Missouri State University
Lisa Buck

Lisa Buck

  • Major: Dietetics
  • Second Major: Spanish
  • Hometown: St. Louis
  • Country: Costa Rica
  • Program: SOL Education Abroad

'My host family here is amazing!'

Lisa studied in Costa Rica and lived in a home there thanks to an independent study-away option she found through her own research.

Lisa is double-majoring in dietetics and Spanish. She answered these questions while on her second study-abroad stint, this time in Costa Rica.

Tell us about your host family. 

My host family here is amazing! I live with just a mom and another girl from my program, although friends or family are often visiting. My "mom" is always trying to make sure we are happy, and she always treats us as her own children. She loves just talking with us for hours, which is a great opportunity for me to learn about the culture here and practice my Spanish! She cooks us three delicious meals a day all with fresh food from her garden or the local market. We also go on family outings to different places around Costa Rica. 

Would you recommend staying in a home to other students?

I would definitely recommend a home-stay to other students, as it is the perfect way to really immerse yourself in a culture. 

What advice would you give to students who may be considering an “independent” study abroad option, like you did?

The program I chose, SOL Education Abroad, was more "independent" in that fact that I found it while looking around on the internet, and no students from MSU had gone through them. Choosing SOL was a little risky, but it looked like it offered just as much if not more than what other programs offered and for a lower price. After being here a month, I can say that I am extremely happy that I chose SOL — I love everything about the program.

I would advise students not to be afraid to try a new program, just be sure to do your research. One of the most helpful things I found was to get in contact with students who have gone through the program in the past to hear about what their experience was like. The most important thing is to be happy with whichever program you chose and to make the experience your own!