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 46 - 58 of 58
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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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TVG0820
9/10

Fantastic Experience in Costa Rica!

Even in three weeks I felt my host family turned into my family. I have loved talking and getting to know them. You will learn more outside of the classroom than you ever expected. You are being immersed in a totally different culture than in the United States and it is so much fun to learn about and experience. Costa Rica is a great country with great people and this program gives you the opportunity to explore the country, the culture, and the language. I highly recommend this program because it combines academics both in and out of the classroom.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Anthony
10/10

An experience I continue to unpack

I stayed six weeks abroad in Costa Rica with Sol and wow it's just so hard to break it all down in a short amount of space. I loved every part of it. The classes were intense but ended at noon, allowing us the whole day to explore the country. Costa Rica is the place to study Spanish. The people are people of service always willing to help a foreigner because they want to leave you with a good impression and come back. The nature and the excursions are like no other. The variety of micro-ecosytems is quite impressive and the beaches, rain forests, and other sights are beautiful. The staff is great too. They were quick to know our names and we were so close. By the end Jessenia, Janiva, and Rodrigo became friends I wish to see again soon.(this seperates SOL from bigger providers). My favorite aspect was my host-family. Every day is an adventure. My mama tica's meals were to die for and my tico dad was an amazing talker that ran every morning with me. My tico brother would stayed up with me and bring me with his friends to his soccer games and my tica sister would show me around the city with her friends. My spanish would not have improved the way it did here if I did not go. You have to be immersed to learn the fulness of the language and this is the program that does so.

How can this program be improved?
I would like to not have class on fridays and have more longer classes during the week so we could have longer weekends to see the whole country.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Jessie
10/10

The adventure of a lifetime

I have grown so much here and have fallen in love with the nature
and culture! Really try to experience a "pura vida" attitude and be
open to everything and everyone because you don't know what you'll
get out of it. It's the experience of a life time. The directors are
so fun and helpful! Every day was enjoyable. Though this will be an experience out of your comfort zone, I always felt comfortable
because of the people. I have grown so much and genuinely loved
everything I have done here. The culture, the people, the nature,
everything is so beautiful and through Sol I was able to experience
it all!

How can this program be improved?
I would have them help a little more with transportation and suggest more fun things to experience during our free time
Yes, I recommend this program
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Heidicw
10/10

Best choice I could have made

Going to Costa Rica with Sol was one of the best academic choices I have made in college. The regional directors made the application process very simple and straightforward. The price is great compared to other programs I researched, especially for all of the amazing excursions that are included. The information I was given before I left made the trip a lot less stressful because I had been told exactly what to expect. It was my first time to fly alone, and I had no problems at all.
From the time I reached the airport in San Jose, I felt that the local staff were incredibly friendly and helpful. I never had to worry about anything because I knew they had everything taken care of.
Each morning (M-F) you go to class for 3 hours with a 15 minute break in the middle. Most afternoons for the first 3 weeks you have a cultural activity of some kind (cooking class, dance class, museum trip, city tours, etc.) On the first 3 weekends you go on an excursion with your directors that is included in the cost.
The best part of the trip was living with a host family. It is hands down the best way to practice your Spanish while learning about the culture. I learned a lot from my host mom and her grandson during the time i spent with them. You will make a lot of great friends from around the US while you are there, but you will also gain a second family if you make it a priority to form a relationship with your hosts.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Sarah
9/10

This summer changed my life

Leaving the US for the first time was hard, but I am one for adventure so I was up for it. I never imagined my six weeks in Costa Rica would have influenced my life as much as it has. Within a six week time frame, I fell in love with the people, culture and food in Costa Rica. The adventures and memories never stopped and were always new on a daily basis. During the weekends, I went zip-lining, white water rafting, snorkeling, bungee-jumping, hiking along volcanoes and much much more. I lived with strangers that have become my second family. I had classes with fellow Americans who became my support group. I lived Pura Vida for six weeks. This trip was possibly the best decision I have ever made in my life. My life has changed in the sense that I now have a huge desire to travel more and see more of the world. I strongly recommend studying abroad to everyone, and a great and affordable way to do so is with Sol Education Abroad.

How can this program be improved?
Honestly, I know that it is very cliche for a review to say, "nothing is wrong; everything is perfect". But in the reality of my trip, it is hard to think of something that went wrong that could have been controlled. The only thing I would honestly change about the program is to change the packing list. I would include more shorts, bug spray and umbrellas.
Yes, I recommend this program
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vdelgato
9/10

The abroad experience I always dreamed of

I had a fantastic time during my abroad experience in Costa Rica. Our program directors were incredible people that gave us the best experience possible. The opportunity to have so much free time and experience the country, the local scene, and practicing Spanish with locals was invaluable. The country was absolutely beautiful and spending our weekends surrounding ourselves with nature is something I will never forget. I could not possibly have enjoyed my time abroad more.

How can this program be improved?
I felt that the academics could have been a little stronger. I had a couple teachers that pushed us to learn but I also had one who was very disorganized who I felt that I didn't learn much from.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Chispa
9/10

4 Month Vacation with Language, Culture and Friends!

Rather than trying to convince you to study abroad with Sol, I will just tell you a little about what led me to the decision and how my experience turned out.

Choosing a program was a big decision for me. Before I left I was leaning towards a different program, when I came upon Sol. Sol offered more in the program and was a thousand dollars cheaper, so that made my decision easy.

Upon arrival the program director picked me and the other students up from the airport and dropped us off at our designated host families. My host mom immediately offered me something to eat and drink. She was so friendly and welcoming, which immediately put me at ease. The first thing I noticed about Costa Rica was the water that she gave me and how fresh it tasted. It is the best water I have ever had.

The following day we went on a tour of Heredia. It was so much fun and gave us a chance to get to know everyone in our group. Our program director took us to a cafe called "Espigas" where they serve coffee and pastries. We also went to a market and tried several kinds of delicious fruits I had never heard of.

As far as school goes, I had class Monday-Wednesday/Thursday depending on the term. Everyday I would walk to class with my roommate and friend who lived next door. Class was about a fifteen minute walk from my host family's home. After class we would walk to town, take the bus to San Jose, or get ready for our weekend excursions.

Sol planned several excursions for us, and often on our weekends off we would plan some of our own. We traveled all over Costa Rica and also went to Panama and Nicaragua. My favorite places we went to were Granada, Nicaragua, Puerto Viejo, La Fortuna, and the rafting day trip.

Aside from the activities mentioned above we also took dance lessons, cooking classes, went on a tour of San Jose, went to several markets, visited local churches, volunteered at a local elementary school, volunteered with Niños sin fronteras (Children without borders), and visited a Toucan Rescue Ranch.

I studied in Costa Rica for a semester, and by the time it was coming to an end I wished I would have signed up for a year. It was a fun, safe experience that enabled me to grow as a person in several aspects of life. Writing this review a year and a half later makes me wish I was back in Heredia with my host family and friends that I grew so close to during my study abroad experience.

How can this program be improved?
The academic aspect of the program was lacking. I believe this was due to some of the university professors and not Sol. In some of the classes I did not learn as much as I would have liked to, but when we brought our concerns to the program staff they found a different professor for us who was much more qualified.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Kirby
9/10

Amazing Experience!

Sol Education is a great program. If you are looking for a small, very personal, accommodating program with some of the greatest directors, choose Sol. They provide you with everything they possible can and you are an individual to them not just another person like other bigger programs.

How can this program be improved?
I would change my roommate, roommate matching needs to be better.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Sol
10/10

Parent's Perspective

As a parent, sending a child abroad (although they are college students, we still worry!) there tends to be some apprehension. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank Sol (director, Janiva was beyond excellent) for its' dedication to the program in Heredia, Costa Rica. Your attention to detail and organization did not go unnoticed or unappreciated. Every email, message, conversation, etc. that I had with my daughter during her stay was filled with "wonderful," "awesome," "fantastic," etc. Putting together a group of college students from varied backgrounds, organizing excursions, providing assistance/guidance around the clock and working with Host families & students to help provide an environment conducive to learning not only a language, but a culture is no easy task. To do it at all is difficult----to do it ALL WELL and at the level of service provided is exceptional.

I have had the pleasure of speaking with my daughter's Host mother a few times. Elissa cannot say enough wonderful things about her 'tica mom' (& the entire family.) My daughter believes that she had the "best" Host family, and I do not doubt her. As far as her University classes--Professors have been fantastic, class sizes small but large enough for constructive interaction. Elissa feels that her command of speaking Spanish has vastly improved as has her writing skills. The volunteer project that she worked on was also very fulfilling and I know that she wished to do even more had time allowed.

There were some unforeseen bumps in the road, but the manner, in which these things were promptly handled by Sol, specifically the director and Host mother, was greatly appreciated by all.

It seems to be that the only thing lacking has been time (& money) to spend more time in Costa Rica.

I am looking forward to welcoming my daughter home and hear in greater detail about her time in Costa Rica! As my daughter now says---Pura Vida!

Sincerely,
Sol Parent

How can this program be improved?
Prior to arrival: Provide detailed volunteer opportunities available and additional University classes to choose from.
Yes, I recommend this program
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GINA
8/10

Experience Pura Vida and so much more!

My experience with Sol Education Abroad in Heredia was overall a fantastic one. My day to day activities during the week were basically structured around the classes I took at the ULatina, which was a fifteen minute walk from the house I lived at. My host mother made me a delicious breakfast every day and sat with me to share every meal. My living accommodations were comfortable but not luxurious. I felt safe in Heredia and that my host family was trustworthy. Almost every weekend was filled with either a Sol excursion or a trip that I planned along with the other students in my group. We traveled to every corner of the country by bus (which is the least expensive and best way to get around Costa Rica), and had the time of our lives exploring and touring, meeting fantastic people and improving our Spanish language proficiency. Sol Education Abroad is a very affordable program that is well-organized and offers immediate and reliable support. I felt very comfortable with my arrangements the entire time and my program director was absolutely amazing. She was very knowledgable, professional, helpful and fun. The only issues I encountered during my study abroad in Heredia had to do with the quality of classes and overall attitude towards schooling in Costa Rica; my classes with locals were not challenging and I had a hard time becoming integrated with the other Costa Rican students. However, outside of the school environment, I found most all Costa Rican people to be friendly and open to foreigners. Sol Education Abroad in Heredia provided me with the support and context for an incredible, life-changing semester abroad!

How can this program be improved?
I would like to see more opportunities for activities on weekday evenings after class with the host families or in the community in Heredia.
Yes, I recommend this program
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MLG0801
9/10

Amazing experience with Sol!

I had such an amazing experience studying abroad in Costa Rica with Sol. I felt so supported by the staff both in the states and on site in Heredia. Maria- my program director- was so helpful and fun! It was the perfect balance of independence and support. La Universidad Latina is a beautiful campus I would sit under a tree and do my homework while drinking a frozen coffee or chat with friends in the soda. Heredia has a small town feel but is super close to San Jose. The bus system was pretty simple to navigate, making weekend excursions easy. My host family was great and my spanish improved so much during my time with Sol. One of the best parts was the bond with the other students in my programs (we call each other our "SOLmates" ;] ) we all got super close and still keep in touch.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Anastasia
10/10

Sol Education offers Spanish immersion and Credits worth programs in Heredia!

I wanted a program provider, then a program that will take me abroad to do some research on an international topic of my diploma memoir and I found it with Sol Education. Why? Because:
1-I will alaways be ready to take my Spanish class whose grade is transferable to my home university,
2-Because some universities take longer to submit students credits to be applied to their Transcript, studying abroad through Sol Education in winter make it easier for students to take advantage of the winter break, get overseas and take the class, do your research, then come back to finalize the research work back here and get graduated in a may!

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...