My Favorite Semester during College Past Review

By (Eastern Illinois University) - abroad from 01/09/2017 to 05/06/2017 with

Universidad Veritas: San José - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was most definitely worthwhile. I learned about different cultures (not only the Costa Rican culture) by meeting people from different countries all over the world, advanced my language skills and made life-long friends. I will never forget my experience abroad!

Review Photos

Universidad Veritas: San José - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo Universidad Veritas: San José - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo Universidad Veritas: San José - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo Universidad Veritas: San José - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo Universidad Veritas: San José - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo

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.

I absolutely loved the professors I had at Veritas. They were very helpful with the language and cultural aspects I was hoping to learn and became like a family to me.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

After arriving in Costa Rica, everything with the program seemed simple and easy. It was an easy transition and I was able to find help if I ever needed any.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host family was perfect! My host mom, Susi, was so friendly and always had something to talk about with me. The rules were clear and not hard to follow.

* Food:

The food was healthy AND tasted amazing! I definitely ate healthier for a lower price while studying in Costa Rica.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I was completely immersed in the culture inside of the school and outside when we went out to different places and at my host mom's house. We had a short presentation on the first day about cultural differences and what to expect, so that helped a lot.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had no serious health issues besides an upset stomach or headache here and there. My host mom gave me some medicine and I felt fine! I had no experience with the healthcare system, though.

* Safety:

It was safe if you followed the suggested rules on when to go out, where to go and who to be with. We traveled in groups if we walked in the city and we were never alone at night. There were a couple instances while being there of a student being robbed or harassed, but thankfully, they were not hurt, only scared and left without a couple important items.

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

This program was amazing! I met so many great people and I can not wait to go back. I learned so much but had fun while doing so!


* 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)

It was easy because of my financial aid. If I hadn't had financial aid and scholarships, I can see where some situations would be more difficult because I would not have been able to travel as much as I did while being there, and those traveling experiences were very important to my experience as a whole.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $20-$30
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? The Study Abroad Office recommends a budget of $100 per week, which would work if you were not traveling. For some of the traveling opportunities, it may be a little more expensive than that, so save up and have a plan of places you may want to go before leaving so you can research into costs of those travels!


* 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

I went specifically to study Spanish so that was all that was spoken during my four months there.

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? Junior level courses. (3000 and 4000)
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? I would say to make sure to use it as much as possible even when the natives want to speak English!

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
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 people
  • The classes
  • The food
* What could be improved?
  • Better communication between EIU and Veritas
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew how hard it would be to leave... I heard it was difficult but you can't really prepare for the small heartbreak you feel when leaving a place you lived for only four months!

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!