I owe so much to this experience. Studying abroad is constantly ripping you right out of your comfort zone, but after it’s over, you’re happy that you’re so far from where you started. You  have learned to figure things out for yourself and be independent, be curious and willing to learn, immerse yourself fully in your host country and culture, and do things that are completely different from your normal routine. It brings out your best qualities. I will never forget the days I spent hiking volcanoes, swimming…

While my weekends were spent traversing Costa Rica and its neighboring countries, I was lucky to come home to San José during the week. It is full of welcoming people, culture, and fun things to do! Peyton Black is the CEA MOJO in San José, Costa Rica. She is currently a Junior at College of Charleston.

When it came to studying abroad, there were so many (too many) hard choices that I had to make. Where do I want to study abroad? Costa Rica? Chile? Spain? Argentina? When do I want to go? Fall? Spring? Summer? How many classes should I take? Four? Five? Should I live independently or with a host family? … I like to think that I did pretty well making up my mind as I weighed the pros and cons of each of the many questions that arose as I…

Over the course of 4 months I explored as much of Costa Rica as possible. Here is a piece of some of the places I saw and what traveling in Costa Rica is like. Peyton Black is the CEA MOJO in San José, Costa Rica. She is currently a Junior at College of Charleston.

My time in Costa Rica has been an amazing adventure full of meeting people, seeing new places, and experiencing a different culture every minute of everyday. After being here, I have noticed that I have fallen into a normal routine here (a definite sign that I’m comfortable in this once foreign country). My days start early here. My roommates and I eat a big breakfast prepared by our Mama Tica (she is an amazing cook!) at 7am. We leave for school shortly after we’re done so we can…

After a long and rainy week of classes in San José, there is no place I would rather go than to the beach to lay in the sun, see some wildlife, and relax. Luckily for me, without even so much as thinking about it, that was my destination this past weekend. Without the tedious task of planning a weekend trip (picking a destination, figuring out transportation, finding a place to stay, etc.), we had an awesome excursion planned for us by CEA to Puerto Viejo. Puerto Viejo is…

Every couple of weeks, our CEA site directors, Maggie and Leo, plan small cultural excursions that they take all of the students in our program on. These day trips are the perfect break from our normal daily routines in San José, and a chance to experience parts of Costa Rica that we may have overlooked when traveling by ourselves. Luckily, we have Maggie and Leo here to guide us to these great local spots. Last week we had the amazing opportunity to visit Sibú Chocolate. In 2007, master…

Macey in Costa Rica Prior to studying abroad, I had never considered international education as a potential career field. I never even knew it was an option. Prior to interning abroad, I had never thought working in international education would be something I would be good at or would enjoy so much. Now, after my time spent in San José, Costa Rica, with CEA and its month-long students, I can say that working professionally in the study abroad field is a major contender for my future career. This…

There is no substitute for feeling welcomed, loved, and accepted. This is a lesson I finally learned my second time here in Costa Rica, and it was a difficult one. During my first time studying abroad in Costa Rica, I was lucky enough to be placed in a homestay with the best family imaginable. My second time here in Costa Rica this summer living independently has been slightly more difficult. This time, I am living in the Casa Universitaria, which is a more hands-off style of living intended…

For Josh, a Fall 2013 CEA Costa Rica study abroad alum and recent University of North Texas grad, studying abroad helped him take his business skills to the next level.  Josh Lagunez CEA San Jose Fall ’13 Alum & Alumni Ambassador In addition to improving his Spanish-speaking skills, Josh credits his study abroad and CEA Alumni Ambassador experience with helping him further develop his leadership, communication, and global perspective. CEA: Why did you choose to study abroad? Josh: The fact is, relationships between countries are growing and the…