Allison Kielhold - 2011 & 2012 Program Participant

Allison studied abroad in San José, Costa Rica during her Junior year of college. It was an amazing experience that has greatly impacted her life. The program offered an intensive Spanish component and a homestay option which helped her to improve her fluency in the language, a skill she will be grateful for, for the rest of her life..

Allison with her Costa Rican host family.
Allison with her Costa Rican host family.

What made you choose ISA?

I chose ISA because they offered the language classes and academic courses that I needed for my degree. They also offered a home stay option, onsite support and tutoring, and included excursions to different parts of Costa Rica. 

You’re from CSU Long Beach, what advice would you give to other students from your university planning to study abroad in San José?

I would advise students at CSU Long Beach to make sure that they have cleared their courses with the department advisors before they go abroad. There was a miscommunication with the study abroad office, and I thought that I had already cleared my courses. It’s important to be thorough with the office before leaving.

What made San José a great place to study abroad? 

I liked San José because the climate was not as humid and hot as the coast. Also, you can travel to any part of the country and neighboring countries from San José by bus. 

What was your favorite class in Costa Rica? 

My favorite class was Human Rights in Latin America. I learned a lot about the current issues facing Costa Rica, and we took field trips to places such as the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

How has studying abroad impacted your life? 

Studying abroad has greatly impacted my life. Not only did I greatly improve my language skills, which has opened up more professional opportunities, but I also met amazing people and grew close to my host family, who I still am in contact with today.