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AIFS Study Abroad in Costa Rica: Semester or Year

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Academics

    9

Becoming a Tica

Stepping onto a plane that would take me to another country alone was daunting, a country that speaks a different language, and a country where I knew no one. The plane ride consisted of nervous but good nerves, awaiting to see what would happen. The second I walked into my Tica (Costa Rican) house, I felt at home. My home stay family was more than welcoming and immediately brought me to their grandparents house for a birthday party. I became a part of the family in a way I never thought possible. Living with my family for four months created a bond that I think about everyday now. The amount of cultural immersion I experienced will never be taken for granted. AIFS paired me with a family that I am waiting to go back and see very soon. The cultural excursions that were included into the program forced me to get out there and see how traveling can be done so easily. I formed relationships with friends I still talk to today and I matured immensely over this time, being on my own but always having the support of AIFS to have my back. The classes I took at Veritas University were just as challenging as my classes here in the United States but my favorite part was the teachers. They were always using creative ways to help us learn and understand. I took tropical marine biology and what we learned in class was applied hand-on when we went snorkeling and had to identify what we learned in the classroom. This type of learning was so beneficial because we got to apply what we learned and see it in real life. Another class that I absolutely loved was Spanish for Health Professions. I learned how to speak to a patient in spanish and how to perform certain tasks, all in spanish. I plan moving onto Physician Assistant school following graduation and continuing my spanish for the health field is a goal of mine. Costa Rica had it all for me. Even though my friends who went to Europe got to travel to so many countries, I was able to explore in depth everything Costa Rica offered. Costa Rica is so diverse and I was able to go to both the Atlantic and Caribbean sides, the cloud rain forest, tropical rain forest, and to the mountains. Every trip was always an adventure and completely affordable. All I need now is a plane ticket to go back to the place that helped me find out who I really am.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

To live the Pura Vida

My study abroad experience has afforded me with many opportunities of growth. I had to grow in my homestay, my University and most importantly, within.

Costa Rica is a beautiful country with many opportunities to partake in good things. However, you must make the experience yourself. The program cannot do it for you.

Yes there are trips. However, they are limited. Yes, you will go to school with locals, but you will not have class with them. Yes, you will live in a homestay, but they cannot force you to speak Spanish. Only you can do these things and do them to the best of your ability.

I have been fortunate to have made lifelong friendships, travel through Costa Rica and to twi other countries (Panama & Nicaragua), and speak Spanish at least 50% of my time there.

However, there were a lot of things that I could have done like traveling independently more, making more friends and speaking Spanish 100% of my time there.

It is all up to you. Make great experiences that will last you a lifetime. Have no regrets in the things that you don't do and the things you do do alike.

Take interest in the país around you because if yiu don't it will not take interest in you.

Pura vida, God bless and hope you get to go there soon!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    7

  • Social Life

    9

Pura Vida

It was a wonderful experience where we got to explore different parts of the country. We visited the Pacific and the Caribbean and we got to see the different lifestyles. Costa Rica is well-known for their biodiversity and there are many places to see animals in their natural habitat. Living with a host family was a great experience, Spanish classes were intense and helpful, transportation whether it was taxi or bus was easily accessible, and of the course the food was delicious.

My most memorable experience would probably be going to turtle conservation where we got to see turtles come and lay their eggs in the sand. It was a very touching moment.

I chose this program because Costa Rica is not too far away from the US, I wanted to learn more about the environment and animals, and I wanted to practice my Spanish.

I lived with a host family who had three kids and a couple of dogs. They gave breakfast and dinner and I had my own room. I got along with them pretty well, they did not speak English but I am fluent in Spanish so it was not a struggle for me. They made traditional Costa Rican food which is rice and beans. They were very nice people.

Uvita is a beachtown very calm and a lot of surfing.

Institution Affiliates:

World Youth Student & Educational Travel Confederation