Sol Education Abroad: Study Abroad in Heredia, Costa Rica

Video and Photos

Trip to Volcan Irazu and zip lining
Trip to Volcan Irazu and zip lining
Trip to Volcan Irazu and zip lining
Trip to Volcan Irazu and zip lining
Arenal Volcano
Arenal Volcano
Manuel Antonio Beach
Manuel Antonio Beach
La Fortuna Waterfall
La Fortuna Waterfall
View from our hotel room at Los Lagos Resort. Arenal Volcano!
View from our hotel room at Los Lagos Resort. Arenal Volcano!
Universidad Latina Campus
Costa Rican Cooking Class!

About

Study abroad with Sol Education Abroad in Costa Rica! This tropical Central American destination has so much to see with it's beautiful beaches, varied landscapes and endemic wildlife. The Sol Education Abroad program in Heredia offers a large variety of classes to satisfy the requirements for many degree plans. The program offers excursions around the country as well as many local cultural activities in and around Heredia.

Highlights
  • Highly rated homestays
  • Included excursions and cultural activities
  • High-level academic advising and assistance
  • Attentive and dedicated onsite directors
  • Very personable and inclusive program

Winter Break programs!

SOL is still accepting applications for Winter Break programs. Winter Break is a great time of year to have an incredible experience and earn credit. Take advantage of the break!

Scholarships

Sol Education Abroad Scholarships
Apply for Sol Education Abroad Scholarships!

We want to give back to every single community our students come from and make study abroad available to students that want to better their Spanish language skills and have a desire to learn and explore other cultures.

Value
$100 - $750

Questions & Answers

Reviews

97%
based on 71 reviews
  • Academics 8.4
  • Support 9.7
  • Fun 9.6
  • Housing 9.4
  • Safety 9
Showing 1 - 15 of 71
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Claire
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing

Loved my time spent abroad with sol. Learned so much Spanish while also making new friends and participating in amazing weekend trips and day plans. My moma tica loved me like her own child, asking me questions, preparing me food that I liked, and always helping me improve my Spanish. My favorite weekend trip we got to go white water rafting. The rapids were amazing, and made for an exciting ride. We also got to go zip lining over the canopy, swimming in Manuel Antonio beach, and hike a waterfall. While they were all amazing, I loved seeing the wildlife. One day we took a trip to the Toucan Rescue Ranch and they showed us all the amazing animals they take care of and hope to release back into the wild. We got to see sloths, monkey, otters, and even some cool looking owls. Overall the trip was amazing

What would you improve about this program?
having the Sol program directors help us more the first couple of days.
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Michael
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My Trip to Heredia, Costa Rica!

My trip to Heredia, Costa Rica was abosolutely amazing. I went through SOL Education Abroad. While I was there in Costa Rica for three weeks, I was able to stay with a host family to connect with their ways of life and learn the language with other people from the United States. During our trip, we were able to talk with our host families, take classes in Spanish at the local university, visit historical sites, go to the beach, zip lining, and much more. SOL Education Abroad was so organized in helping me get through the early stages process, during the program, and after the program as well. Everyone from the program sets up many activities to keep you busy. Another thing I really liked is that everyone in the program was really nice and friendly. They weren't afraid to help you with anything you may be confused on. I highly reccomend SOL to anyone interested in learning more Spanish or if they would like to learn more about Hispanic and Latino culture.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The most nerve-racking thing was culture shock. When I first got to Costa Rica I was very excited but also a bit uncomfortable because I was unfamiliar with the country, culture, customs, language, and people. But overtime I was able to improve my Spanish skills and slowly adapt to the Costa Rican way of life. I started talking to more people in Spanish and really trying to put myself in uncomfortable situations even if it meant my Spanish would be embarassed. If it was easy then everyone would be doing it. It may take time, but anybody can overcome culture shock if they are willing to invest in the time it takes to learn about another country different from theirs.
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Audrey
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Costa Rica 2019

The program was an overall great over experience. I believe students would benefit if orientation was on the first day rather than the second day. It would have been nice to get more information about the culture on the first day, as well as knowing where other students are staying. Also it would be nice if the city tour was done earlier in the week as well to help learn to navigate the city.
The host family was very welcoming and friendly; it would be good if peers were able to live closer together. This way when walking to the meet up area and walking back home students are able to commute together.
Volunteering at La Posada was one of my favorite parts of the program; it was great to be able to work with the students of all ages. I believe it would be comforting to get a list of need for the teen mothers.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would make changes to what I packed. The weather was hot and I did perspire often and felt the need to change. I thinking I under packed. I was unaware that on the waterfall and zipline excursion we would need an extra pair of clothes.
I would pack a small bag for the day trip. I did feel somewhat underpacked.
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Anne
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Enamorada de Costa Rica

There aren't words to adequately express the impact that my three months in Costa Rica had on my life, and on me. I am eternally grateful to SOL for giving me the opportunity to experience first-hand the beautiful culture and traditions of Costa Rica and to explore all the beauty it has to offer. From short cultural activities, like traditional dancing and cooking, to more extensive trips, like La Fortuna waterfall and Volcán Arenal, SOL provides a wide variety of activities and trips that give you a glimpse of the richness and variety of this beautiful country. Staying with a host family is a precious, and unforgettable experience; I shed so many tears leaving my Mamá Tica who truly is like a mother to me and took such great care of me during my stay. I left with so many sweet friendships and priceless memories that compel me to come back, but also to live my life here in a new way. I will be forever touched by the lifestyle of Pura Vida, which reminds me to worry a little less, walk a little slower, and love a lot more. Part of my heart will forever remain in Costa Rica. Thank you, SOL!!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My greatest piece of advice for future travelers with SOL is to make. local. friends. I can't stress how important this is! For so many reasons. One, they know the great places to go and can show you around. Two, what a great way to practice your Spanish! And three, they usually invite you to meet their family, and the more time you spend with families, the more you really get to see and experience authentic Costa Rican culture.
Read my full story
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Lia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A life changing experience!

My experience in Costa Rica was amazing. Although it was only a week long, it was enough time to witness the positive outcomes that your work influenced. We were required to prepare lesson plans that would be presented to the students in Costa Rica and assist them in completing activities that go along with the lessons. Students also live with a host family. This experience allowed me to engage in new relationships and fully immerse myself in the Costa Rican culture. Interacting with the family is an important part of this experience as it allows students to gain life long friends and supporters. This experience has allowed me to become more confident and will forever be held close to my heart. I am looking forward to where I can return to Costa Rica to continue changing lives.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
Definitely walking in to the schools not knowing what to expect. If you go in with enough preparation, everything will work out just fine. Always remember that your group mates are there to assist and support you.
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Tiana
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Absolutely Amazing

I had such a fantastic experience! We spent the mornings volunteering with kids and and afternoons doing cultural activities. I loved cooking, dance class, fruit tasting, and the Tucán Rescue Ranch. We got to see baby sloths and many other animals! They are trying to rehabilitate them and release them back into the wild. I also loved the waterfall! It was so beautiful! The stairs leading down to it are totally worth it and a great workout! The volcano in the distance was really pretty and the hot springs were so nice. Our two Sol representatives that took us everywhere were wonderful! They were so kind and fun! I felt really welcome with my host family too. They fed us really delicious food! Overall I had an amazing experience in Costa Rica.

What would you improve about this program?
I would have loved to spend more time at the beach. We got to go during free time and it was really nice. The water was so warm.
Amber
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My First Study Abroad

When I found out that for the first time ever the preschool where I am employed had their spring break aligned perfectly with Fullerton's spring break (and the trip to Costa Rica) I knew it was meant to be. I was very nervous to begin the trip since this was one of the first times I was traveling alone, but from the moment our host family brought us into their home, I immediately felt more comfortable. They were so kind and open to our experience, it made everything more exciting. The Sol directors were funny, attentive, and caring, which made every excursion more enjoyable. Also, the hands-on experience we received from visiting La Posada de Belen and La Milpa school was so much fun and so meaningful in my career exploration. I recommend it!

What would you improve about this program?
I would have liked to have more information about clothes to pack.
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Isabelle
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Superior Study Abroad Program

This is a superior study abroad program. I signed up for SOL with little to no knowledge of Spanish and, now, have an appreciation and passion for the language. This program is an excellent option for students with prior knowledge of Spanish as well as those with none. Furthermore, the program includes many fun excursions, employs the best and brighest Spanish teachers, and provides students with opportunities to meet other motivated students from across the US. You will grow as a person while studying abroad in Costa Rica and living with a new family! I now have friends that I will keep in touch with for the rest of my life and a family in Costa Rica who took care of me like I was their own. I highly recommend this program to all college students--do it!

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Barry
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Third Time with Sol

This is my 3rd time studying with Sol Education (Granada, Spain; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Heredia Costa Rica). If I study abroad again it will be with Sol.
While I am a person who likes variety, I value superior performance above all else. From my first experience with Sol in Granada I felt that any other program would not measure up. My experiences in Buenos Aires and now, Costa Rica have only confirmed that belief.
I am a 69 year old retired dentist and a non-traditional student, which is a redundant sentence. I have traveled the world and experienced many locales. The enjoyment I get from spending an extended period of time in a country far outweighs the usual tourist experience. It is fulfilling.
Without Sol Education my time in country would not be so enjoyable.
The advantage of learning with Sol is having someone readily available as a resource. It is like having a personal assistant who is there when you want, who gives you as much personal space as you desire. In Costa Rica that person is Janiva. As a non-traditional student my desires and needs are unique. What I admire most about Janiva and her team (Angie & Leydi) is their ability to attend to my individual desires. For example: My travel itinerary was totally different than the other students, my dietary needs are unique and there are some activities that I prefered not to attend. None were a problem. My airport transportation was seemless, my host mother prepared delicious meals and s I was offered a tour of a coffee plantation rather than going white water rafting.
The education schedule that Sol has arranged with Universidad Latina is great as were my instructors. The time off was filled with activities that were interesting, fun and cultural. The physical layout of the school is great and the classrooms comfortable. The cafeteria offers multiple options and there is a large modern mall just across the street from the Universidad. The gym at the mall is one of the best I have been in. Housing is immaculate and close by.
If I were the parent of a tradition student I would have total confidence if my son or daughter told me they were interested in participating with Sol. In fact I would be envious!

What was your funniest moment?
When I gave my first oral presentation and I referred to my host mother as "Mamacita." Previously I thought this was a slang term for a beautiful woman, sometimes used in a vulgar context. But I heard so many of my classmates using the term I thought it must be acceptable in Costa Rica.
During my presentation, when I said "Mamacita" I noticed a few glances and giggles. I soon learned the word my classmates were using was "Mamatica." Costa Ricans refer to themselves as "Ticos" which I knew. I just never put 2 and 2 together to come up with the gender change for the Madres of Costa Rica!
Fortunately my beautiful Mamatica did not take offense when I related the story over dinner. In fact she laughter the loudest and delighted in telling her children.
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Alonso
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

BIMS Costa Rica

It was really fun and there were many neat things to do. Everyday there was something new and exciting. We tried different food, experienced different markets and interacted with many different people. It was amazing me be introduced to a different culture and way of life compared to what I was used to back at home. It was quite an experience to see that you can find in a market. There were many different things you could purchase, with many of them being made by artisans. The parks were all lively with children playing and people selling ice cream. Our host parents were very kind and shared every single meal with us. There were several different places that we went where we experienced different things from chocolate tours to white water rafting to going to rainforests.

What would you improve about this program?
Maybe ask the host parents to cook more meals that are from the area.
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Daniel
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Review of Cost Rica

My host home was absolutely amazing. The food was great and I had valuable conversations with my family and it helped to grow my Spanish speaking skills. The classes and material we learned in ‘class’ was very interesting and useful in certain settings, but the highlight of my trip was living with my host family. About 95% of the material/vocab we learned was new to me and it was very applicable in a medical setting. I really really thought the 2 professors were great, caring, and very helpful. Also, Angie is the best. All of the SOL team members were friendly and everything went very smoothly. The structured time vs unstructured(free time) was evenly split and i felt that i was able to do everything I wanted and more. I really enjoyed this trip, and I only wish I could stay here longer

What would you improve about this program?
I don’t really have any complaints because I enjoyed this trip so much. The only thing I might review was our free day being on Friday. Friday was probably the busiest day with traffic and traveling anywhere was difficult and took a lot of time. Maybe it would be beneficial to have a class day on Friday and the free day on a different day of the week? Other than that, I have no complaints! It was awesome!
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Allison
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Muy Bien

I loved this program! I experienced the perfect blend of experiencing the culture and being a tourist/exploring the beautiful country. I speak very little Spanish but felt supported and learned so much while in Costa Rica. The Spanish instructors did not speak English so it was hard for me to ask questions, but others in the program were kind and helped me out when I was lost. I love Costa Rica and the program did a fabulous job putting together a fun and educational experience :) The food was amazing and we had very authentic meals that I loved, we did many things through the program but were also able to use free time to explore the country further. All the cultural experiences were educational and exciting. I was able to experience things that I could not do anywhere else. I love this program and would 10/10 recommend.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Make the most of your experience. Plan out fun things to do after classes or program events are done for the night but also take time with your host family as they are such a great part of the experience! Bring a bug repelling bracelet or something, I got lots of bug bites during the night, but then again others had no problems with that so it probably depends, bugs tend to love me lol
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Eden
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My perfect time in paradise

Traveling with Sol was by far the best decision I made when deciding to study abroad! Immediately as I came home, I was looking into the possibility of doing it again. My host family was perfectly suited to me, which Sol made sure of with their host family matchmaking questionnaire. For example, I asked to live in a house with pets. My host family had 8 (sweetheart) dogs. The most surprising thing about this experience for me, was making so many close friends so quickly. I went on the shortest study abroad Sol offers, and still walked away with life-long friends all over the country. I also expected pretty hardcore culture shock coming into Costa Rica, and there is definitely a little when you first enter and you're on the bus to your host family. However, I was completely settled in and comfortable within the first few hours of entering Heredia. Traveling abroad alone was a brand new experience for me, and I was extremely nervous. Ultimately, Sol made me feel completely comfortable, safe and excited for the new experiences waiting to come. The academics, the excursions, and the cultural activities were nothing short of incredible. I was excited to go to class every day, and there wasn't a sing cultural activity or excursion that I didn't absolutely love. In the end, I would travel with Sol again tomorrow.

What would you improve about this program?
Honestly and truly, I would not change a single thing about my experience.
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Savannah
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I left my heart in Heredia!

I had the best time of my life in Costa Rica. Two weeks gave me the opportunity to visit many national parks, local shops/supermercados, and to learn about the culture outside of a touristic view. I definitely am already planning on my return trip back.
Future participants, make sure to bring clothes for every season. If you plan on being adventurous and love to enjoy natural beauty, hiking at one of the many local parques is always possible.
The food is fresh and locally grown, so do not hesitate to try a local tican-meal. My experience was unique in that I had free-time to go to the pacific ocean for the first time in my life. If you love animals, you can get within a few feet of sloths, iguanas, and monkeys!

What would you improve about this program?
I could not really say much of anything on what could be improved about SOL.
Ethan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Pura Vida

SOL was incredible. It left a lasting impact on my life, and truly changed what I wanted to do after college. I obtained fluency in Spanish while there, and it was the best way to learn spanish. The immersion in a different culture was so much fun. I tried so many differnt foods I had never heard of before, and I was able to make so many new friends that I still keep im contact with! I would encourage anyone to study with sol!

What would you improve about this program?
The classes wernt difficult, but I was more of an advanced speaker. some of my class mates struggled, but I didnt have any difficulties