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  • Livin' La Pura Vida

  • Dear Global Education Office,

    Studying abroad in Costa Rica gave me the opportunity to immerse myself in an entirely new culture. The Ticos, what the Costa Ricans refer to themselves as, live by the motto "Pura Vida", or Pure Life. Staying with a Tico family for a month allowed me to…

  • Credit: Harry Liu
  • Major: Undecided
  • Tags: Costa Rica, Duke in Costa Rica
  • Rooftops of San Jose

  • Dear Global Education Office:

    One of the highlights of my time in Costa Rica was receiving a bird's eye view of the city of San Jose. This picture highlights the differences between my view of Costa Rica and the view out the window of my dorm at Duke. At the beginning…

  • Credit: Anna Balas
  • Major: Environmental Science and Policy
  • Tags: Costa Rica, Duke in Costa Rica
  • Fiery-throated hummingbird

  • While on a hike alone in the forest searching for a research topic, I heard a low, steady hum and thought there was a jaguar on the trail and that this was the end for me. Turns out, it was the rapid beating of a hummingbird’s wings as it hovered for…

  • Credit: Suzanne Ou
  • Tags: Costa Rica, OTS in Costa Rica
  • Learning science

  • The OTS/Duke Tropical Biology course in Costa Rica was very much centered on research, from the numerous lectures about projects conducted by invited faculty members, to reading scientific papers and discussing it at lunch with current graduate students every day. It was certainly daunting having one day to come up with…

  • Credit: Suzanne Ou
  • Tags: Costa Rica, OTS in Costa Rica
  • Into the Night

  • I had the amazing opportunity to handle these feisty bats in Costa Rica, where we saw foraging guild ranging from nectar feeders, to fish eaters, and of course the famous blood-sucking vampire bat. We learned how forms of the tail, mouth, and ears were adapted to function, as well as picked…

  • Credit: Suzanne Ou
  • Tags: Costa Rica, OTS in Costa Rica
  • White-Faced Capuchin Family

  • While conducting our independent research in Palo Verde National Park, Costa Rica, I chanced upon a family of Capuchin monkeys foraging for mangos. The OTS-Duke Tropical biology course in Costa Rica is unique in making the field our classroom. With students from all over USA, Mexico, and Puerto Rico, I learned…

  • Credit: Suzanne Ou
  • Tags: Costa Rica, OTS in Costa Rica
  • Keeping the “Rica” in Costa Rica

  • At first glance, this scene embodies the harmonious blending of humanity and nature in a picturesque end to another day. Given that a great point of pride for Costa Ricans is their homeland’s claim to biodiversity fame, this may not be surprising. However, once I dug past the pristine reputation of…

  • Credit: Briana Acosta
  • Tags: Costa Rica, Duke in Costa Rica
  • Laughter

  • They seem awfully quiet.  This was my first thought when I stepped out of the Organization of Tropical Studies van with my research team into the La Casona indigenous reserve.  This is the home of 5,000 Ngöbe, an indigenous people found in Costa Rica and Panama, our study population in a…

  • Credit: Emily Yang
  • Tags: Costa Rica, OTS in Costa Rica
  • Principe Pio - Madrid, Spain