Since the start, my plan for Veritas was to complete all the core Spanish classes they had and return to The States with fluency. When I took my Spanish placement test via Skype before coming I was placed into Intermediate 1. After Int. 1 there is Int. 2, Adv. 1, and Adv. 2. Four classes spread across four months, my goal was in sight.
Unsatisfied with mediocrity and wanting to save the money that would be spent on an extra class, I chose to learn as much as I could before I went abroad. I downloaded Duolingo, set up Spanish-only lunches with bilingual friends, and made sure to keep my ear out at the Global Education Office at my university.
The office has a program called Conversation Partners in which you speak with English language students to better their level. Luckily for me, we received 5 students from Spain the summer before my semester abroad. I helped them with their English and they helped me with my Spanish. I am so grateful for that opportunity because I think that is what I see most lacking in the educational development of some other students. They will know all the grammatical structures, etc. but do not have the level of comfort necessary to hold a conversation in Spanish. I think it is important to get out of that bubble before you go abroad so that you can be more at ease with your speaking when you get here!
I am happy to say that I tested again upon arrival to Veritas and was able to move up my Spanish level before courses began. After finishing this first course and earning a 98 A I have to say that I am completely satisfied with my education here thus far. My teacher was professional and extremely helpful. She cleared up with in minutes some things that I hadn’t understood in years.
Buena suerte with your Costa Rican plans!