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Costa Rica : Reviews (San Jose)

The following program review responses have been selected for publication by Study Abroad & Global Engagement
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Fall 2015 Participant
My host family, traveling in that beautiful country and the friends I made are the profound experiences I hold dear.

 

Samuel Reed Eastes, Early Start Fall 2016 Participant
My favorite part of the program was the support provided by Zaida and Isa. They are amazing. I also really enjoyed living with host families. The meals and Spanish practice were wonderful. It was also great that they did not have set curfews or super strict rules, which would have made for an unpleasant stay.

 

Danielle Marie London, Fall 2016 Participant
My favorite part of studying in Costa Rica was living with a host family and making friends not only from Costa Rica but also from all over the world.

 

Lydia Rose Vogt, Fall 2016 Participant
My favorite part of the Costa Rica study abroad program was meeting people from both Costa Rica and from countries all around the world and getting to know them in an academic and non-academic environment. I met people from Germany, Finland, Nicaragua, Mexico, France and many more countries and have made friendships and connections that are meaningful which I will benefit from in the future.

 

Ashley Rene Fisher, Early Start Fall 2017 Participant
I loved the early start program. It really helped prepare me for the semester at UCR. I improved my Spanish skills significantly during the early start, so I highly recommend students do the early start.

 

Amanda P Reggeti, Early Start Spring 2017 Participant
My favorite part of this program was how easy it was to travel around the country using their affordable bus system. I loved how one weekend you could go to the rain forest in the mountains and the next to the beach. There were many economical places available to stay in almost every destination and it was fun because I always met really cool people from all around the world.

 

Wynne Claudette Ebner, Early Start Spring 2018 Participant
I had a great experience with my host mother. She was the sweetest woman who I really enjoyed getting to know and helped me practice Spanish. I also had so many great opportunities to travel and see the country since it's small enough to see most of it.

 

Megan Mae Holder, Fall 2018 Participant
My favorite part of the program happened every day at the university. I'd walk to class, maybe stop for a pastry or coffee, then learn about Latin American geography or Central American history on the gorgeous UCR campus. Getting to experience everyday life in Costa Rica was fascinating and rewarding.

 

Torri Rose Lonergan, Fall 2018 Participant
My favorite part of this program was living with my host moms (Sara and Sole). I learned so much from them and really appreciated that they included me in everything. They were so sweet to me and helped me with absolutely everything. I also loved how much I was able to travel. I saw so many beautiful places in Costa Rica that I will never forget.

 

Gabrielle C Doue, Spring 2018 Participant
My favorite part of this program was probably living with a Costa Rican family, because this allowed me to fully immerse myself in their culture, as well as be constantly surrounded by Spanish without simply sitting in a classroom. These people welcomed me with open arms, and I had the unique opportunity to experience a culture different than my own in a very personal and exciting way. I had friends from other exchange programs that did not live with families, and while their experiences were certainly enriching and exciting, they did mention to me many times that by living with a true Tico family, I had a greater opportunity to fully experience the Costa Rican lifestyle - and I definitely agree!

 

Fall 2015 Participant
The cultural introduction and the general help from Isa and Saida in the beginning of the program were the most helpful. My improvement in the language and my relationship with my host family was the most rewarding.

 

Lydia Rose Vogt, Fall 2016 Participant
I found the academic environment most rewarding. While at times I felt like I was struggling and that I would not be able to complete all the assignments, now that I reflect on the semester I am most proud of the academic part of the experience because learning and thriving in an environment where no one speaks the same language is great and it amazes me that I was able to do it.

 

Ashley Rene Fisher, Early Start Fall 2017 Participant
Living with a host family was amazing. I think it really helps the student grow accustomed to living abroad.

 

Amanda P Reggeti, Early Start Spring 2017 Participant
I felt that the language and cultural immersion elements of this program were very rewarding because they pushed me to step out of my comfort zone. I learned so much about the culture and language, as well as myself through my classes at the Universidad de Costa Rica. It was challenging at the beginning, but I ended up making many friends from my classes, getting really close to my host family, and my Spanish improved a lot because of these elements.

 

Fall 2017 Participant
I found the classes to be most rewarding, as well as living with a host family. Both situations required constant use of Spanish which ended up allowing me to better my Spanish abilities when talking about academic topics or about everyday life topics.

 

Wynne Claudette Ebner, Early Start Spring 2018 Participant
Taking classes in Spanish with Costa Rican students was challenging but also extremely rewarding. The professors were for the most part very understanding and helpful and it was interesting to work in groups with the other students.

 

Torri Rose Lonergan, Fall 2018 Participant
The intensive language immersion aspect of the program was very challenging, but super rewarding. My language skills improved so much last semester. I never would have made that much progress so quickly without taking classes at the UCR and living with a host family.

 

Spring 2018 Participant
The most rewarding aspect of this program was that there were many times when we couldn't control the circumstances and we had to be flexible and patient.

 

Spring 2018 Participant
The most rewarding aspect of the program was seeing how much my Spanish speaking abilities improved over the course of the semester.

 

Samuel Reed Eastes, Early Start Fall 2016 Participant
It is so important to voice your concerns. The host families want you to be comfortable. It's okay if you hate a certain food they serve. Tell them and they'll change things up.

 

Danielle Marie London, Fall 2016 Participant
I think that studying abroad helped to teach me a new form of independence that comes from doing things like traveling on your own, going to classes in a foreign language, and making friends and relations in a new country.

 

Lydia Rose Vogt, Fall 2016 Participant
I learned that it is important to make connections with others around you. If I had been alone throughout the semester it would have been very rough but because I made friends with other KU students, Costa Ricans, and students from around the world I was able to change my experiences in a positive way that could not have been done without the many people I interacted with on a daily basis.

 

Cyan Skye Sanders, Early Start Fall 2017 Participant
Language learning stalls at a certain part in your studies and it is at this point that immersion in that culture and language are the only things that will help you. Costa Rica is a better program than the others because the UCR is an amazing University and the host families and directors are unlike any others.

 

Amanda P Reggeti, Early Start Spring 2017 Participant
I learned the importance of having patience with yourself and staying positive. Studying abroad can be hard in moments, but in reality is one of the best experiences you could have. You learn so much. In a language immersion experience you will get frustrated with yourself, however it is important to remember that learning a language is an endless process. I would say do not be afraid to make mistakes and keep trying.

 

Fall 2017 Participant
I learned that it isn't always some fun vacation because you are still in school and have to work hard at it. At first I imagined school would be incredibly easy but it did take a lot of time and effort like any normal semester in the US.

 

Wynne Claudette Ebner, Early Start Spring 2018 Participant
I learned about what it's like to live in another culture for an extended amount of time. Don't be afraid to reach out to the coordinators- Isa and Zaida are wonderful people and resources. Meet other international students and travel while you can.

 

Megan Mae Holder, Fall 2018 Participant
Speak as much Spanish as you can. It's ok to make mistakes!
Get to know your host family - they want to know you and invite you into their family.

 

Gabrielle C Doue, Spring 2018 Participant
I learned first and foremost that you may think you know a foreign language well until you go to live in their country for six months. Basically, be prepared to be nervous, embarrassed and corrected by native speakers! That is simply something that comes with learning a second language, and the most effective way to learn, in my opinion. Furthermore, you should not assume that because you are an exchange student that your professors will go easy on you. Don't be a lazy student! You are here primarily to learn, so you should treat these courses as you would any other course at KU. Most importantly, I learned that studying other languages and cultures is a lifetime goal that requires dedication and hard work - but is without a doubt one of the most rewarding experiences you can incorporate into your life. There is always more to learn.

 

Spring 2018 Participant
I learned to be present.