Fantastic Spanish Learning Adventure! November 13, 2016

By (University of North Carolina - Charlotte / UNCC) - abroad from 02/15/2016 to 03/04/2016 with

Tico Lingo: Heredia - Spanish Language Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained an incredibly amount of Spanish speaking capabilities in a super short time. I also gained a fond love of the culture in Costa Rica and felt more comfortable than ever opening up, meeting new people, and connecting with a new community than ever before. I really, really enjoyed the whole experience

Review Photos

Tico Lingo: Heredia - Spanish Language Program Photo Tico Lingo: Heredia - Spanish Language Program Photo

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.

Learned a ton of Spanish! The school really pushed me to learn the language and use what I was learning in class with the local people in Heredia.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The program director was incredibly helpful from day-1. Likewise, the other staff at the school helped with any questions I had and provided me with a lot of beneficial travel advice.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My homestay was awesome! I love my family and loved the food even more. Plus, fresh coffee every day and plenty of Spanish practice

* Food:

As mentioned, Costa Rican food is simple, but very delicious!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We played a lot of soccer games with locals. The whole program was very community based and community driven. We really felt like apart of the local culture!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Had no issues with healthcare

* Safety:

The city of Heredia is very safe! never felt in danger once and was completely comfortable walking alone at night

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

My three weeks at Tico Lingo were easily the most memorable and enriching out of the 3 weeks I spent in Costa Rica. The school had such a warm and inviting feel that I never wanted to leave! I lived with a local family that was happy to help me practice my Spanish with them. They had so much patience and even more food to give me! :) i wouldn't change anything about the program.

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)

No problem. The only thing I really needed to pay for was lunch which was five to seven dollars per day

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $200
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Eat at local sodas instead of nicer looking cafes. Also, buy inexpensive snacks like bananas and avocados instead of cookies and crackers

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

The encouraged me everyday!

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
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? 0
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? Just get out there and speak with the local Ticos! They are an amazingly friendly people and had a ton of patience with me while studying and practicing Spanish.

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Direct Enrollment

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* 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 Spanish classes
  • The homestay family
  • The vibe at the school
* What could be improved?
  • more weekend activities
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That Costa Rica is amazing and that I should have not worried so much about "fitting in". I spent my first few days worried about everything, but once I accepted the "Pura Vida" lifestyle, all was well!

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'