Having never left out the country period, let alone to live in another one, Costa Rica will always have a special place in my heart. I’ve grown tremendously as a person and learned a lot of things about myself and life in general. I’ve also definitely become more independent, all thanks to Costa Rica. So for those reasons (and many more, which would end up being its own blog by itself), I have decided to compile a list of 10 reasons why you should study in this great…

Researching and learning about a country’s culture, habits and norms before going is key to having an easier transition to your new home and can lessen the blow of this thing they call culture shock. That’s why I’m going to list nine things about Costa Rica’s culture that you should know. Manuel Antonio 1. Time: If you’re a punctual person, then you better get ready for “Tico Time,” which refers to Ticos being 20+ minutes late for everything (except professional things). Ticos are very patient, go-with-the-flow people and…

As soon as I got the green light to study abroad, one question immediately came to mind first. It wasn’t “How are the classes there?” Or, “How will my new family treat me?” It was “How’s the food?” I love food a lot – so much so, that if eating could be considered a pastime it would take my number one spot. Trying new foods is so fun to me. Tasting the different bursts of flavors and combinations of spices for the first time gives me a rush….

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Mahatma Gandhi Since living in Costa Rica, I have had the opportunity to volunteer in two different places. The first place I volunteered was at the Alma Verde (“green soul’ in English) Garden in Cahuita, Costa Rica. Started by Fernando Davis, the Alma Verde garden is an all-natural healing garden, which is HUGE. Fernando, who lives there, grows all of his food and medicine. With little funds to pay people, he asks…

My first mid-term exam grade in my Intermediate 2 class So I am currently finishing up the second month of classes in The Costa (my own personal nickname for Costa Rica) and I still have yet to become accustomed to my class schedule. For the past three years at my university, I have never had any Friday classes or 8 a.m. classes. My classes met every other day, lasted an entire semester (four months), and rarely included homework that was graded. However, things are SUPER different here. First…

I recently sat down with Maggie Banchs, the CEA Program Director in San José, Costa Rica, to discuss the program and what it’s like to live here. Maggie Banchs, CEA Program Director in San José How would you describe San José?  San José is a very interesting city. It’s actually different from what people may think form the outside because I know Costa Rica has the label of being all natural and all about the environment, but when you come here, you realize we’re just another city. There…

I have been living in San José, the capital of Costa Rica, for about a month and a half –  I have thoroughly enjoyed every single minute of it. I attend Veritas University, which is the 10th best place to study abroad in the world, according to Buzzfeed. San José is full of natives, foreigners and everything in between. I’m still getting used to the Tico (a native of Costa Rica) way of life as it is almost the complete opposite of living in the States. Pedestrians don’t…

What better way to immerse yourself in another culture than by eating the local delicacies? Food is indeed a part of culture and I can proudly say that I have been experiencing and enjoying that aspect for the past six weeks. I have found that Costa Rican food isn’t drastically different than in the United States. My friends and I agree that it is a bit carb heavy but the fruits and vegetables are so fresh and the portions aren’t as excessive as what we are used to…

I was fortunate enough to have my Dad and Stepmom come visit me! I was so excited for them to be able to experience the country that I have been calling home for the past month, and introduce them to the Pura Vida lifestyle. We went to Manuel Antonio, which is located in Puntarenas, about a two and a half hour drive south of San José. It is the perfect combination of beach and rainforest and has one of the best national parks in the world. The beach…

When studying abroad everyday can be a culturally enriching experience, if you let it. I have already come to realize that in the three weeks I have been here, time really does fly! It is imperative to make the most of your time abroad and open yourself up to other cultures as much as possible. I am excited to tell you about an amazing cultural event that I shared with some fellow students in my program at the International Tourism Day at Universidad Metropolitana Castro Carazo in downtown…