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5 Reasons Why You Should Go on a Cross-Cultural Trip

Three girls standing on a rock in front of a waterfall in Costa Rica

Spring Arbor University’s Cross Cultural Studies (CCS) program helps students understand and engage with different cultures worldwide. Inspired by Jesus’ example, CCS teaches students to respect and learn from others outside of their own culture. 

My journey with CCS took me to the vibrant country of Costa Rica. Known for its ‘pura vida’ lifestyle, which embodies the essence of ‘pure life,’ it set itself apart from other nations. Immersed in this rich culture, I delved into the many facets that define Costa Rica – from its education, religion, economics, government, and family. Exploring these dimensions was not just an enlightening experience but also deeply fulfilling. Based on my experiences, I am going to share with you 5 reasons why you should go on a CCS trip!

Expand your Perspective 

Going on a cross cultural trip lets you step out of your comfort zone and see different ways of life, traditions, and beliefs. It helps you understand the world better and makes you rethink things you thought you knew. During my time in Costa Rica, I got to see different ways of life that were very different from my own. Spending time in various cities, meeting indigenous tribes, and staying with a Costa Rican family for a few days were some of the many experiences that expanded my perspective on how I see the world. 

Personal Growth

Immersing yourself in a new culture pushes you to adapt, learn, and grow as an individual. From overcoming language barriers to navigating unfamiliar norms, each experience fosters resilience, self-awareness, and personal development. There were things I found myself doing that were not normally in my comfort zone. From going down 7 different ziplines to meeting so many unique people, I felt challenged every day. All of these things helped me grow as an individual as well as pushed me to engage in things that I wouldn’t have been able to do without this experience. 

Cultural Immersion

A cross cultural trip provides the opportunity to deeply engage with another culture firsthand, beyond what you might experience as a tourist. By living among locals for a few weeks, participating in their daily activities, and sharing their customs, you gain a richer understanding and appreciation of their way of life. While staying with my host family, I got to experience a part of Costa Rican life that I wouldn’t have been able to experience as a tourist. From fishing for trout, hiking through the mountains, and engaging in many meaningful conversations with my host family, I learned more about the culture than I expected to in the short amount of time I was there. 

Make New Friends

Traveling to different cultures opens doors to forming connections with people from diverse backgrounds. Whether through shared experiences, mutual interests, or simply bonding over cultural exchange, you have the chance to forge meaningful friendships that transcend borders. Not only do you meet new people in the place you visit, but you also have the opportunity to form amazing friendships with other students on the trip – friendships that might continue long after you return home. 

It’s FUN!

Let’s not forget one of the most obvious reasons—cross cultural trips are incredibly fun! Every moment is filled with adventure and excitement, from exploring new landscapes to trying exotic foods. Whether you’re discovering hidden gems in a busy city or taking in beautiful scenery, the joy of travel is unparalleled.

Embarking on a CCS trip offers unique opportunities to broaden one’s horizons and immerse oneself in the life of another culture. I strongly encourage everyone to accept the opportunity to choose one of the many places that CCS has to offer. 
If you want more information on what CCS trips are available, check out

Written By SAU Marketing Student Mia Adkins