By (Broomfield High School) - abroad from 09/03/2016 to 12/17/2016 with

Study Abroad Programs in Costa Rica

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My Spanish drastically improved, I became a traveler, I grew up.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The courses offered were extremely helpful and informative. Not too rigorous but still challenging.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Janiva and Jesse are amazing at their jobs! They care for the students immensely and do everything they can to make them comfortable.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My mama tica was lovely. She prepared three meals a day for us as well as coffee and bread in the afternoons.

* Food:

Home made gorillas and empanadas were the highlights. Be prepared for A LOT of rice and beans.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Ticos are hard to get to know but once you do they are some of the warmest and kindest people you will ever meet.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I was ill two times during my study abroad. Whenever anyone was sick, Janiva was extremely dedicated to taking us to the clinic/hospital for treatment quickly. A lot of us got sick, mostly with colitis/ intestinal issues.

* Safety:

Heredia is safe if you take the right precautions. Don't walk anywhere after 6, purse/backpack in front of you in crowded places, phone and camera put away while you are walking. I had problems running because I would receive A LOT of attention from the men. No incidents were too serious.

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

Absolutely the best decision I have ever made.


* 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)

I spent a lot of money in Costa Rica because I did a lot of traveling.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 150
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? DONT BUY FOOD YOUR HOST FAMILY WILL PROVIDE YOU MEALS. Things are expensive in Costa Rica so don't come expecting to buy clothes.


* 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

It's mandatory to speak Spanish all the time.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
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? Advanced 2
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? Watch Netflix in English with Spanish subtitles!

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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Learning Spanish
  • Traveling
  • Empanadas
* What could be improved?
  • More rigorous classes
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Say yes to everything. Don't be afraid to do something you wouldn't usually do. Don't be afraid to make mistakes in your Spanish, that's how you learn.

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.