Pura Vida is the Life for ME Past Review

By (Psychology/Spanish, SUNY - College at Old Westbury) - abroad from 01/11/2010 to 05/08/2012 with

USAC Costa Rica: Heredia - Spanish Language, Ecological, and Latin American Studies

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
better understanding of the culture and stronger language skills

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.

We could of been pushed a little more it was very laid back but it worked becasue u didnthave to stress that much and could focus on school.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

they were resourceful and always there to help

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

felt very safe and comfortable, great help with learning the language

* Food:

yum yum yum

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

its hard to put urself out there especially when ur always with american students

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

i got sick and everyone was extremly supportive and made sure i was getting proper care and had everything i needed.

* Safety:

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)

it was easy but u had to watch because of wanting to travel on the weekend

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? Yes
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 40-100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? watch those loans, they add up


* 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

they set up imersion classes for us

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
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? intermediate
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? put urself out there. its hard but possible

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
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?
  • Daily interaction with different people and places
  • my professor
* What could be improved?
  • more immersion classes with ticos
  • more volunteer opportunities
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? to talk more and take every hance u get