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Don't Say Bye Yet

November 13, 2017
by CEA MOJO

Memories aren't made every moment. Maybe they weren't significant enough, or maybe they happened too quickly. Most moments come and go and most of what's left of it is a memory. Looking back, the past isn't always crystal clear or even remembered at all. But some memories are unforgettable, and some times are too good to forget.

Leo Duran has worked at CEA for over 5 years now. Those years have accumulated a level of knowledge and experience he likes to share with his students. "Having studied and worked abroad on several occasions, whenever I see students at CEA doing homework or making plans for the weekend, I start reminiscing about my time abroad. I often think of all the amazing people I met along the way who offered a helping hand either through a conversation, an invitation, or simply by listening. I'm thankful to be in the position where I can return the favor and help our students. However, this is a two-way street and I've learned just as much from our students - which has been very humbling and rewarding."

Leo was asked about a particularly fond memory he had while working at CEA. This was his favorite:

"Studying abroad is exciting, but it can also be challenging. It is sometimes inevitable for our students to experience culture shock and feel homesick. I remember two different students on two different semesters who felt this way to the point of wanting to give up and go back home to the U.S. They both had made up their minds and had told us that they wanted to leave the program early. As on-site director, I took the time to speak with the students about their feelings. I listened carefully and gave them all the support they needed. I tried my best to make sure they understood how much they would be missing out on if they went home early. After long chats and some tears, both students were convinced they had to and wanted to stay in Costa Rica. They each completed their semesters successfully and happily. My favorite part is that, after returning home, they both became CEA Alumni Ambassadors at their respective home universities! They now not only promote our programs but also encourage their friends to study abroad because they're convinced this is a once in a lifetime opportunity".


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