A New Outlook On Life Past Review

By (New Media Communications, Cedar Crest College) - abroad from 03/02/2013 to 03/10/2013 with

Study Abroad Programs in Costa Rica

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned the most from my experience abroad, that a little bit can do alot. I was part of a service project that helped teen girls learn about sexual health education, and also helped provide resources to teen moms. It was an enlightening experience, and definitely helped define what I plan on doing in the future.

Review Photos

Study Abroad Programs in Costa Rica Photo Study Abroad Programs in Costa Rica Photo Study Abroad Programs in Costa Rica Photo

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

On site directors would always answer our questions, come along with us to excursions and learn from us as much as we learned from them.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Living arrangements were wonderful, our host mom was very welcoming and really took the time to get to know us!

* Food:

Food is all natural in Costa Rica for the most part and it is delicious, leave it up to your host families to show you what a real home cooked meal is.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We were very well integrated through the cultural activities that were provided while we were there, such as speaking spanish at the market, dance lessons, and doing a service project.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Local healthcare was accessible, just have to notify the directors. There really are no prevalent health issues in the country, at least not any that travelers would have to worry about, and we did not need any specific vaccines to travel but you are advised to have all your current ones up to date.

* Safety:

It was very safe, although it is always suggested to not walk around alone avoid putting yourself in a vulnerable situation.

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)

Very easily, food is provided at your home for breakfast, lunch and dinner. So that is one expense you do not have to worry about. So mainly your money is spent in going out, souvenirs and transportation. If you stick to an easygoing lifestyle while you are there I only spent 60 dollars the week I was there. Just be conscious and aware about how you spend your money and on what, and it should be fine.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 60
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Only buy what is necessary, and if you go out with friends, split the check, and I know you might want to see the country but manage your money dont go out excessively. If you participate in the cultural events that the program provides for you, you should not need to spend much extra money doing sightseeing.


* 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

The program encouraged us to use the language when we went to the market to buy fruits, and also in our homes, given the fact that most of our host moms are not fluent in English. Also in service projects it would be wise to have a basic knowledge of Spanish, so you can form connections with the community that you are helping.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Fluent
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? was born and raised in a Spanish speaking country
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Find a friend who can speak the language and practice with them, ask them to tell you how to say things properly so you can learn little phrases along the way. The good old method works too,buy yourself a Spanish phrase book and practice, after much reading they will catch on.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local 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?
  • Host Family
  • Food
  • Cultural Activities
* What could be improved?
  • let us know that we need to bring warm clothes
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish we would have known that it can get pretty cold in Costa Rica on certain days! and Also know to be open to other people and the culture because if you aren't you might miss some wonderful experiences

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Networker
An active student leader, it was important for you to network abroad as well. Once overseas, you sought out student clubs, volunteered with local organizations, or attended community events. You encouraged your friends join you, and often considered how you could reflect your international experiences in a resume.