Non-traditional, but worthwhile Past Review

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 01/30/2017 to 05/10/2017 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Friends, scientific analysis skills, scientific writing skills

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

There isn't a ton of work but you have much less free time to do it in. As long as you study for tests, you'll be fine. And almost all of the papers are done with partners which helps to lighten the load.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

You'll be with a roommate but there's more than enough space

* Food:

Everything is fresh and incredible

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

There are outreach activities but the majority of your time is spent with other Americans at the center.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

You are 100% safe - there's nothing to worry about at the center and practically everywhere you go in Costa Rica.

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)

Practically everything in CR is cheaper and since you're at the center most of the time, there's little reason to spend money. The main expense is trips but if you prioritize cost, it won't be too much.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 85
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Eat snacks from the center, don't buy them


* 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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? AP Spanish
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? When you go outside the center, always speak Spanish, even if someone tries to engage with you in English.

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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Communal living
  • Trips across the country
* What could be improved?
  • Little free time
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? It's not as outdoors as I thought it was - there isn't that much hiking and when there is, it's not very strenuous.

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.