Worthwhile Study Abroad Program in Costa Rica Past Review

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 01/30/2012 to 05/03/2012 with

The School for Field Studies / SFS: Costa Rica – Ecological Resilience Studies

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned about the history of Costa Rica's sustainable development and improvements that they and other countries could make in order to further protect the environment while developing their economy. I had an absolutely amazing time traveling all over the country. The best part about this program was being able to go on short trips throughout the country with the professors and students.

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.

All of the classes were great, but they were not very difficult. I definitely learned about sustainable development, but the academic rigor and intensity were not nearly what Wellesley offers.

* 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?

I wish there had been a longer homestay and that the program was more involved in the local community than it was. It is definitely hard though because the program is only three months long.

* 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


* 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)

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? Yes
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 50
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Monitor your spending by only taking out money from the ATM and not using a credit card.


* 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 241
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? Talk to locals!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* 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?
  • Costa Rica
  • Traveling
  • Sustainable Development
* What could be improved?
  • Difficulty of classes
  • Amount of interaction with locals
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How little I had to pack