Notes from Abroad

Students studying abroad through the Padnos International Center blog about their experiences for the Grand Valley Lanthorn.

How To: Study Abroad

Studying abroad is an invaluable experience with numerous benefits: traveling, job marketability, gaining global perspective and cultural competency to name a few.


The land of Marhaba

As I handed over my ticket, confused, they could barely hold in their laughter over my distressed state. This is Moroccan Time, I remembered, laughing and taking a seat. I was still running on American.


The unknown story of Costa Rica

The longer that I am here, the more clear it has become that Costa Rica always has two stories. One story is the story that the majority of travelers know: the beautiful tropical country full of natural wonders and national parks, whose government is working hard to protect all of its resources. That story is often true, and is as beautiful as it sounds. But there is another story which is becoming more and more real and frustrating to me.


The flight and my two new friends

I met Adil and his 4-year-old son Taha walking what seemed like miles across London Heathrow airport. It felt good to stretch your legs after an eight-hour flight from Chicago, and Taha felt like running. Adil striding to keep up with him, the two of them passed me on the left like a car swerving in and out of traffic.


Living a 'pura vida' in Costa Rica

Pura vida translates to pure life, and is used commonly as a greeting, to thank someone, to say goodbye, and in any other positive context. To the Costa Ricans it means living lightly; enjoying the moment, not rushing through your day, and being happy.


First impressions of Taipei

We have been in Taipei, Taiwan for a little over two weeks now. Living here is completely different from my life back home with my husband. It is all very strange and exciting too.