These four months were a BLAST! ISA does a great job at ensuring that all of the participants stay safe and have a great time. The classes were a good challenge but not too time consuming. I never felt like they were getting in the way of my study abroad experience.
I had the opportunity to do an amazing internship with Fundacion Rahab, an NGO that helps women who were the victims of sex trafficking. This is a field that I have always been extremely interested in, so getting this opportunity was pretty big for me. I did a lot of fundraising for Fundacion, in addition to working on their budget. I became pretty close with the founder, and one day after my work was done she took me along to meeting she had with the Chilean ambassador and his wife!
ISA plans a few included weekend excursions which were a little nicer than our other weekends, which were usually spent in $15/night hostels (completely our choice). The included excursions were at three or four star hotels, and were a good way to get to know other students on the program.
I would have liked more activities that helped the program immerse more in the Costa Rican culture. In retrospect, I wish I had made more local friends but wasn't quite old enough at the time to have the confidence it takes to branch out like that. Additionally, I had a pretty tough home stay situation that I wish had been fixed earlier. My roommate and I reached out to ISA about our complaints, and no serious steps were taken to address them. Finally, we were moved out our final week for a few days. The good news is I don't think they'll be using that host home anymore, and no one else seemed to have any issues with host homes.
Overall, such a fun four months. ISA definitely understands the types of students that are coming to Costa Rica for a semester abroad and does a great job catering the experience to them.