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Spanish for Health Professionals in Costa Rica

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    5

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

Incredible!

Studying abroad in Costa Rica was the best experience of my life, from the people to the food to all of the amazing weekend trips!

Academics:
My professors were both very engaging and approachable. The classes were a bit long though, which I felt took away a lot of opportunities to immerse ourselves in the culture since we were mostly surrounded by students from similar backgrounds.

Living Situation:
I loved my mamatica. The food was great!

Cultural Immersion:
Because we spent almost all day at school, I only was able to spend time with my mamatica at breakfast and dinner. I also only had my mamatica and my two American roommates, so I didn't have that many opportunities to talk in Spanish at my homestay.

Program Administration:
Very well organized

Health and Safety:
Like any big city, we had to be careful in San Jose, but I felt safe walking in groups at night, especially because the university had their own security that patrolled the homestay areas.

Social Life:
Our entire group got really close through class and all of the incredible weekend excursions.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health and Safety

    6

  • Social Life

    9

Costa Rica... DO IT

My time in Costa Rica was AMAZING. My homestay was wonderful and so caring that I didn't really feel homesick at all. Also, I met tons of great people in my program that I'll definitely keep in touch with. The Health Professionals Spanish course I took was incredibly focused and will no doubt help me in my future. PURA VIDA

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    6

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    6

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

Amazing Summer in Costa Rica!

Spending 5 weeks of my summer in Costa Rica wasn't enough! I wish I could have stayed so much longer. There is a lot to do and so much to see, but you have to be willing to find it. If you allow yourself, you can spend all of your time with other students from the U.S., speaking english, and not enjoying all the cultural learning opportunities that surround you. With the guidance and openness of my host family, and CIS director, I was able to experience many different aspects of Costa Rican culture. The university offers a lot of activities to keep students involved and fosters an environment for the exchange of cultural ideals--I wish I had more time to take advantage of these opportunities.

Academics:
I found some educational value in both my spanish class and my elective.

Living Situation:
My host family was very welcoming and accommodating. We were a good match.

Cultural Immersion:
A great deal of time was spent with other students from the U.S. Because of my great relationship with my host family, I was able to gain a better understanding of the culture.

Program Administration:
The directors assisting me prior to, and after, arrival in Costa Rica were amazing. The program director on campus was fun, approachable and very helpful.

Health and Safety:
I never felt unsafe in my home, or at the university. Take notice of advice given: don't walk alone at night, don't drink to the point where you become unaware of your surroundings, don't go places with people you don't know, etc. These things are common sense and are normal practices in the US. If you are smart, you will have no concern for your safety. If you go out at night, go with a group and be certain not to walk home alone.

Social Life:
Many activities hosted by the university: parties, dance classes, cooking classes, etc., and many activities hosted by CIS that definitely enriched my trip! I only wish I had spent more time getting to know tico students at the university.

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    3

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

When in Costa Rica

By the time I boarded the plane home, I was sleepy and sunburned and sore-muscled. I was bug-bitten from all the hikes through the jungle, tan from all the days on Costa Rica's exquisite beaches, blister-skinned from the high ropes courses and hanging onto the catamaran. I was sore calf muscles from all the miles walked and salsa dances danced. I had scrapes and cuts from all the volcanoes we climbed, and tired eyes from lack of sleep the night before. But I have never felt so full-- of stories, adventure, new friendships, and delicious Costa Rican cuisine. I have never been so broke, and yet I was a richer person for every penny I spent abroad. I now know the picturesque beauty of a fog-smeared mountain peak against a pacific sunset, and the way that monkeys check your hair for fleas after you pet a stray dog. For every tiresome hour I spent in international airports, I am more capable of navigating the world on my own. Whether you want to learn Spanish, build friendships with people from all over the world, or have the adventure of a lifetime, the tropics of Costa Rica are quite a sight to see.

Academics:
My professors were friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable, but the classes themselves were somewhat disorganized. One of my professors chose to express his creationist beliefs during class time, more than once. The field trips we went on, however, were absolutely fantastic as we visited local clinics, hospitals, and tribes. No matter how much I enjoyed the content of my classes, I still got tired of being in the same room after four hours. Five hours is a really long time to be in the same class.

Living Situation:
My host mother and sisters were absolutely fantastic and very patient and helpful at all times. The only thing is that sometimes I think that I was not fed enough. Of course I am very lucky to have food so I hate to complain, but for the amount of money I was paying, I would have liked to have more food every day.

Cultural Immersion:
I lived with other Americans, attended classes with other Americans, and went on excursions with other Americans. The only opportunities I had for real cultural immersion were when I traveled on my own, independently of Tico Viajero. Even then, I stayed in hostels with other Americans, and was never really immersed.

Program Administration:
Everyone I talked to as I was preparing to travel was extremely helpful and understanding. While I was there, the on sight leader was always available to help the students. I really appreciate how smoothly everything went, administratively speaking.

Health and Safety:
I never felt the least bit unsafe, as all the houses are heavily gated and the streets of San Jose are pretty crowded. Even at night, there are taxis everywhere to take you where you need to go.

Social Life:
I have made some of my best friends on this journey. They are incredible people, and I will hopefully see them again.