Highs and Lows January 25, 2019

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 08/27/2018 to 12/04/2018 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Definitely worthwhile. I learned a lot about myself.

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.

It is a different kind of intense. Instead of sitting in the classroom, you are out and about. Because of the more physical aspect, you have to process more in the moment.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Cold showers, netting at top of walls so you could see light and hear others easily. Manageable, but not for people who really need their alone time.

* Food:

AMAZING YUM YUM

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

This is not an immersion program.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't have any issues, but others did. Seemed to act faster on some than others.

* Safety:

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

It was a wonderful experience, the academics were good, but it was emotionally taxing for me to be away from home.

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)

If you go out a lot, you spend money. If you stay in, you really don't need to. Food and lodging are provided.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $15
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? You can haggle if you like.

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

It was not an immersion program, but there were opportunities to practice 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? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 200 level
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? Go and talk to the staff and faculty.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
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?
  • The field work
  • the community
  • the food
* What could be improved?
  • the dorms
  • the connection to the local community
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Dell laptops seemed to be the only ones that died from the humidity.

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!