Life-Changing January 22, 2020

By (Cardinal Stritch University) - abroad from 06/22/2019 to 07/13/2019 with

Study Abroad Programs in Costa Rica

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I definitely learned a lot about the culture of Costa Rica, which was something I wanted to gain from the experience. My Spanish improved and I am still in touch with my host family and the other students I met on the trip.

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?

* 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:

At night, Costa Rica is dangerous if you are alone and unsafe. Your host family will teach you how to be safe but also enjoy the experience. Follow these orders and the instructions of the program administrators. They are only said for your safety. After all of these safety warnings, there is still plenty of room for fun and enjoyment, just use common sense and do not be alone at night.

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

I regret not speaking more Spanish while I was there and connecting with my host family more. Costa Rica was absolutely amazing. I would love to go back, but I would love to find another country through Sol.

Finances

* 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)

This all depends on how much you might spend on souvenirs, nights out, extra experiences, and meals outside of the house.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100 on souvenirs, nights out, extra experiences, and other meals
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Be financially smart, but don't let that stop you from doing what you want. This may be the only time you may visit this country. Enjoy!

Language

* 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

My host family spoke only Spanish. With the other study abroad students we were encouraged to speak Spanish, but we did not necessarily do this as much as we should've. My classes were also completely in 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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Spanish Composition and Conversation
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? Speak Spanish as much as you can. I was only there for three weeks, but I could feel that my Spanish had greatly improved by the time I left. The teachers and host families, and Costa Ricans are patient and encouraging when you speak Spanish.

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

  • 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?
  • excursions
  • host family
  • nights out
* What could be improved?
  • communication between administrators and students
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? 3 weeks felt like a long time, but it also felt like too short of a time. It would definitely be worth it to stay a little while longer. I did not get to experience as much as I wanted because I was only there for 3 weeks.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!