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 57 reviews
  • Academics 8.4
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.6
  • Housing 9.4
  • Safety 9
Showing 31 - 45 of 57
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Chelsea
10/10

PURA VIDA!

I studied abroad from December 26th, 2013 through January 13th, 2014. I had been dreaming of studying abroad in Costa Rica since 8th grade. Six years later, my dreams came true! I loved that all of the excursions and meals were included. My host mom was nice and helpful. She was accommodating to special diets. However, I definitely overpacked. Pack light! My host mom did my laundry about twice a week, so I had plenty of clothes. Unfortunately, my luggage was lost by the airport, so I was in a foreign country for the first time without any clothes or toiletries for four days. Do not forget to pack a carry-on bag with extra clothes! My study abroad program director was extremely helpful though. She rode the bus with me to the airport to try to talk to security and Spirit Airlines. My program director also went to Walmart with me to buy new clothes and basic essentials until my luggage was returned to me. I really appreciated all of her support. It was a stressful situation and prevented me from fully enjoying my first few days in Costa Rica. I took a three credit Latin American Civilization class. My class consisted of four other students. I really liked that it was small and personable. Some of the excursions included a visit to the Toucan Rescue Ranch, an authentic Costa Rican cooking class, La Fortuna, Hot Springs and Arenal Volcano. From this excursion, I gained a better insight into how to relate with people that are different from me, which is a skill that is definitely useful in life and applicable to almost any career.

How can this program be improved?
I did not feel fully prepared to ride the buses on my own in Costa Rica, which are a primary means of transportation. I wish that the program director would have been more helpful in that aspect.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Erick
9/10

Costa Rica: Pura Vida

Costa Rica is great. It' definitely what you make of it, of course, but if you love wildlife and beautiful scenery, then this is the place for you. The Support from the staff is tremendous, every time I have needed something, they have always been there to help with a smile. It's like a family.

How can this program be improved?
Better selection of the host families, not bad, but maybe to make sure they actually have enough free time to care for students
Yes, I recommend this program
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Cara
10/10

Viva la pura vida con Sol

Costa Rica is an incredible country.
To visit Costa and not leave with a deeper appreciation of the earth is nearly impossible. Sol study abroad recognizes this and employees people who do their best to highlight Costa Rica's natural perfections. Everything about the Sol program is built to encourage an appreciation for foreign culture, an appreciation for the planet earth, and an appreciation for language. Sol is a family, and they do an impeccable job at making each and every student that comes into their program feel like a part of that family. We explored, discover, tasted, tested, wandered and truly soaked in everything that "the happiest country in the world" had to offer, with Sol. I came to Costa Rica with a full suitcase and left with a full heart. The cost is nothing compared to the personal gain. I attained priceless wisdom during my time in Costa Rica. Thank you, Sol, for showing me how to live "la pura vida" and creating an environment that encourages cultural appreciation.

Sol 2015 :)

How can this program be improved?
more hiking.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Rebecca
10/10

Love Sol and Costa Rica!

Sol in Costa Rica is amazing. The staff is so attentive, accessible, and truly care. Classes, my tica familia, and all the clubs I can be involved in are my highlights. True Spanish immersion, and our directors are always encouraging us speak Spanish. Four or five excursions are included in our program cost-from zip lining through the rainforest to spending the weekend in the Caribbean, I have had one in a lifetime opportunities. I honestly don't have anything negative to say. By far Sol Costa Rica is the best I could have ever found.

How can this program be improved?
Many classes had to be changed because the university's schedule kept changing. This made it difficult to plan ahead exactly what classes with locals I could take.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Raquel
10/10

Trip of a Lifetime

I can honestly say that these few months here have been the most life-changing, eye-opening, most amazing time I've had in my life. Everyday is something new and fun. The culture here is unlike anything I've experienced before. Ever since my vacation to Costa Rica in 2012, I've had a special bond with this place and my decision here has been the best thing I've ever done. Sol has been there for me whether it be the stomach flu, a cold, and even stitches, taking care of me as if they were my parents. I feel so at home and at peace here and home-sickness is close to none. I consider my casa tico my home and all my SolMates family. I could not of asked for better counselors, teachers, or friends. Janiva and Jessenia are beyond incredible at what they do and always want the best for us. My spanish has improved tremendously thanks to the classes, and Janiva always saying "en español?". :)

Yes, I recommend this program
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Mimi
10/10

Time of my life

Every morning I wake up and have breakfast at 7. It is usually fresh fruit, some type of pancake or empanada, and hot chocolate. Then I walk 10 minutes to class, and on the way I am joined by many of my SOLmates. Most of our program lives in the same neighborhood. We have Spanish class from 8 to 11, and are separated by level. I can honestly say I enjoy these classes. After class we go home for lunch at about noon. My afternoon activities vary by day. They include: zumba, volunteering with kindergarteners at a nearby school, conversation club with locals, and volunteering at a nursing home, and hip hop class. On Tuesdays I have theater class with locals. We get to choose a class with locals to take and they really help us improve our Spanish. On Wednesdays Sol provides us with cultural activities. They have included: a rescue ranch, cooking class, traditional dance class, coffee tour, and more. Dinner is at 6. My host mom is an excellent chef. I have tried so many new foods and loved them! I am always excited for mealtimes. We have many weekend excursions with SOL that are included. On our free weekends, we like to plan our own excursions. With SOL, we have been to Punta Mona (a beautiful sustainable living farm on the beach), La Fortuna (waterfall, hot springs, volcano, zipline), and soon we are going to Nicaragua. For excursions that we planned ourselves, we went to Manuel Antonio, Barva volcano, and a small group even climbed Chirripo. When we stay in Heredia for the weekend, we go out dancing, have relaxing nights in, or spend the day in Heredia Centro or San Jose. One of my favorite parts of this program is that our directors encourage us to speak Spanish. There is a lot of time that we can easily speak English- weekends, between classes, etc- but Janiva and Jessenia urge us to keep speaking Spanish. It has definitely gotten easier with time. I love the homestay because we get to feel like part of the family while we're here. The meals are incredible and I love having conversations with my host mom. She helps with grammar and words that I don't know. It is a warm and homey environment that I will miss tremendously when I leave. Studying abroad is the second best decision I've ever made. Choosing SOL is the first.

How can this program be improved?
I suppose that it would have more excursions, even though we have a lot. I would love to be able to go to both neighboring countries, but I know that is a big expense in time and money.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Janet
10/10

BEST EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE!!!!

Coming to CR with Sol has been one of the best decisions I've ever made. They care so much about our well being, health, and are always helping us to do our best. Between the cultural activities we have every week, conversation club, and excursions, they are showing us everything Costa Rica has to offer and more. I've already learned so much, and I can't wait to continue on with this once in a life time experience, that I have SOL to thank for!!!

How can this program be improved?
Make the classes more structured.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Ruth
10/10

That time I fell in love...

I didn't fall in love with a boy or a girl. I fell in love with Costa Rica, and it was all thanks to Sol. When I landed in Costa Rica, I was beyond nervous, but the moment I met Janiva, my program director, and the other students, and when I stepped outside and was greeted by tico taxis and sunshine, I knew I my life was about to change. And it did.

The host family that Sol matched me with was amazing. My tica mom cooked the best meals, always chatted with me when I was home, and treated me as her own daughter. My host siblings were so much fun and often invited me to do things with them and their friends, or brought me to try new restaurants or see different areas of Heredia. More than two years later, we still keep in touch and visiting them is always a highlight of my trip when I go back.

I learned a lot from my spanish classes and electives at the Universidad Latina. I met local students from our exchanges with English classes, and my professors were incredibly friendly and understanding. In addition to classes, Sol took us on cultural excursions where we learned how to cook tica food, danced salsa with locals, saw different parts of the country, and met all sorts of interesting people.

The very best part of my experience with Sol (besides walking away with an incredibly improved sense of the Spanish language and the Costa Rican way of life) was the relationships that I built. I fell in love with Costa Rica, but that never would have happened if I hadn't been surrounded by such wonderful people. From the people running the program, to the professors, to the other students, and the host families... everyone was so supportive and loving. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

How can this program be improved?
I think my spanish could have become even stronger if speaking English had been more strictly prohibited. Also, they could have provided a bigger variety of volunteer opportunities. Almost all of our volunteer projects involved working with children, which I loved, but I would have liked to have a little more variety.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Meghan
10/10

INCREÍBLE

Mi tiempo aquí en Costa Rica con Sol ha estado muchísimo divertido. He aprendido tanto sobre la cultura y la lengua. No podría pedir por más. Las excursiones son preciosas y cuando no hay algo planeado, Sol recomienda algunas cosas para hacer o lugares para visitar. Estudiando español aquí con Sol es una de las mejores decisiones de mi vida.

How can this program be improved?
Verdaderamente, no sé lo que cambiaría. Tal vez más oportunidades de voluntariados diferentes.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Morgan
10/10

I LOVE IT!!

Sol Education Abroad is a wonderful company! I really enjoyed my directions in Costa rica. They were very knowledgeable about the area and what types of things there were to do. They were also very helpful with any questions I had.

Costa Rica is one of the most beautiful countries ever! I would definitely recommend it to anyone who loves nature and relaxing.

I learned a lot in my course. My grammar improved, and I learn a lot about the culture. My professors were really interesting, and they enjoy was they do.

We had tons of opportunities to interact with the locals. W played soccer with ticos, and we played games with kids. We danced with some senior citizens, and I helped plant a fruit tree on campus.

My most memorable experience was finally seeing a sea turtle. My friends and I planned a trip to the northern part of Limon (the Caribbean side of Costa Rica). During July, the turtles nest on the beaches. I never knew how big sea turtles were, but now I have had the ability to meet one up close and personal. It was a ton of fun!

Sol is perfect for anyone who is looking to explore a Spanish-speaking country as well as make new friends along the way. I highly recommend it!

How can this program be improved?
I wish I had taken courses with native Spanish speakers. I love my American friends, but I wanted more time immersed in Spanish. When we hung out, we spoke in English. That was really my only issue, but you will find this problem in almost any study abroad program during the summer. However, when I expressed my concerns to my director, she helped me to find ways to continue practicing my Spanish like volunteering.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Kiah
10/10

Everything I expected and much more!

SOL was the most life-changing six weeks of my life! It has helped me love spanish so much more. It is the best study abroad program I could find and it has proven to be true! I wouldn't have wanted to spend my summer doing anything other than studying in Heredia, Costa Rica with SOL!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Cassi
10/10

Stay as long as you possibly can!

Future students need to know that you get more benefits from the program with the longer that you stay! You'll miss your family and friends a lot, but the experience here is so worth it. The people you meet and the places you see are incomparable to anything in the US. It really has been a life-altering experience for me, and I would stay a whole year if my major allowed me to!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Katie
10/10

What an Amazing Experience

"DO IT! It has been one of the best times of my life. I have learned so much Spanish and loved every second I've spent here in Costa Rica. I am very sad to leave on Saturday. I will definitely return to Costa Rica to live at some point in my life, and it's all thanks to SOL!"

How can this program be improved?
I did not have internet in the home that I was in, but most other students did. I think this helped and hindered my learning throughout the trip. By not having internet, I connected more closely with my host family in the short 3 weeks that I was there than most people. Any downtime I had at the house was spent with my host family rather than talking to my friends and family back home through facebook or watching Netflix, like several of my other friends did. However, any homework I had to do had to be done at the school, which meant I had to spend more time there than those who had internet at their houses.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Elsey
10/10

Awesome Program, Awesome People

This really was one the best decisions I have made. My Spanish improved greatly as I was immediately immersed into the culture and its people, in and out of the classroom. Every staff person, at all sites, are very helpful and eager to contribute to make your experience wonderful. You receive a great education, that tends to your level and interests, while you are also shown the best of what the country and its people have to offer. Not to mention the lifelong friendships made with those I still visit in the States and abroad, and even returned to Costa Rica to work and live after graduation.

How can this program be improved?
Stay as long as you can. Pack appropriate clothes.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Tanman
10/10

Pura Vida

During all 4 weeks I was in Costa Rica, I did not have one day where I didn't want to be there. I loved every second of every minute I was there and I couldn't have been placed in a better host family. I had no problems getting around the city, the excursions on the weekends were full of excitement, and the staff/professors treat everyone like family.

How can this program be improved?
If I had to change one thing, I would make the program abroad longer!
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...