Pura vida, por supuesto Past Review

By (Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania) - abroad from 09/02/2017 to 12/16/2017 with

Study Abroad Programs in Costa Rica

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My Spanish speaking and writing skills improved substantially. I was able to take a full 15 credits by electing to take a Journalism class with local university students (SOL gives you lots of of other options for classes with locals, too).

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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

SOL encourages students to make their own study abroad experience. Our directors were almost always available for advice and suggestions on how to navigate our new surroundings, but we had plenty of free time to explore all that we could of Heredia and the other provinces of Costa Rica.


* 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? $5 to $10
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Make sure you notify your bank or credit union before studying abroad; they may need to register your credit/debit card for it to work in a foreign country.


* 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

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? Spanish 306
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? Your host family (if you're staying with one) is your best resource for practicing with the language. They've most likely had foreign students before and will be able to help you out. Also, it's tempting to speak in your native language with the other people in the program, but challenge yourself (and your friends) to speak in your target language as much as possible.

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
  • Americans
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?
  • Excursions to Manuel Antonio National Park, Arenal Volcano, Nicaragua
  • Easy to contact program directors
* What could be improved?
  • More group activities for students in the program
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Costa Rica is one of the most expensive countries in Latin America. Many of the prices for food and clothes (should you choose to buy them) are steeper than you may be used to.

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.