I was a part of the IFSA program at UNA from July 14 to November 14 of 2017. I honestly could not have asked for a better experience. The support offered by the program is phenomenal. There are three full time staff members dedicated solely to this exchange program at the University, and they honestly care about your well being and how you are handling both the cultural and academic pressures of being abroad. You get to know them very well as they are heavily involved in the program, the program director was pretty much a father figure to all of us! The classes at the University are challenging but very manageable in both requirements and time commitment. The host families used by the program are screened intensively, and if a student has a bad experience with one they are not used for the program again. My host family was absolutely lovely and really made me feel like a part of they family, including me in trips and family events such as Mother's Day! It has been almost a year now and we still keep in constant contact and I am planning a visit back to see them! I also had the opportunity to make many local friends who showed me around the city and its nightlife and whom I still keep in touch with! All of this is in addition to being able to explore all that Costa Rica had to offer, I was able to visit a new town or park almost every weekend! The program itself also runs a few trips to help show you the country! Not to mention, that through the total immersion offered by the program my Spanish got a 100 % better! I can legitimately call myself fluent now! Honestly, it was the semester of a lifetime and an experience I will definitely never forget.
How can this program be improved?
A few more program run trips may have been nice but there are still plenty of ways to travel on your own!
Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would