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!