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January in Costa Rica

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    10

Awesome

I would do it again at the drop of a hat. Costa Roca and CIS were wonderful.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

Study Abroad in Costa Rica

Studying abroad in Costa Rica allowed me to explore a part of the world I had not seen before. Being at a University in San Jose helped me cultivate lasting friendships and immerse myself into the Pura Vida culture. Staying with a host family really helped me practice my Spanish while also experience the everyday life of a Costa Rican.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

Great Experience

This experience was one of the best months of my life. From all the people at CIS to all the people I met on this trip, they were all so helpful and it was way more than I had imagined. I made so many friends that I got to share such great times with.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Social Life

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Academics

    10

A month in Costa Rica

It was very nice to be completely emerged in a new place surrounded by new people, I think it was the greatest way to learn. Living with the family really helped you adjust your lifestyle and get accustomed to everything, they made you feel very much at home!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    7

  • Social Life

    9

Budgeting on Meals

Unfortunately for me, I landed into a host family that was extremely loving, but not so generous on food portions. This is NOT the case with most host families however according to my friends at other home stays. If you have this problem, the best thing to do is talk to your host family, and then to the school. I lost 12 lbs in the one month I was here, and I was not happy at all about it because I am an athlete.
So, I quickly learned how to get meals in throughout the day on a budget. The best thing to do is to buy lunch every day or every other day, and at most places it will cost anywhere from $3-$6. The best choice I made however, was grocery shopping. Going to the grocery store can make more meals for your dollar, and still be filling!
So- bottom line- Make sure your host family is feeding you right (they are getting paid generously to do so!), and go to the supermarket for meals every so often. This saves money to go out at night and get drinks!

Academics:
Class participation was excellent and there was good feedback

Living Situation:
Host Family and roommates were amazing, but the host family's meal portions were extremely small and we had no options for seconds. Many of my friends at other host families said they could barely finish their meals. I lost 12-14lbs in the one month I was here.

Health and Safety:
Just like any city- Don't be stupid and walk around at night all loud and obnoxious, with electronics and jewelry clearly in sight, especially walking alone. You are foreign, you are a target. For me, I am a guy, and I know how to behave, so I was fine walking alone at night. Day time is very safe, but if you go down town, beware of your belongings, American or not, pick pocketers are looking for goods.

Social Life:
I am extremely social, so I made an amazing amount of friends the quickly, and always had a group to go out with, even if it was during the week. There are groups and activities to join as well, and if you reach out to Ticos, most of them are willing to get to know you. I was a beginner at Spanish and still managed to make some solid Costa Rican friends.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Cultural Immersion

    5

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    4

  • Social Life

    9

Awesome with a splash of drama

CIS is by no means perfect, but they do try : )


Living Situation:
I had the best Tica mother on the planet!!! However, her maid was another story... I suggest that CIS interviews not only the host families, but their help as well.

Cultural Immersion:
The trips CIS provides are great, however, the interaction between other students from the university was lacking.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    4

  • Social Life

    8

an A.

I really liked Costa Rica and would do this again.

Academics:
I really liked my teacher. She always made class very interesting.

Living Situation:
I like my host family and the house I live in. However, my host mom sometimes could be overbearing. But besides that I loved everything about the home stay: the food, my personal space, my host family and housemates.

Program Administration:
Lisa and Brian are always there when I need them. However, CIS abroad website needs to be updated for the winter term.

Health and Safety:
I felt very safe in school and at my home stay however, walking outside; around the town I didn't feel so safe.

Social Life:
The other international students were amazing. However, some of the natives, well most of the natives didn't seem like they wanted to interact with Americans.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

Pura Vida

I loved everything about this experience. I just wish I would've stayed longer!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    5

  • Social Life

    10

meals

I have loved the food here and it is fairly cheap as well.

Academics:
I absolutely loved my teacher; however, she didn't speak English which created a lot of difficulties for a Basic 1 class.

Living Situation:
My host family was very accepting and fun to be around.

Health and Safety:
I felt safe while at my house and university, but downtown San Jose is sketchy.

Social Life:
Most of the students were a blast to be around.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    6

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    5

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    7

Costa Rica 2015

I had an overall good experience studying abroad in Costa Rica. It was good for me to travel with a companion from my school in NC. The preparation for the trip was frustrating, because of the lack of communication with administration in the US. However, once I was there, I enjoyed myself. There are many things to do in the country.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    4

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    10

Amazing

Costa Rica is a great place to study. The locals are friendly, the food is excellent, and the classes are very manageable. I feel like I am leaving with a better understanding of another culture and people.

Academics:
I loved my Spanish class and professora!

Cultural Immersion:
There are so many people from the States that it is hard to branch out and be forced to speak the language in Costa Rica, which is more the fault of the surrounding peers than the program. The faculty does well on speaking spanish but I never felt forced to speak spanish and I wish it was a bigger pressure to use the language here.