ICADS is a unique study abroad experience that combines both the typical classroom setting with hands-on/field experience. The first 5 weeks of the program I took a 4 hour Spanish class every morning and a 4 hour social studies class in the afternoon (with an hour lunch and breaks). For the social studies class, there were often guest speakers or trips to local community organizations. We also took a week long trip to Nicaragua. The next 5 weeks, the field students took their learning to practice. Every week we traveled to a different region of Costa Rica and conducted a variety of activities including: measuring wild life in a river, exploring the impacts of eco-tourism, bird watching, learning about different agricultural systems, and much more! This part of the program was an awesome opportunity to see almost all of Costa Rica while still being engaged in academic thinking. During the last 5 weeks or so of the program students had to propose and conduct and individual research project. I looked at oral health practices in a rural community located in the Talamanca mountains. In all, I really loved the fact that I got to live with more than one host family (as it gave me the ability to meet more locals); I got to learn both inside and outside of a classroom setting (a lot of travel was integrated into the program); and I was able to tailor the program to my academic interests (there is a lot of freedom in what you can do for the individual research project). It was great!