Life changing. Will never forget a minute of it. Must do it again! Past Review

By (Western Washington University) - abroad from 01/04/2013 to 04/01/2013 with

Universidad Veritas: San José - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned that I can EASILY be away from everything i know! It was such an experience, I cannot stop talking about going back.

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.

My classes on average had like 6 people in them! I got extremely close with my class and with my teachers! We would learn Spanish through experience instead of in a book. And why study at the same place you have been your whole life when you can be studying in the rain forest?!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I would suggest just doing independent honestly. They set you up with everything my program had, was a couple thousand cheaper, and you get to choose which excursions you want to go on! My program was great and organized but I couldnt figure out why it was so much more expensive?

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I literally had the best family in the world. I still keep in contact with them! They literally took me on as one of the kids and I felt so loved. The best part of my family was that they didnt even have any rules! I had a rare treat for getting such laid back parents!

* Food:

The food is great until you eat so much rice and beans you want to puke just looking at them!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

If you are smart you wont get robbed! Just hold onto your purse the whole time!

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* 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)

I spent about 150 a week. And by week I mean weekend! during the week you dont need to spend anything, its those weekend excursions that get you! Traveling, food, excursions, and souvenirs really dent the wallet!

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? in the week you eat breakfast and dinner with the family. So for lunches i just spent like $10 every couple of weeks on bread and PB&J. On the weekends once learning tricks (like buying lunch supplies prior), its easier to spend less money.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? we say YLCRO (you only live in Costa Rica once)!!! Just save up a load of money and get the stuff you really want! For my broke friends, things were miserable for them always trying to save money by not including themselves in things! This is your only time to truly go "nuts" so I say go for it and trust me you wont regret the experiences you get!


* 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? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Basic 2
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? Always talk Spanish to your families even if they know English! Its frustrating at first, but the more you speak the quicker you get past that!

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

  • Americans
  • 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 HUGE variety of animals!
  • The best friends I will always have
  • Learning a new language in 3 months
* What could be improved?
  • The price!
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That I should have stayed for the longer time. I chose three months instead of four because I thought that was plenty of time! REGRET it!

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 Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Ecological Photography

Course Department:
Instructor: Eddie
Instruction Language: English
Comments: I originally thought I was taking this class for pure fun and easy credits. Surprisingly I learned a lot more! Everything we learned was so applicable if you are interested an photography! Costa Rica was the perfect place to practice the skills too! Eddie gave me inspiration to take this class seriously and pursue photography further! (I have started selling some photographs to local businesses!) Thank you Eddie for everything!
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

International Marketing

Course Department: Marketing
Instructor: Eddie
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Eddie made this class one of the best experiences ever. It wasnt about homework or tests, but about the projects. We had to grow our project throughout the months and create a final presentation. He has a lot of knowledge in the field and made the class extremely relevant!
Credit Transfer Issues: