During their Christmas break, from December 26th, 2011 through January 15th, 2012, ten students went on a study abroad trip to Costa Rica to study Spanish and learn about the country’s culture. PSU students from various backgrounds joined together to enter into a world they had most likely only read about or seen in photos. The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at PSU always encourages students to study abroad in hopes that they will do as so many students do, return saying, “The experience changed my life!” The students lived with host families during their three week experience. They studied Spanish at an intensive language school for the first half of their day and were able to experience the culture during the second half. All too often a student’s apprehension will deter him/her from learning a new language and visiting a new culture. After studying abroad many find themselves more open minded, more confident, stronger in the classroom, and, of course, wanting to do it again. In addition to studying the Spanish language, students had the opportunity to see cloud forests, waterfalls, rain forest vegetation, a diverse population of animals, coffee plantations, active volcanoes, and build strong relationships with those from another country. PSU may be where these students live for this stage of their lives, but they return from studying abroad with visions of what else might be out there, and where they might choose to go next.