Educational and Adventurous Past Review

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 08/29/2016 to 12/07/2016 with

The School for Field Studies / SFS: Costa Rica - Sustainable Development Studies

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
On a personal level, I learned how to be independent and okay with not knowing anyone/living in a new setting. Aside from learning a lot in my classes, I also learned (from living at the center) about sustainable living and efforts we can make to truly make a difference.

Review Photos

The School for Field Studies / SFS: Costa Rica - Sustainable Development Studies Photo The School for Field Studies / SFS: Costa Rica - Sustainable Development Studies Photo The School for Field Studies / SFS: Costa Rica - Sustainable Development Studies Photo

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.

* 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

Though there were some things that I wish were different (like the amount of Spanish instruction) I still think that the SFS program is an incredible experience for Environmental Studies and Sustainability and would definitely do it again.


* 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? Less than $50 a week, and more than $100 for the few weekends away from campus.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Use hostiles when traveling!


* 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

Outside of class, there was a lunch table we could sit at and speak with interns & staff in Spanish, but outside of that, Spanish wasn't necessary except when traveling outside the campus.

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? 4th level
How many hours per day did you use the language? 0
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Make an effort to speak to the professors and staff in Spanish, and be friendly when traveling to practice Spanish outside of campus as well!

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?
  • the focus of sustainable living
  • the amount of traveling we did as a program
  • the classes/professors
* What could be improved?
  • more Spanish instruction
  • If the program was a little bit longer, it would more easily fit in everything we did, without rushing and being overworked.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Just a little bit more about every day life there; what it would be like living at the center. (Just in order to prepare more).

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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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.