Personal Review of the GREEN Program in Costa Rica Past Review

By (Environmental Policy, Rutgers University - New Brunswick/Piscataway) for

The GREEN Program: Peru - Water Resource Management & Sustainable Practices

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I discovered my passion for renewable energy and realized that this is the industry that I wanted to pursue for my career. I gained a global perspective of the industry, as well as learned some of the cultural differences between Costa Rica and the United States. I met many students and professionals in the industry while on this program that helps to continue to grow my network.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The hands-on learning experience that the GREEN Program provided enabled me to gain a global perspective on the Renewable Energy Industry. At Rutgers University, I focused a lot of my educational career on renewable energy and sustainability, but being able to get out of the classroom and see these systems first-hand gave me a better understanding and perspective. The discussion based lectures, renewable energy facility tours, and the Capstone project made me realize my passion for renewable energy and innovative sustainable practices. The program is jam-packed with education and allowed me to further progress my educational goals and with this program on my resume makes me more marketable when entering into the workforce.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

My expectations were exceeded with this Program. I never thought I could get so much accomplished in 12 days! Every aspect of the program was well organized and well executed. This allowed me to not worry about the itinerary, and enjoy myself while learning.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The Hotels that we stayed at during this program were strategically chosen because they all had some sort of sustainability and renewable energy implemented. Every hotel was very comfortable with all amenities and more! I felt safe in all locations and the hotel staff was very helpful.

* Food:

The food was delicious and plentiful. Every time we had a meal, the counselors and cooks were always conscious of the students dietary needs and made sure they everyone had enough to eat so they will have enough energy for the day. We had a wide variety of local foods and Costa Rican twists on american classics. The food was the BEST!!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Being and adventurous outdoorsman, I loved the organized surfing excursion at Tamarindo, which is a surfing capital of the world. All of the adventure excursions were mind blowing and really tested my limits and allowed me to break out of my shell. The entire trip will be one of the best experiences of my life.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Costa Rica, being one of the friendliest countries on the world made it easy to interact with locals and made me feel safe. The counselors were always aware of all surroundings and it was obvious that safety was their main priority. The counselors also mentioned that they had specific protocol for any event and were well trained in rapid response to emergencies, which was obvious with how they handled themselves and the group. They made my first time in a latin american country extremely exciting and without stress.

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)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

Every day on the GREEN Program, the was a cultural activity that gave me the chance to interact with Costa Ricans (Ticos) and practice my spanish. During these cultural activities, I would teach a Tico English words and they taught me Spanish. This was very rewarding and I also made numerous friends in the process. This way of learning a different language was exciting.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Hotel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Education
  • Culture
  • Adventure
* What could be improved?
  • Program could have a training program for alumni to participate in
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? This program is for the passionate student that wants to excel in their career in anything that has to do with the environment. This program is suitable for all students from all types of backgrounds because it covers so much in such a short time.