- College Prep
- Dates & Prices
- Financial Aid
- About Us
Here is a list of testimonials from Sol Abroad alumni that may allow you to get another student's perspective regarding our program! They can let you know how they feel about our program. If you would like to contact an alumni via email & phone, please click here Contact Alumni.
" Student interview with Laura Correa, Atenas, Costa Rica Summer 2014 During the summer, many of our teens set off on new adventures. Many teens start thinking more intensely about college and ventur ...Read All
" Student interview with Laura Correa, Atenas, Costa Rica Summer 2014 During the summer, many of our teens set off on new adventures. Many teens start thinking more intensely about college and venture off on college trips. Some of our teens become involved with the SSYP BRIDGE Scholar program, and they travel on meaningful mission trips to other parts of the US - sometimes to other countries! Between these life-changing journeys to new places with SSYP friends, and fun days of B-SAFE programming as Counselors-In-Training, our teens stay extremely busy. In just a few short months, our teens demonstrate amazing personal growth and professional development. This year, one of our teens, Laura Correa-Franco, set off on her own independent adventure. Supported by her fantastic mentor Susannah Benner, Laura was able to find a scholarship opportunity to participate in a study abroad program in Costa Rica. This past Monday, Laura and I sat down for coffee to discuss her amazing trip - and how her journey to Costa Rica taught her a few important life lessons and changed her for the better. I'm so proud of Laura of her amazing accomplishment of studying abroad. Also, I am incredibly thankful to the support and guidance that was provided by Susannah Benner in terms of connecting her to this program, advocating for her scholarship opportunity, and encouraging Laura to think globally about her education. What an awesome mentor pair! Emily: So - let's start from the beginning. Tell me about your experience getting on a plane for the first time to go abroad for an intensive language course! Laura: Oh wow, it was really scary and exciting at first. But when I arrived, my host family took me in so kindly. I got these really good vibes from everyone. Other participants in the program were so cool - people came from all across the country to attend this program. Other Americans that I met there came from everywhere, from California to Louisiana - but they were all so intelligent and had such cool personalities. I was challenged to learn a lot within my first few hours off the plane, but everyone was really kind to me and made sure I was happy and safe. And the food - the food was delicious! We were eating amazing fruits all day - guava, pineapples, and knepa - and then at night rich, delicious, amazing foods, always served with the perfect side dish of rice and beans. Emily: I can tell that you had so much fun! What were your language courses like? Did you like your teachers? Laura: When I got there, I knew I really wanted to focus on perfecting my Spanish. I knew going in, I was getting close to fluent in terms of speaking. But, I was missing a lot of vocabulary, and I didn't have a really firm grasp on formal grammar. But, I really impressed my teachers on the first day, and they were very kind and paired me with a teacher, Marysella, who was really committed to making me work hard. And my tutor - she wouldn't let anything slide. I got a lot of individualized attention that forced me - in a good way! - to learn formal grammar and avoid mistakes. She wasn't easy on me! But now, I know I'm approaching fluency in not just speaking, but writing as well. My speech patterns are much more formal and polished. I grew to love my teachers - they taught me so much! Marysella was so amazing, that every moment I could, I would talk to her, just to learn more about her and practice my skills. I daydream about going back! Emily: Wow, what an incredible opportunity - and I know that you got to do a lot of sightseeing and cultural activities while you were there as well. Laura: And really, it was perfect, because it gave me the chance to take a lot of pictures for my blog. You see, my trip was sponsored by a scholarship, in which I was asked to document my trip with photos on a blog. I loved being a photographer - I caught a lot of great moments, which you can see on my Costa Rica Blog. Susannah, my mentor, was the one who connected me with this program, and she was so supportive in terms of connecting me with this chance of a lifetime. She helped me find this scholarship opportunity, which made the trip financially feasible for me. I have to admit, I was a little nervous about working with a mentor when we first started talking about it in the fall, but you encouraged me to try it. I'm so glad I did. I focused on building a positive relationship and finding new and exciting opportunities - I still want to grow our relationship even more as we work towards my applications for college. I'm so thankful to Susannah for making all of this happen - and you, too, for supporting me and my growth along the way! Emily: Thanks, Laura! But you and Susannah were the one to put in all of the work building your relationship and making this happen. I can really see that this trip made a big impact on you as a person. What were some of your biggest take-aways from this trip? Laura: Wow, I learned a lot of big life lessons on this trip. I discovered my own independence - that I can survive on my own in a new place, that I can motivate myself to learn on my own, and that traveling independently is possible and fun. I was really excited about my trip, but was somewhat fearful of having to live and study by myself in a foreign country. I made friends so easily - in part because I was matched so perfectly with amazing roommates and classmates - but also because I was brave enough to try something new on my own. Now that I think back on my trip, I can't wait to travel again. It was so fun! And now I know that I can think about new college and career opportunities and not be limited to think locally. I look forward to working with my mentor Susannah to think about new school choices that are further away from home that will also support me studying abroad. - Posted by Emily Daina Šaras, College and Career Program Coordinator and Massachusetts Promise Fellow "View Less