Logan Price - 2014 Program Participant

SPI Study Abroad student on a beach in Costa Rica

Opening day of the SPI Costa Rica program on the beach

Why did you choose to study abroad?

I chose to study abroad to widen my cultural understanding of the world and its people. Most of my life, I grew up and was never allowed the opportunity to experience all the benefits of traveling abroad. I wanted to know what opportunities and experiences the world had to offer beyond those in where I live.

Why did you select SPI Study Abroad over other high school study abroad organizations?

Study Programs International is an extremely sophisticated program that offers many different study locations, experiences, and funding opportunities. SPI streamlined the study abroad process for me and made the entire experience extremely enjoyable. If you are young, eager to learn, and excited to travel, SPI is the program for you.

You received SPI’s La Esperanza Scholarship. Tell us about it.

The La Esperanza Scholarship is an all-expense paid scholarship to study abroad in Costa Rica. My flight, tuition, room, food, everything was paid for. The scholarship provides the opportunity for students who come from low-income backgrounds to gain experience they wouldn't otherwise be able to have. This scholarship is the only full scholarship SPI offers.

What was a normal day like as an international high school student in Costa Rica?

A normal day abroad in Costa Rica as a student typically involved either community service activities, painting schools, cleaning up beaches, etc., or outdoor adventures, zip lining, boating, snorkeling, etc. Then, we had four hours of study time, which included playing active learning games and speaking activities. After that, we could go explore the towns and shop for souvenirs, eat dinner, and go to the beach.

Painting a local school in Costa Rica

Community service day — painting local schools

What makes Costa Rica such a great place to study abroad?

Costa Rica is an excellent place to study abroad. The simple, calm way of life in this Latin American country is an ideal place to experience a different culture. If you ever have the option, study abroad in Costa Rica; it will truly be a life-changing experience!

What was the most memorable experience you had while studying abroad?

Two of my most memorable experiences studying abroad were getting to share such incredible experiences with students from all over the U.S. (one of our outdoor adventures was zip lining and rock climbing through a canyon in the rainforest!). Another memory was watching the 2014 World Cup with the local people (Ticos), and seeing how excited everyone was at how far the Costa Rican national team advanced in the tournament!

What was the biggest challenge you faced as a student in Costa Rica?

The biggest challenge I faced abroad was acclimating myself to living in someone else’s home whom it was very difficult to communicate with. Fortunately, I had two roommates who made the transition process much easier. 

What advice would you give to other high school students interested in studying abroad with SPI?

If you’re considering studying abroad with SPI, I encourage you to research the programs you think would be of most interest to you. It’s perfectly normal to be a little anxious and even scared, but remember that leaving your comfort zone is what makes studying abroad such a rewarding experience.

Also, fundraise! Fundraising money for your trip is part of the experience as well and will make you appreciate the opportunity you’ve been given even more.

Cooking class at a language school in Costa rica

Cooking classes at the language school

How has studying abroad impacted your life?

The impacts of studying abroad on my life are too numerous to count. In general, studying abroad allowed me to see things I’ve never seen before and understand things that never made any sense to me before. I found myself becoming more open-minded and accepting of people’s differences and ways of life, even if they were in opposition to my own. It’s an experience you must have to fully understand.

If you could study abroad again, where would you go?

If I could study abroad again, I would go to Valencia, Spain to study their culture, the city’s architecture, and its engineering marvels. Also, as a sports fan, the sports culture in Spain is so much different, and, in my opinion, more exciting than most places. Spain has an incredible amount of culture and experiences to offer, which is why I am so excited about the possibility of studying abroad again in college!