Blessed to have experienced Pura Vida Past Review

By (MULTI/INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES., Stephen F. Austin State University) - abroad from 08/06/2012 to 08/19/2012 with

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 to enjoy, cease every opportunity, to speak up and not be shy, I learned so much from going to Costa Rica that I will never forget and cherish the rest of my life.

Review Photos

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

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

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

It felt nice to get away from the things we are so use to and spoiled about, like air condition, and stay somewhere very humble and generous. It makes you appreciate what you have.

* Food:

In the beginning, the food is so different, but you have to open yourself up to it, and it ends up being the best food you have ever had. Although, you do tire of having beans on ever plate.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It was very different than what I am use to, but you get the hang of it after a few days. I had a proud moment our second week there when someone asked if I was a local!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Our professor knew practically everything and everyone, so I felt very safe and secure.

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)

Budget your money! I kept a record of what I spent each day and what my limit was for each day, and I ended up doing okay with my money.

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? Yes
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I probably spent about $200.


* 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

I enjoyed practicing and improving my spanish!

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? College French, but there was no French used while in Costa Rica.
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? Talk with friends or family that know spanish, it helps a lot.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Hotel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
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 beautiful people, country, and scenery!
  • Speaking spanish
  • The way of life in Costa Rica, PURA VIDA!
* What could be improved?
  • making the trip longer than 2 weeks
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Not to be so scared to speak up. I was so shy and scared to speak spanish in the beginning, but once I gained my confidence and courage it was easy and great.