Costa Rica: First Long Term Experience In A Different Country Past Review

By (Psychology, University of Northern Iowa) for

Universidad Veritas: San José - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was definitely a good way to learn the Spanish language. Learned a lot about a new culture and getting around on my own. This has raised my cultural awareness and let me get a great start on my Spanish Minor.

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Fun classes- but a lot of work. Great teachers. Class generally from 8am-12pm everyday.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Strengths: Small class sizes, understanding teachers, intense program. Weaknesses: Felt somewhat unsafe in the city.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Didn't feel safe in neighborhood- several Americans robbed. Felt like a family member by my host family, however, they weren't home often. Close walk to school and taxi drive to nightlife.

* Food:

Accommodated to dietary restrictions- great quality and quantity of food. 2 meals a day by host fmaily.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Met great friends and cheap travel on weekends.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Never needed medical care. San Jose was not very safe in my opinion.

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)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

Used only Spanish with host family. Most people knew English.

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

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

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Great friendships
  • Great food and inexpensive living expenses/travel
  • Improvement of Spanish
* What could be improved?
  • Rather be in a safe city/town
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Someone who wants some adventure on the weekends and ready for challenging, but rewarding study during the week would love this. Met lifelong friends and had amazing experiences.