A Cultural Experience of a Lifetime Past Review

By (Interdisiplinary Studies, 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?
I learned how a different part of the world lives by living with them. I am now more appricative for what I have and have developed a new understanding of what it is like to be new to a country and not know about the language and culture that I will remember in my own classroom in the future.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

My host university was SFA. The work load was fair and consisted of living within the culture and nightly class discussions based off of reading materials. Grades were based off of a final exam that was due in the week after we returned home.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Dr. Armstrong found hotels and bed and breakfast for us that allowed us to still be apart of the Costa Rican culture. He knew the people that owened each place and knew lots of information about each city and from previous visits.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

The food was great. Much of it was the same each night (rice, beans and chicken)but tasted different everywhere you went.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

zip-line, waterfall, hotbaths

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

The saftey was just about the same as anywhere. Always be aware of new surroundings but nothing to be scared of. There were pharmacies around if we needed anything durring our time there. We did get tetnus shots before we left for the 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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? We averaged 30 dollars a day on meals, 25-30 dollars a day on a hotel and about 50 dollars a week on souvenirs. Dont forget that you will be buying bottle water in most places and that does add an extra expense as well.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? The money lay out we were given prior to the trip was very accurate. Using the local money will help save some money.


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

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • that we were able to travel all around Costa Rica
  • the immersion intot he culture
* What could be improved?
  • knowing what we were doing before we were actually doing it
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Make the most of the experince, do all you can do, and try new things.