Coming to the end of my semester in Costa Rica was the end of a chapter in my life. The three months that I had spent there were just long enough for me to really take in the culture and feel comfortable before I had to come back to the U.S. In this video, I explain lessons learned from studying abroad and what my favorite trips were whiles in Central America. I hope this video inspires you to take chances and to go out and see new things….

Pura Vida translates in many forms here in Costa Rica. To the American ear, it might simply translate “Pure Life,” but to Ticos, as locals are called, it is a way of life, and is used in different contexts during casual conversations. When asked “how are you,” a common response is “Pura Vida,” to emphasize how life is simply a blessing in itself. The persistence of Ticos here to recognize everyday blessings with this phrase is something very special about their culture. This phrase has helped me to…

I have always heard people say, “after studying abroad, my life was never the same,” or, “I’m a new person after studying broad,” and I honestly thought they were just saying that to be dramatic, but I quickly leaned this is not the case. I’ve been back in the states now for almost a month and in that time, I’ve realized that studying abroad truly did change my life. If I’m being honest, I could probably write for days about all the things that have changed about me,…

The first CEA excursion in Costa Rica was a great opener trip for students and staff. Students were given the opportunity to travel to a beach destination to enjoy the weekend soaking up the sun, snorkeling, and also had the option to visit a nearby national park. The excursion included a trip to an area called Bahia Ballena, where students were able able to observe underwater life. Later, there was free time to go to the beach and to also visit Manuel Antonio National Park, where I was…

If you’ve been to Costa Rica, chances are you’ve had the beautiful combination of rice and beans that is gallo pinto. If you haven’t visited Costa Rica yet and you’re dying to have gallo pinto then you’re in luck, I’ve got the best recipe for you! After my first month of living in Costa Rica, I quickly became obsessed with gallo pinto. It was so flavorful and it paired well with almost anything! It was like Christmas morning when I walked into the kitchen and saw we were…

Imagine snorkeling around the ocean and seeing coral reefs up close. Imagine swimming in an ocean as clear as a pool, that’s home to starfish laying in the water close to the shore. One thing I love about CEA’s San Jose program are the excursions! My favorite, by far, has been our trip to Bocas del Toro, Panama. On our first day, we were served a delicious breakfast by our hotel and then we headed out for a day of adventures! The first thing on the agenda was snorkeling! I…

Mae, pura vida, tuanis, what does it all mean?! If you’re planning on studying abroad in Costa Rica then you need to learn some slang before you go! After watching this video, you’ll be able to talk like a Tico! Kendall McKee is the Spring 2016 CEA MOJO in San Jose, Costa Rica. She is currently a Junior at the University of Memphis. 

One of the most fulfiling experiences I’ve had since arriving in Costa Rica is traveling to Bocas del Torro, Panama for a weekend excursion. It was the perfect way to end my first month of classes, which included a four-hour intensive Spanish class, five days a week. It was even more fulfilinng being able to cross off my list another nearby country I wanted to visit while studying abroad. These are the extra bonuses that come with studying abroad with CEA, so look forward to experiencing the opportunity…

Being in a foreign country is such a new and exciting time, but sometimes your health can take a back seat. The new foods and smells are tantalizing and you want to try it all, and with school and weekend trips there never seems to be time to workout. Not only can your physical health be overlooked, but also your mental health. Sometimes being away from home and your loved one’s can cause homesickness and stress. After my first month here, I realized I needed to stay healthy…

After adjusting to life in San Jose, I’ve now found myself  trying to create ways to maximize my stay here by making the best of my time and resources. When you’re in a new environment and are left with taking in the culture shock and new routine,  it can feel like a challenge deciding how to manage it all. Three areas of my life where I’ve sought a solution to manage  my stay here are with planning my weekend schedule in advance, taking up extra activities to fill…