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Sol Abroad: High School Study Abroad Program in Costa Rica
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Sol Abroad: High School Study Abroad Program in Costa Rica

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Program Opportunities

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Personal Development

    7

Excellent value

I researched many Spanish language trips for my son, and Sol Abroad was absolutely the best value with the same or better activities and learning. I appreciated their flexibility in keeping him an extra day until I could fly down to meet him for an extra week in Costa Rica. I could immediately tell that we was much more confident speaking and really enjoyed the friendly Costa Ricans.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Program Opportunities

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Personal Development

    10

Costa Rica

The overall experience was amazing. The process getting signed up for the study abroad program was pretty easy as well. I enjoyed my time and made some really good friends that I hope to have for a lifetime!. It was a great cultural experience.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Program Opportunities

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Personal Development

    10

Sol Abroad review

Sol Abroad is a wonderful opportunity for students to get immersed in the Spanish culture. In just 2 weeks, my Spanish skills improved drastically. I would highly recommend this program for students trying to improve their Spanish skills.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Program Opportunities

    7

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Personal Development

    8

Costa Rica experience for my daughter

My daughter had nothing but good things to say about her experience in Costa Rica. She enjoyed the program, the country, her fellow classmates and her host family. She went without knowing anything but fortunately she enjoyed her group. From an administrative standpoint, the Sol Abroad staff was helpful and informative throughout the whole process. Being able to see the daily pictures on Facebook was great. It was something we checked on and looked forward to every day.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Program Opportunities

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Personal Development

    10

Life changing experience

My daughter went to Oaxaca after her freshmen year in high school, and then to Atenas after her sophomore year in high school. We have been so happy with this program, that she is set to go to Spain next summer! I have been pleased with Sol Abroad every step of the way.

While I wouldn't have changed anything about the trips for my daughter, looking back...I would have probably sent her to Costa Rica the first time and Oaxaca the 2nd time. Costa Rica was more 'fun' experience, and Oaxaca was a more 'cultural' experience.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Program Opportunities

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Personal Development

    10

Fantastic experience - gap year is a great time to go!

My daughter went as a senior in high school. I was very apprehensive as she was, by far, the youngest person in her program. Not to worry, Janiva found exactly the right host mother and roommate for her. And Janiva made sure she was safe at all times. The structure of the program, with its emphasis on cultural experiences and travel within the country, was perfect! My daughter learned so much about other cultures and peoples that she could never have learned in a classroom. I would recommend this experience to any college student as well as mature high school students who are ready to see more of the world.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Program Opportunities

    7

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Personal Development

    10

Fun summer program

Our 16 year old daughter participated in the summer program. We extended a normal program for one more week for a total of 4 weeks. Easy to extend and create your own timing for arrivals and departures. Administration and staff wonderful, easy to work with. Rebecca loved her time in Costa Rica. She had a great time with the other exchange students, loved seeing the country and learning about the culture. My only negative is that living with other exchange students from the US made speaking English more available and easy for her. I would have liked her to be more immersed in having to speak spanish. Though I will say that her Spanish speaking skills did improve, and her confidence in speaking Spanish was greatly improved.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Program Opportunities

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Personal Development

    9

2 weeks in Costa Rica

I decided to do an immersion program with Sol Abroad last summer because I wanted to get better at Spanish before I took AP Spanish this year and I love traveling. I was nervous to be traveling alone for the first time, but Maria and Orlando were so nice and helpful that they made it very easy and comfortable for everyone. I learned a lot in the Spanish classes, but I really benefitted from staying with a host family because that is where you can have real conversations with people just in Spanish. I made some amazing friends on the trip and still keep in touch with many of them, including my host sister. Spanish immersion is really the best way to learn and get comfortable with Spanish and I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants a truly unforgettable experience.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Program Opportunities

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Personal Development

    10

Great summer cultural immersion experience

My 16 year old daughter had a fantastic time on the Costa Rica Spanish immersion program last summer. We found the front office incredibly responsive, helpful and easy to work when we were evaluating the program and when we ultimately signed up. We chose Sol Abroad because of the home stay, spanish classes that focused on conversation in a fun setting, and cultural immersion opportunities. Sol Abroad was by far the best program I could find in Central or Latin America, and we loved their emphasis a full cultural experience. My daughter's home stay family was loving and kind. Her classes were fun and entertaining. And she enjoyed all of the excursions and various baking, sports, activities. She also loved her free time and the fact that they weren't booked and organized every minute of the day. This gave her some independence she was craving. Highly recommend Sol Abroad!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Program Opportunities

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Personal Development

    8

My son's experience

My son had an amazing time and a great experience. All of the staff were courteous, inclusive, and helpful. The program had a great balance of academics, cultural immersion, and sightseeing fun! The white-water rafting was amazing, he said. His family was wonderful and made him feel at home. He said the home cooking was great!

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Program Opportunities

    3

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Personal Development

    9

Cultural experience good, but many academic slackers

My daughter had a great host, but she told me that some parents use this as a way of forcing their slackers kids to get a bit better at Spanish. Apparently, the were some kids who didn't take the program seriously and were disrespectful to the teachers.

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Program Opportunities

    3

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Personal Development

    9

Cultural Experience: A, Student Engagement: C+

My daughter had a great host family and thus a very positive experience, but she also said many of the students weren't serious and were sent by their well-to-do parents to make up for bad Spanish grades. I think maybe the program could do a better job separating the serious students from the tourists.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Program Opportunities

    7

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Personal Development

    9

Great trip

i really enjoyed this program i thought three weeks was a good amount of time for me. The program leaders were nice. The bus was by far my favorite part of the trip. I also really enjoyed the beach and everything about the Manuel Antonio weekend trip.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Program Opportunities

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Personal Development

    9

Costa Rica Summer 2015

Our daughter had a fantastic experience in the program. She has been in dual language throughout her schooling,the program and experience showed her how valuable dual language is. We highly recommend.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Program Opportunities

    7

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Personal Development

    9

Loved it!

I loved this trip and everything about it! I learned a lot about Costa Rica's culture and some colloquial terms along the way. Pura vida was a commonly used term and I loved to use it! I also made some great friends and we still keep in contact.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Program Opportunities

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    5

  • Personal Development

    1

Wonderful!

Great classes. Great food. Great teachers. Great people. Great country. Great trips. Everything was absolutely fantastic. I had an absolutely wonderful time and would do it all over again if I could.

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Academics

    4

  • Facilities

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    5

  • Health & Safety

    8

This Program Was Well Thought Out, But Executed With Some Flaws.

I enjoyed Atenas. It is a very small town and I got to know the area very well. The food was amazing. The host family was very nice and always happy. I made friends that I hope will last forever, and I studied a lot of Spanish. The time where I spoke Spanish the most was on the street. If you stay inside all day and never come out of your house, you will never talk to locals and actually improve Spanish. You can learn all the grammar you want in school, but this is the best way to work on conversational Spanish. After the second week, Atenas got really boring for everyone in the group. I still had a great time though. I would highly recommend it!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Facilities

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

I Didn't Want To Go Home!

I improved my Spanish so much, and learned how to adapt to a different way of life. I loved the freedom of being able to go to town with friends, and I also loved the tourist attractions.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Facilities

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health & Safety

    8

Great experience!!

I had a great time this summer doing this program! I came to Costa Rica not knowing any Spanish and after only three weeks, my Spanish is so much better than it was before! My host family is great, the food is good, and the trips were fun, especially the white water rafting and the ziplining. I guess the only downside would be that Atenas is a very small town and there isn't much to do in the free time that we have, and some of the cultural activities were a bit boring. But overall, I loved my experience.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Facilities

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    9

A New Experience

I learned how to speak Spanish more fluidly. I got to witness many amazing sights that not many have the chance to see. I was fully immersed in the culture.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Facilities

    9

  • Living Situation

    5

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

Costa Rica Experience

My experience in Costa Rica was very enjoyable. I really enjoyed the way that the classes were taught. It was a small class and therefore I got a lot of individual attention. I also loved the way that we used games to help us learn spanish. Using games made it tons of fun! I loved how much spanish i learned but I also enjoyed learning about the culture of Costa Rica and the life lessons that came along with living in a foreign country for 3 weeks. The friendships I made here are special to me and I am very thankful for the amazing people that I met here. Living with a host family was fun and I learned a lot about Costa Rica just from talking with her. I think that the host family is a huge part of the experience because you learn a lot about the culture, a lot about the way people live, you get to try traditional foods, and you make a new friend. The excursions were also a huge part of the experience for me. I adored the white water rafting and the dance classes. Those were my two favorites! Costa Rica was a really great experience for me and I would definitely do it again. Pura Vida!

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Facilities

    7

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    8

A Fun Interesting Spanish Immersion Program.

The program as a whole is a great way to be immersed in a country's language and culture. The Spanish classes significantly help one's Spanish while abroad but are lacking important things in specific areas. For example the classes only have three levels and when there is a high number of people in specific areas people get put in classes where it is too easy. The classes are no way shaped to a students specific needs. Furthermore, at the beginning of my experience there was eight people in my class instead of the said 3 to 5 people for class. The family stay is also a very important aspect to learning about the country's culture. I liked my family a lot they were very kind, welcoming, and accommodating. The hardest part of the program was the family stay because of several things. For example, the language barrier is very difficult. It was also difficult for me to adjust to the costa rican living style. Though it is all part of the experience. The worst part of my experience is having bed bugs in my bed were I was living. I was the only one in my program group that was unfortunate enough to have bed bugs as I know of. Though in the long run it was not that bad. My favorite part of the program was the weekend excursions and activities with the program. The adventure was really fun but what I enjoyed the most out of these things was becoming really close to the other students. I feel like a have built strong life-lasting friendships. I also enjoyed the amount of freedom the program gave us to relax, to hang with friends or your host family. I just wish the curfew was a bit later then 9:30. Overall this program was a fantastic way for me to improve my Spanish, improve cultural knowledge, and make lasting friendships.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Facilities

    9

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health & Safety

    9

SOL Abroad Was Fun, Interesting, And Immersive

I had a great time. I enjoyed sol abroad because it pushed me outside of my comfort zone at times, in situations where Spanish was the only language I could use. The host families are all fantastic, kind and helpful. however there are many host families that do not speak any English, and Wifi is also sorely needed in many homes. The learning was probably the best part, not just about the language, but about Costa Rican food and culture as well. The people in Costa Rica are quite friendly. The classes were alright. They have three classes, beginner, intermediate and advanced. However, my group had a lot of students put into the wrong class, because the teachers try to guess your Spanish skill with a two minute interview. but the classes themselves are fun, and informative if you are willing to pay attention. All in all, sol abroad was really great.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Facilities

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health & Safety

    9

One Of The Best Summers I Have Ever Had

This has been one of the best summers i have ever had.The locals are nice, the weather is almost perfect, and the food is tasty. My host mom was so nice and caring, she was always there when I needed her. The directors were very funny and easy to talk to. White water rafting was probably the best part of this whole trip. I suggest people join this program because it is so different from what we are used to in the States.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Facilities

    10

  • Academics

    10

4 Thumbs Up!!

The program was great. It was very fun and interesting. It mixes cultural immersion and learning perfectly. The people are great. The host families, friends and directors you meet are all interesting and excited and it makes the whole program amazing. The excursions are awesome and interesting making the experience very enjoyable on all levels. I would recommend this program to all who are interested in studying abroad. This is a program you´ll cherish and I am very appreciative that I participated in it.