A Brief Time In An Ecological Eden With People Who Are Doing Something Meaningful With Their Lives. Past Review

By (Art and Photography, University of Georgia - Albany State University) for

University of Georgia: San Jose - UGA in Costa Rica

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Yes. I was inspired to see people my age doing something meaningful with their lives (fellow researchers). I was encouraged by the intelligence--intellectually, and emotionally--of the group. Presenting research greatly facilitated the cultural and intellectual exchange of this program. Also, Monteverde is essentially Eden, and so for a ecologically-themed conference, this was the ideal location.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

This program was very ambitious for one of such a short time frame. The group that attended was great; the research presented was surprisingly informative; the directors were authoritative yet humanistic; the program's financial coverage was extremely comprehensive and generous; the activities were well thought out; and the campus was beautiful. I am a second year honor student at UGA, and this has been my best experience in college. If any student were to feel left out or out of his element, it would be me, because I was the only researcher presenting anything in the humanities. Almost all other researchers were presenting in the biological sceinces, and I was presenting art research. Despite this, I did not feel like the odd man out; rather, the group of students was surprisingly cohesive and inclusive. If there was any weakness in the program, it was a lack of representation of research in the humanities. The program, however, far surpassed my expectations in all other aspects.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

One night homestay. The homestay was not nearly long enough. Ideally, the homestay would have lasted longer, and each student would be paired up with another American in order to feel less vulnerable and more capable (including capability to speak spanish). A longer homestay would be impossible for this particular program, however. Four nights UGA Costa Rica Campus. The campus was very accommodating. The housing was satisfactory and also elegantly designed. I had no qualms with the campus; it was a pleasure to exist in the space.

* Food:

I had no dietary restrictions. The food was tasty and nutritious. Surprisingly, most of it was grown on campus. There was a good amount of effort to expose students to a variety of typical Costa Rican foods.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Going on the Zip line course, going to the restaurant on the last day, and Quint's presentation were the highlights of the trip.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

There were no major health issues on this trip. Health and safety preparedness seemed sufficient.

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)


If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Local Students
  • Americans

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? There is no reason to consider not attending. It is free, and since money should be the only hang-up, there are no hang-ups. Also, it is more than a free vacation to Costa Rica; don't underestimate what you will learn and how you may mature--even in one week.