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USAC COSTA RICA: Puntarenas - Ecological Studies
University Studies Abroad Consortium participants University Studies Abroad Consortium participants

USAC COSTA RICA: Puntarenas - Ecological Studies

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Best 3 months of my life

I didn't know where I wanted to go. I knew I needed to study Spanish and knew I didn't want to break my bank account. I found USAC through my study abroad office at UGA and was told I'd be the first student to go from UGA. That did not matter to me, so I signed up, was accepted, and bought a 1 way ticket to Costa Rica. What an amazing experience! It's now been 3 years since I got back and I continue to cherish my time in CR. Next month I plan on going back and staying with my host family for a week! I'd say I was incredibly lucky to have had such a great host family, but the truth is.... everyone feels the same way. CR is amazing, stop reading reviews, and go. You will not regret it. Oh, and you have tons of time off, so traveling Central America is a must and very affordable!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    8

A summer in Puntarenas

I spend one summer session in Puntarenas with USAC to improve my Spanish. I had a wonderful host family and the classes were taught by amazing teachers. I would recommend this program to anyone who is ready for a new adventure.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Community

    10

Pura Vida in Puntarenas

I studied abroad in Puntarenas for two semesters for the academic year 2012-2013. In this year I earned about 75% of my Spanish minor. I took classes for Latin American dance, cooking, and culture. I also took marine biology which was amazing because you would learn about things in class and then actually get to take field trips to snorkel and go tide pooling and see the organisms in real life. The people in this town and country are just the most amazing, welcoming people and I met a ton of other students and travelers while I lived here. We traveled every weekend through public transportation to differents cities and beaches all over the country, and even in Panama and Nicaragua. I would recommend this program to ANYONE, it completely changed my life. Because of this, I changed my major to International Business so I could continue traveling and learning new cultures and languages.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    5

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Semester of transition and growth

Coming into my semester abroad, I was in between transferring universities, beginning a new area of study, and going through big changes in my life. The opportunity to spend a semester in Costa Rica fell into place and impacted my life in ways I never imagined possible. Working with University Study Abroad Consortium, I was able to choose a schedule that allowed for classes in Spanish, evenings learning Latin American dance, costal lab trips to see and experience amazing local tropical marine life, and flexibility to travel Central America and gain confidence in my independence. This study abroad program paired me with the most amazing host mother, who took me out to karaoke my first night in the then unfamiliar town of Puntarenas, shared her family with me (children, grandchildren, ex husband and all), truly cared for me as if I were her own daughter, and continues to stay in contact with almost three years later. USAC matched me with the best travel buddies, who jumped from bus to bus with me around the country, made me experience things outside of my comfort zone, and encouraged me to make the most out of my four months of travel. My study abroad experience is something I can take with me through all walks of life. Becoming part of USAC program in Puntarenas, Costa Rica was by far the best decision I made throughout my 5... years of college. It is the four months where I have been able to learn the most about myself and grow. Studying abroad is an experience I strongly believe every student should take advantage of, and I would encourage and recommend the USAC Program to anyone who's ready for an adventure.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    5

  • Cultural Immersion

    6

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health & Safety

    7

  • Community

    10

The month I lived in a Tropical Paradise

This past summer I got to study abroad in Puntarenas and it was the summer of a lifetime. I had a great experience. I made lasting friendships with other USAC students from around the world. My favorite part of this program was the field trips provided for all students. We traveled around the country to volcanoes and islands. It was amazing. I really enjoyed the courses I took. I studied Tropical ecology and conservation biology and my local professors were by far some of the best professors I have every had. Overall I had a great experience and would do it again in a heartbeat.