Pura Vida Past Review

By (International Affairs And Commerce, University of the Pacific) for

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned Spanish and all about how cultures change in different places.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Teachers did a great job of integrating students with Costa Rican culture.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

My expectation was met and the program directors were very involved always there to answer questions.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Everything was provided and fully prepared when i arrived.

* Food:

The only problem was the repetition of the food. It was always rice beans and some kind of meat.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We traveled a lot. One time we traveled for a week to Panama. We got to experience all of Bocas Del Toro and south of Costa Rica. We also went zip lining in Monte Verde.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Stay with a group and be aware because if you present an opportunity a thief will take advantage.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $20 on average as food was provided. This number was more when I took trips to other parts of the country.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Keep track of your money at all times small things add up.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? second semester
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

Some people spoke English but Spanish was required in daily life and in your host family if you request it.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? A student who loves to explore, learn and enjoying life.