Student Testimonials and Videos



Our 2015 Spring student, Danielle Sullivan, wrote this journal about her great time studying abroad in Costa Rica with our programs. Also, read about about her co-op experience that ICDS facilitated. Enjoy!

ICDS experience journal- Danielle Sullivan 

Past and present students share about their experience with ICDS in Costa Rica

NikAs part of a new addition to the program at ICDS, I attended a course titled Sustainability Practices and Food Security in Rural Costa Rica. As part of the course, I lived on site at a farm not far from the nation’s capital of San Jose. There I was given the opportunity to not only see the application of sustainable farming practices in a very real way, but I was also invited to participate in the growth of the farm and encouraged to share my knowledge and ideas. With the help of farm staff I was able to apply my knowledge of permaculture into a project that had tangible results. The resulting permaculture plot, which was designed around the attributes provided by a chayote trellis was built and will provide food for the future guests of Finca La Flor for years to come. Nikolas Erwin, Suffolk University-Environmental Studies, ICDS Fall 2016 “Development Studies in Latin America”

Student at Nicaragua TripStudying abroad in Costa Rica was one of the greatest experiences of my life. Of course, as expected, I was extremely nervous. However, I felt that ICDS had fully equipped me for what was to come – even before I stepped on the plane. Staying with a Costa Rican family made the experience even that much more memorable and unforgettable. I became fully immersed in the culture and my homestay family helped me to learn more about Costa Rica and had plenty of suggestions for places to visit and activities to engage in. All the trips to different places throughout the country (and outside of the country), events we partook in, and cultural aspects we were exposed to, helped me to fully plunge into the culture and become fairly familiar with how life is in Costa Rica.  The lessons I learned both inside outside of the classroom still affect me today and I use them as much as possible in my daily academic and personal life. Christina Custus, Drexel University-Legal Studies & Business, ICDS Fall Semester 2015 “Development Studies in Latin America”


I cannot imagine how different my stay in Costa Rica would have been if I had not participated in ICDS´ ¨Nursing and Health Care in Latin America¨ program. Thanks to the wonderful staff (the counselors, directors, teachers, and office assistants), I truly felt like I was getting an unparalleled, top notch education and cultural immersion experience. In no time, I felt as comfortable here as I did back home and I even started to feel like I was becoming a real Tico! Continue Reading…



Spring_2013_Despedida_108I want to thank ICDS for the opportunities, experiences and education I received while in Costa Rica. Without my semester abroad I would never have grown into the student and person I am today! ICDS provided a perfect family experience, worthwhile trips, and the staff was always so accommodating. I consider them friends for life and my doors are always open to them ICDS was very accommodating with all of my classes, and I want to thank the professors for all their wonderful instruction. I was inspired to continue a bilingual education during my further studies and career thanks to ICDS! Everyone at ICDS, and the experiences I’ve had, are a part of me for the rest of my life. I cannot wait to visit again soon!  Hasta el verano!  – Kyle Harnish Stephan, Villanova University student, part of ICDS´ Spring 2013 Semester ¨Spanish, Social Justice, and Sustainable Development in Latin America¨ program


Traveling to Costa Rica was one of the most unforgettable experiences of my life. Never have I felt more at home with a family other than my own as quickly as I did in San José. The city is extremely easy to get around (as long as you are aware of your surroundings) and there are tons of wonderful places to travel to. You must go to Manuel Antonio, Punta Leona, Tortugero, and as many other places you can. People are incredibly friendly and will do anything to help you or make sure you feel at home. While the “pura vida” lifestyle is certainly different than what we are accustomed to, you get in the swing of things very quickly. With a doubt, the Spanish class taught through ICDS was the best I have ever had. Our professor was very patient and willing to go over everything, even the basics, when we forgot them. The International Development section was very unique, as we changed professors each week and focused on a new topic. This kept the classes interesting and fast-paced. Overall, the experience assisted me in greatly improving my Spanish, understanding of international relations from a different country’s perspective, and how adaptable we as individuals can be. If you have the opportunity to go to Costa Rica through ICDS, I suggest you jump on it because I promise you will benefit leaps and bounds.  –Jenlain Coyle, GWU student, part of ICDS´ ¨Spanish for Development Studies¨ 2013 program


Check out the student videos below:

ICDS orientation dance lessons

Student Testimonial by Rachel Fine-Fall Semester

Turtle Hatchling Release in Tortuguero

Organic Coffee Farm Visit

Group Service-Learning: creation of a community garden

Summer and Health in Costa Rica