“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…

Costa Rica is arguable the happiest nation on earth, and who wouldn’t be happy with an abolished army, breathtaking backdrops, and jungles galore.  Costa Rica is a hotspot for tourists, whether you prefer a more adventurous route like zip-lining in a cloud rainforest or spending the day suspended in a treehouse spa overlooking an active volcano, but, after exploring this beautiful nation, I have come to find that there is more than meets the eye.  What I have treasured most about my experience here hasn’t been from the…

Sometimes, learning a new language can be scary – especially when you’re in a different country. But with the help of our international staff and a few friendly tips, you’ll have a language life saver to keep you afloat in your courses. Academic Director Leo Duran in San José put together some Spanish classroom lingo for students studying abroad in Costa Rica this fall semester, and so far, it sounds like it’s really helping out. Below you’ll find a list of phrases he translated.  If your a Spanish…

Students, it’s not too late to apply for a Summer or Fall 2010 study abroad program and save money. We will increase our prices Feb. 1 for some of our most popular study abroad destinations in order to continue providing you with high-quality programs and services. But if you apply today, you can still get in at 2009 prices and save. There’s less than two weeks left before the new prices go into effect for programs in: Buenos Aires, Argentina San Jose, Costa Rica Prague, Czech Republic Paris,…