This weekend CEA really spiced it up and took us on an excursion-filled weekend. Our trip started on Friday with a tour of a local coffee plantation. On Saturday, we headed out to the bottom of the Arenal Volcano. There, we ate at and toured an organic farm. After, we stopped at our beautiful hotel (complete with a perfect view of the volcano) on our way to a resort with twenty-five hot spring pools. Before heading home on Sunday, we took a hike down more 400 steps to…

Food is the greatest source of happiness and comfort. Well, maybe that’s actually a warm hug from your mother, but food is awesome too, right? Being a picky eater (I don’t like cheese, eggs, potatoes, etc…. Yes, my friends harass me for this) and entering a country with a totally different food culture was a nerve-wracking combination. My fear was that I would be constantly hungry due to not liking the food. Luckily, my full-tummy and I are extremely grateful that did not turn out to be the…

As every student who has studied abroad knows, each day brings new adventure. This video is a compilation of a typical day in San Jose, Costa Rica. Amanda V. is the Fall 2016 CEA MOJO in San José, Costa Rica. She is currently a junior studying to be a Physician Assistant Studies at Philadelphia University.

Taking classes in another country is strange. Not just because of the strangers, but the whole environment is so unique. The atmosphere is hard to describe; it almost feels like the air is lighter. I probably sound really unusual to you already, but I’m going to try to explain what its like to be a study abroad student. From ninth grade until sophomore year of college, I have taken a total of three and a half years of Spanish. In my first couple of years, I had a particular…

CAN I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE? This is your captain speaking, Andrew Mantone. I’m embarking on study abroad voyage to San Jose, Costa Rica and would love to have you along for the ride. Please, take a seat as I walk you through my states of emotion and (awesome) thoughts throughout my stay in the beautiful country of Costa Rica. This is awkward because I told you to take a seat, but now I’m going to walk you through… never mind. Please enjoy my reflections of my first few days abroad! Jitters Everyone keeps asking…

When I decided to go abroad, I understood that it would be a life-changing time in my life. I’m expecting to learn a lot while experiencing a new culture. What I wasn’t expecting was exactly how quickly I would begin learning. After being in San José, Costa Rica for just three days of my four-month journey, I have already learned a ton. These are just three of the lessons I learned in my first few days abroad… Two First Days Three hours into my first class, my teacher…

Just over a year later, CEA Winter 2015 alumna, Bhumi Patel, made her way back to San Jose, Costa Rica as an On-Site Ambassador. In this role, Bhumi supports the CEA on-site team and helps facilitate the study abroad experience for students by guiding them to make the most of their time abroad. So what does San Jose have to offer? Bhumi uncovers the uniqueness and opportunity available to study abroad students as they explore the “pura vida” culture: We sink into a complete culture shock when we travel…

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,…