest expense problem was the restraunts and hotels cost more than we were told and I had under budgeted for them.


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Hotel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • N/A
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Getting to learn about culture.
  • Be able to take my experience back to the classroom.
* What could be improved?
  • The professor could inform us when he leaves the group and we are going to be by ourselves.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Any education major would benefit from this program because all teachers are going to have ELL students and students from different culutes. Advice I would give to others is brush up on your Spanish and know where you are at all times because the professor tends to leave you to fend for yourself.