Sol Education Abroad - Study Abroad in Heredia, Costa Rica

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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

Questions & Answers

Reviews

98%
based on 58 reviews
  • Academics 8.4
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.6
  • Housing 9.3
  • Safety 8.9
Showing 16 - 30 of 58
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Natalie
10/10

Amazing Summer Experience in Costa Rica

I really enjoyed my time in Costa Rica with Sol. I tried a bunch of new things (foods and activities), I spent some awesome time in nature, I met some really cool people, I lived with a kind host family, and I improved my Spanish. I really appreciated that the first several weekends had arranged travel, but then the weekends after that were open for us to travel as we pleased. This arrangement worked well because it gave us time to get acclimated to our surroundings before sending us off on our own. By the end of my time in Costa Rica, I felt that I had grown a lot in independence and courage. I was more willing explore new places on my own, and this is a skill that will serve me well in the rest of my life.
My favorite memory of my trip is swimming in the bottom of La Fortuna waterfall. It was so gorgeous that it almost didn't seem like real life. I'll never forget it.

How can this program be improved?
There are very few things about this program that could be improved. My only suggestion is that I think it would be cool if there were a few more cultural activities available after your first session is done.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Amy
10/10

Winter Break in Costa Rica with SOL Education Abroad

I spent 3 weeks of my winter break in Costa Rica with SOL Education Abroad. We spent New Year's Eve there, one of the coolest experiences I had on the trip.

We went to la casa de la hija de Mama Tica where we met her daughters, son-in-law, and grandchildren. They only live about 2 minutes away. The house was still decorated for Navidad. Era bellísimo y la familia tambien. Kylie and I felt welcome at Mama Tica’s daughter’s house, the whole family greeted us with a kiss on the cheek which is customary in Costa Rica, but still much appreciated. We ate dinner at about 10:00 at night. I had steak and chicken on tortillas with chimichurri. Interestingly, the chimichurri wasn’t like the sauce I had tried before en los Estados Unidos. It was chopped tomatoes with onions and cilantro, but still delicioso!

We counted down for el año nuevo and Mama Tica literally jumped out of her seat and ran out of the room when we reached zero! We followed her outside to watch fireworks and celebrate in the street. I’ll never forget the view. We stood halfway up a steep hill overlooking downtown Heredia and San José. The lights of two cities were joined by sparks of fireworks on the mountain. The night air was cool and a couple other families in the neighborhood celebrated with drums and firecrackers. We came back inside to have “gelatina” which is jello and rum cake with caramel vanilla ice cream.

Soon we would return home, eager to get some sleep. Before we went to bed, Mama Tica told Kylie and I that we were gems, so close to in such a short amount of time. She is so happy we are able to communicate well with her. She drew the sign of the cross on our foreheads with her thumb, as she does most mornings before we leave the house, and off to bed we went. I hope to stay in touch with Mama Tica for as long as possible! She taught me so much Spanish, sometimes we would talk for hours after dinner (which was always delicious.) This was just one of the many meaningful experiences I had in Costa Rica, I'd be able to fill a whole book with the rest.

How can this program be improved?
I can't even think of something they need to improve on! Everything was so meticulously planned and a lot of detailed info and advice was given to everyone along the way.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Aubrey
10/10

Was it a dream?

My classes and my teachers have been incredible, and I have already learned so much in my short time there. I would like to become a Sol Student Ambassador because I want to help other students feel excited and empowered by their decision to further their education because I believe it is truly one of the best choices one can make to influence their future, . Also, my experience at Costa Rica has had such a positive impact on my life that I am thankful for the chance to give my time and resources to all the program does.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Erin
10/10

Host family the highlight

In May I returned to the U.S. after four months abroad in Heredia, Costa Rica, a sweet, lively town about an hour by bus from the nation's capital, San Jose. I studied with Sol Education Abroad, and I loved it. The directors made sure that we were more than tourists: at every opportunity, we talked about the social, political, economic, and cultural situations of the areas we visited. I spent my semester parasailing, white-water rafting, waterfall rappelling, hiking, and zip-lining...all while taking five classes and improving my Spanish by leaps and bounds. (Parents, never fear! I did indeed study plenty, and one of my five classes was with locals. That's right, in Spanish for Spanish speakers, dealing with the Costa Rican government structure, with Spanish tests and Spanish presentations! Was it hard? YES. Was it worth it? YES.)

My Spanish improved big time, especially since I lived with a host family. I still talk to my host mom, and I have plans to return in a few years. My host family's open arms are just a microcosm of the way that all of Costa Rica welcomed us not simply as tourists, but rather students of their language and their culture. I had conversations with bus drivers and taxi drivers and hotel clerks alike, all whom were impressed by my desire to communicate in Spanish and excited to share their opinion on the best beaches or the most beautiful can't-miss views in the country.

I could talk about my time abroad for a really long time. I wrote a blog if you want to know more (equaltohismajesty.wordpress.com), but from volunteer work to typical meals to beach weekends with the girls to Holy Week processions that filled the streets, I can't do justice to how my time in Costa Rica with Sol changed me. Basically, I have to tell you this: just go! You won't be sorry; I know I wasn't.

How can this program be improved?
Encourage students to use Spanish all the time, consistently throughout the whole semester. Directors were good about that at first, but by the halfway point, most students were speaking Spanish only with native speakers.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Morrissa
10/10

Semester Abroad with my Solmates

Wow! I don't know where to start. My semester abroad with Sol Education in Heredia, Costa Rica was absolutely perfect. To begin with, the length was ideal (a little over 3 months with start and end dates almost identical to my semester at my home university). The homestay was an amazing way to learn about the culture and really master Spanish. The directors help you every step of the way as well! They plan activities for almost every weekend, and give suggestions for free weekends. Also, I feel like I was really able to bond with my fellow students because we all were able to take classes together. Heredia especially is an ideal location to study abroad because it has everything a large city has to offer but is close to more tranquil and jungly destinations as well. I would highly suggest using Sol Education for your study abroad semester, summer, week, month, etc. Down to the airport pick up and drop off, Sol did not fail to impress.

How can this program be improved?
It is hard to find faults with the program itself. If anything, I would say even more excursions. That being said there were plenty to keep you entertained throughout the entire 3 months in Costa Rica.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Laura
10/10

Best Study Abroad Program I've Ever Found!

Studying abroad with Sol Education changed my life! The staff are dedicated to the mission of traveling with cultural awareness, giving back to the community where you've been given the opportunity to expand your world views, and diving deep into a understanding of a language your passionate about learning. I will never forget the experiences I had visiting a off the grid permaculture farm that I later had the opportunity to volunteer with. I'm grateful every day that I found Sol Education and think about the people I met and experiences I had every day.

How can this program be improved?
Everyone needs to do this program. There was nothing about it that I would change!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Jordan
10/10

A Real Life Fairytale

When someone comes back from going abroad it is hard to truly captivate what growth and experiences they have gained in the process. During my time abroad, which now just feels like a dream, I was pushed to my limits and challenged unlike I had been in the past. I was physically pushed by hiking volcanos, whitewater rafting, cliff jumping, and attempts at surfing. Mental I was pushed whether it was simply learning the language or ideology and philosophy. The trip gave me everything I had hoped to gain- amazing stories, wonderful pictures, knowledge, confidence, and friends.

How can this program be improved?
I think more programs that made you interact with the locals or more volunteer work with the wildlife
Yes, I recommend this program
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Katrina
9/10

Sol education

A lot of Costa Rica is just going where life takes you. One weekend, life took me to Manuel Antonio. While I sat at the beach, baby monkeys would distract visitors while the adults would get into bags. We even had a racoon open up one of our backpacks trying to get food. Who would have thought the best pick pockets here would be the animals! You really had to be careful with your items, or else something would get their paws all over it.

How can this program be improved?
I would change the location. We couldn't walk at night,which was at times frustrating.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Thomas
10/10

¡Pura Vida!

University of Houston - Downtown's study abroad to Costa Rica offered together with SOL Education Abroad is nothing less than perfect! It is the perfect length for a real but not unreasonable commitment. It is the perfect place because it is exotic but somehow quite familiar. It has the perfect classes offered for any level of Spanish Language study. The host families are incredible. The excursions are unmatched. And the overall experience is exactly what it's advertised to be, ¡Pura Vida!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Heather
10/10

Summer 2015 Study Abroad

I think this program is very well set up with the excursions during the first three weeks and time to travel alone or with friends during the following weeks that you chose to stay for the program. I also believe the three week long programs are a good amount of time for each class. My favorite part of the whole experience was my host family. They were so personable and willing to open their house to me that by the time I left 11 weeks later I felt as if I was part of the family. I miss them every day, and they really helped me to enjoy the experience more. Overall this experience was well worth the cost and I would love to study abroad through SOL Education Abroad again.

How can this program be improved?
How the safety is laid out. We are told to take taxis, but even some of the taxis aren't safe. Also some of the programs we get back really late as a group and instead of being dropped off at our homes we were dropped off at the university with hope we could find a taxi or a safe way home.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Jade
10/10

A Beautiful Journey

Costa Rica is truly a magical place. From the cities, to the beaches, to the forests and rivers, there wasn't one part of this beautiful country that I didn't fall in love with. Yes, there's poverty and crime, but that's part of life. I never felt unsafe in Costa Rica with the guidance and support of the Sol directors. They exceeded my expectations in more ways than I could ever have imagined. They helped us to see beyond tourist attractions in order to fully experience the purest essence of Costa Rica. They encouraged us to interact with locals, try new foods, buy locally and ethically made products, and to be sensitive toward customs and traditions. They did a magnificent job of selecting roommates and host families. I feel lucky to have stumbled upon this amazing program and location. I met people and experienced things that I never would have if I hadn't embarked on this journey. I now feel that I know myself on a much deeper level through studying abroad. A million thank yous to Sol and Costa Rica for the experience of a lifetime!

How can this program be improved?
I honestly can't think of anything I would change.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Mita
10/10

Best decision EVER!!

My last weekend in Costa Rica, I went to Montezuma. I woke up, terrified, to the sounds of a gang of howler monkeys, ate my last casado, climbed and scaled a waterfall, made friends with a giant, very pushy bird and three fellow travelers, learned how to surf, and got to see the most beautiful nature!

How can this program be improved?
Classes need to be mixed with locals!!!!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Rachel
8/10

My Home In Atenas!

My past three weeks in Costa Rica have been quite wonderful. Last year I had traveled to Spain (which just seems more exotic) but it was a little disapointing. The director was immature, my host mom was mean, and I spent way too much money at Zara. Atenas is beutiful, but very quant. After about a week I had checked out the majority of the city, and was a little bored. But as the excursions started and clases picked up, it was almost imposible to stay up past ten in the evenings, out of utter exhuastion. My host mom accepted me as one of the family. The house was warm (boiling) and cozy, it was a very comfortable envirioment. My host mom was a queen in the kitchen, and the pure time and effort she put into our meals was astounding, it did not seem like much of a chore for her. I loved my spanish clases, the profersors really knew how to teach, it was not just about writting essays and using the proper tenses, they really wanted us to be comfortable talking. It was also really cool to see such a creative approach to teaching, I wish clases were more like that in the U.S.

How can this program be improved?
It was pretty close to perfect, to be honest...
Yes, I recommend this program
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Carly
10/10

Pura Vida is the best way to live!

I gained so much knowledge about nature and culture and I love it. I believe that studying in Costa Rica will give me life long useful knowledge that can be applied to anything. I now follow the "Pura Vida" lifestyle and I have never been so free and relaxed! I loved my host family so much. My Mama Tica made the best meals and she really made me feel like her own daughter!

How can this program be improved?
My friend lived about 2 miles from campus so the walk to and from class every day was terrible for him. Please choose closer host families!
Yes, I recommend this program
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McKinley
10/10

The Total Immersion and Travel Experience

I went to Costa Rica seeking adventure and found it in many more places than I anticipated. Not only did I get to experience the natural beauty the country offers through excursions provided by Sol and personal travel, but I fell in love with the culture. My host family provided me with support, the most delicious food, and eventually became a second family. My directors were more than helpful and were my most trusted teachers. Other students on my program became my closest friends. Costa Rica has more to offer than just volcanoes and gorgeous beaches - and Sol will teach you how to be more than a tourist: how to be a traveler.

How can this program be improved?
I would like more contact with past students so I could ask them their favorite locations to visit on weekends. Sometimes I was conflicted about where to spend m time.
Yes, I recommend this program

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About Sol Education Abroad

Sol Education Abroad (SOL) provides affordable study abroad opportunities in Costa Rica, Argentina, Spain, and Mexico. Sol Education Abroad prides itself in providing hands-on service to ensure an enriching experience abroad. It’s this unique...