Best semester of college January 10, 2022

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 08/30/2022 to 12/30/2021 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Other than the information from the classes, I learned a lot about myself and what I want to do with my future. I also gained valuable international experience as I have never spent that much time anywhere as an outsider. I became more culturally aware and it was absolutely worthwhile.

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.

The educational experience as a whole was very good considering the Covid-19 circumstances. As it was there first semester reopening, there was a few obstacles that were presented to the teaching staff but they were usually able to handle it relatively quickly. The workload was not overly difficult and usually interesting.

* 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?

As Covid-19 was present, many of the cultural integration activities were removed but we still regularly visited town and had a fun experience.

* 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

The staff were incredibly kind and cared about you deeply. This is also a very unique program so the students I attended it with were all similarly minded and we became very good friends.


* 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)

The essentials were primarily covered by SFS, specifically food.


* 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? I had taken AP Spanish in high school
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 into town use it as much as possible with the locals. You may make mistakes but they are understanding and can be very helpful.

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?
  • My fellow students
  • Studying in the rainforest
  • The staff
* What could be improved?
  • More variety in the food
  • Classes and homework could be structured more efficiently
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known more about the climate there. I was really nervous going during rain season but it is actually extremely beautiful and sunny every morning. The rain comes only in the afternoon when we do classwork inside.

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.