March Madness

A start of a new month here at Elon means a plethora of new events to put on your calendar! Some can’t miss opportunities this March include,

March 6 – Elon’s Quasquicentennial Historical Exhibit Opens in the Isabella Cannon Room in the Center for the Arts

March 11 – 125th Anniversary Founders Day

March 22-31 – Spring Break!

For more events or information on what’s going on around campus, check out the events calendar!


Where in the World is Elon?

The short answer would be Elon, North Carolina, but that’s not what I mean. Elon University might only have a single location, but the name, legacy and tradition it carries is represented all over the world by our national and international students alike. Our student population comes from all over the world, from Vancouver to Tokyo and almost everywhere in between. To get a better idea of where our current international students are all from check out this map!


Elon Eats: The (Almost) Definitive Ranking of Elon Dining Establishments

While Burlington, North Carolina itself may be flooded with fast-food drive-thrus and restaurants, Elon University offers a delicious reprieve from those greasy burger and fries. With any Elon meal plan comes full access to all Dining Halls and with the meal exchange program, meal swipes (on the +7, +14 or block plans) can be used to grab a bite to eat at various eateries around campus. Every dining location has something unique to offer with a meal for every craving. Here is the almost definitive ranking of the best places to eat around campus (according to me):

1. Qdoba Mexican Grill

One of Elon’s newest editions to the restaurant scene. This dining location features fresh and flavorful cuisine prepared exhibition-style in full view of the customer. Menu items include: 1.25-pound (.5 kg) burritos, grilled quesadillas, nachos, a variety of tacos and my favorite – the naked burrito. While I’ve found the perfect blend of rice, steak, queso and other condiments for my specialty burrito bowl, it’s always fun to go and mix it up. The flavor combinations are both endless and delicious which puts Qdoba at the top of the list.

2. Acorn Coffee Shop

Acorn is a golden spot for getting anything from a bagel to a cup of chilli and everything in between. Featuring Starbucks brewed coffee and a sandwich bar, this little coffee shop is the perfect place to hang out with friends after class or meet for a late-night study break. The cafe is open until 1 am everyday which makes it a hot-spot for those late night cookie cravings. Most of my meal swipes go to either an everything bagel with cream cheese, a mozzarella and pesto grilled cheese or an apple cinnamon muffin, microwaved to warm delicious perfection.

3. Fountain Market

The Fountain Market is located on the first floor of the Colonnades Dining hall and is home to Boar’s Head Deli, Crouton’s Fresh Tossed Salads and Cheeze Please. The Market also includes a mini-grocery store so if you’re running low on cereal, soup, cookie dough or even deodorant, you can pick it up there. This is a great spot to grab a quick meal and is frequented a lot by business students post-class because of it’s close proximity to KOBC (The Koury Business Center). The Boar’s Head Deli makes delicious sandwiches that you can either create yourself or pick from a menu. Crouton’s let’s you create your own salad from a salad bar with everything you could ever want on a salad, including a personal favorite of mine, Goldfish! At Cheeze Please, you can craft your own grilled cheese and throw in a side of tomato soup for those days when you’re looking for a little comfort food.

4. Lakeside Dining Hall

Lakeside is the newest edition to Elon’s Dining Hall family. It’s high beam ceiling and spacious seating area makes it an ideal place to gather with friends for a sit down meal. I love going to dining halls because for just one meal swipe you can get as much food as your heart desires, and at Lakeside that could mean everything that’s being served. This Dining Hall is home to the International Cuisine Bar where every week there is a different country theme and traditional food from that country is served. Lakeside also has a great salad bar, a vegetarian/gluten-free section and some excellent dessert options to grab on your way out.

5. Chick-Fil-A

Chick-Fil-A, for those who do not know, is a classic southern fast-food restaurant. I know I said Elon offered a reprieve from fast-food America but Chick-Fil-A’s fried chicken sandwich is incomparable to any burger you’d find at McDonalds. With a meal swipe you can get a sandwich or chicken nuggets accompanied by the all too delicious waffle fries. Chick-Fil-A is one of my favorite off campus food stops so the fact that it is on campus, and I can use a meal swipe, makes my life all the more easier. (Just don’t forget a cold lemonade and the special Chick-Fil-A sauce on the side!)

6. Varsity Sports Grill

My favorite and the only place to get a Reuben sandwich on campus, makes Varsity one of my top dinner spots. A Reuben, which is a hot sandwich of corned beef, swiss cheese, thousand island dressing and sauerkraut, maybe my favorite meal but that’s not all Varsity’s menu has to offer. You can get everything from a good ol’ fashion BBQ sandwich, to a make-your-own wrap or choose to make a salad from the salad and soup bar. Varsity, as a Sports Grill, is also a great hub for sports fanatics alike. It features a theater like room, with big comfy seats and a large screen projector so you won’t miss a second of your favorite sports teams game.

7. Java City at KOBC

This little coffee café is located on the second floor of the Koury Business Center. It’s a perfect place for students in the business school to stop before those early morning classes for a steaming cup of freshly brewed Joe. They also offer a selection of bagels, muffins, sandwiches and various other snacks to grab on the go on your way to class or just to sit and munch on while you study. I’ve even been guilty of grabbing a quick bite mid-class.

8. Winter Garden Café

Elon’s Winter Garden Café can be found within the Mosely student center right outside of the Lakeside Dining Hall. It is home to Freshii’s, Topio’s and my personal favorite breakfast sandwich spot, Biscuitville. At Freshii’s you can select from a variety of salads, wraps, bowls and even frozen yogurt. With such a large selection, this is a great spot when you’re dining with a lot of people. It’s also at such a convenient location that it makes for a great lunch spot while you’re on campus going from class to class. Topio’s is where you can get almost every college student’s go to meal, pizza. With a meal swipe you can get two slices of any kind of pizza they’re serving or a calzone. Biscuitville, another one of the newer editions to Elon’s Dining Family, is where you can get all kinds of breakfast foods, like the classic fried chicken on a biscuit or a simple burger and fries. It’s a great stop for a tasty and filling meal in the morning, but don’t forget your side of hash browns!

9. Colonnades Dining Hall

Colonnades is another one of the 3 Dining Hall options here on Elon’s Campus. The Dining Hall always has a large selection of food with a pizza bar, sandwich bar, salad bar, desert bar, an area for their featured entrée’s of the hour and little bites to eat in between. It’s a great place to eat with friends or if you’re just looking for a lot of variety in meal choices. I love Colonnades when my stomach is extra rumbly because the amount of food you can get is unlimited (and trust me you can find students with stacks of plates). It’s also a great place to go if you want to eat and study at the same time. While Colonnades is a great place, it’s far from where I live so I don’t frequent it as often as I’d like which puts it so low on my list.

10. McEwen Dining Hall

Oh, McEwen, home to Late Night. While I have not actually been to this dining hall during regular meal hours, I have been here many a times during their 10pm-3am shift. Late Night McEwen is one of the only dining hall locations that stay open until the wee hours of the morning. Serving food like tater tots, burgers, hot dogs and fries, aka everything you shouldn’t be eating at 2 am but definitely are craving. It’s a great for late night study meals or a bite to eat on your way home from a late night as a friends house per say. Late Night is only open on Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays and while sometimes the late night crowd can get rowdy, it makes for a great social dining experience.

Here comes the Spring!

It’s that time of year again, yes Spring time at Elon. What a wonderful time of year it is, full of sunshine, green grass and budding flowers.. well maybe not quite yet but soon enough!

Classes have just started and the campus is alive again with students who are back from studying abroad in the fall or winter semesters. I must say, It’s a happy sight to see them here again.

This semester, for me, will be heavily concentrated on getting my core business course credits. These include Business Law, Business Statistics, Principles of Marketing and Principles of Finance. Wish me luck!

While my workload might be heavy, I’m looking forward to what this spring semester has in store. Just a handful of upcoming events to look out for on campus, if you’re visiting or already here and want to find something to do, are:

Feb. 5-8 – “Much Ado About Nothing” in the Black Box Theatre presented by the Elon Department of Performing Arts

Feb. 6 – “Try Your Hand at Drumming” Day presented by the Elon World Percussion Ensemble

Feb. 12 – Spring Organization Fair

Feb. 13-16 – “1776: The Musical” presented by the Elon Department of Performing Arts

Feb. 14 – “The Vagina Monologues” in Whitley Auditorium

Hope to see some of you there! Good luck to Elon students this Spring semester!


Meet Kate, the new International Admissions Intern!


Me in South Africa!

My name is Kate Penniall, and I am a current sophomore at Elon University. I was born in Raleigh, North Carolina but after moving around the US for several years, my family embarked on the expatriate lifestyle and moved to Singapore. I attended high school at Singapore American School and lived on the bustling island nation for 4 years.

Now as a sophomore, here at Elon I am involved in various business organizations as well as Greek Life on campus. I am majoring in marketing and finance and have enjoyed all of my classes within the business school. Here at Elon, the courses are engaging and challenging, but with so many resources including the faculty, advisers and tutoring center, there’s always someone willing to help.

When I’m not in class or the library though, I’m always around campus whether it’s taking Zumba classes at the gym, getting coffee with friends at Irazu or laying outside by Lake Verona during a beautiful North Carolina day. Coming to Elon was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. This place has become a home away from home for me.

If you have any questions about Elon, feel free to contact me at or message me on skype at eloninteradm.

Looking forward to hearing from you!


Finally Caught Up

So it has been a little more than one night since my last post, but that it Ok. This post is going to get you caught up on all the rest pf activities we have done to this day. Since the first weekend, we went Manual Antonio beach, Tortoguero and Limon, and Monteverde Cloud forest.

At the hotel in Manuel Antonio

The weekend after our first full week of school was extremely well deserved and was long awaited. That week had been a bit stressful as we were starting our new education rhythm, and we had to find and create our new routines to manage all the work we had to do. Although we had many fun excursions planned and were living in different country for three months to experience the culture, we are studying abroad and so there was work to be done. The majority of us are taking 14-16 credit hours, many of those (me not included) with teaching practicums and extra music classes and practice required. As such we needed to plan our routines so that we could balance our studies and take full advantage of our time here to explore and experience Costa Rican culture. Needless to say however that our first full length excursion to Manuel Antonio beach and National park was  more than welcome.

Manuel Antonio is one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. It is on the Pacific Coast and it took us four hours to get their by bus. On the way we stopped on a bridge overlooking a river that was full of large crocodiles. It was cool, but one of the things we really were not expecting to see. Anyways we arrived at Manuel Antonio beach around 2pm so we spent the rest of the day enjoying the sun (I did not get sunburn believe it or not). The next morning however we went to the Manuel Antonio national park where we saw many exquisite animals like monkeys and sloths. We even saw (more like heard) two sloths fighting. It was like watching people argue in slow motion, with arms and from high up in a tree. The park tour and hike lasted about three hours then we were free to relax on the beach. Later that night we went to Latin dance club, where I whipped out my ballroom dance moves and impressed everyone on the trip.

Salsa dancing at the Latin Dance Club

The weekend after our Manuel Antonio beach excursion, we visited Tortuguero and Limon the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. Tortuguero is a national natural park on the Caribbean coast that is only accessible by boat. They park specializes and does a lot of work with protecting sea turtles as the beaches along the park are popular nesting sites. The area’s main source of income is from eco-tourism which is when people pay to come see and appreciate the natural environment. As such we stayed in an Eco-resort which incorporates the natural environment into the resort experience. Over the weekend we took 4 boat tours on the rivers and saw exotic

Afternoon boat ride on the rivers in Tortuguero

animals such as crocodiles, monkeys, sloths, iguanas, sea otters and more. Unfortunately there weren’t any sea turtles because it was not turtle season but it was still pretty fun.  After we left Tortuguero, we went to Limon to visit the port city and also to visit a banana plantation. We are taking a class on foods in Costa Rica and the banana plantation was cool because we learned of the importance bananas to Costa Rican development, culturally and economically.

Chillen out by the port in Limon on the Caribbean

The following week was our Monteverde cloud forest Excursion. Monteverde is a town outside and built around the cloud forest in the mountains in Guanacaste.  The forest is a popular destination for hikers, bird watchers and nature folk in general.  We visited the forest national park which was beautiful and saw lots of exotic birds including the rare quetzal, the national bird of Guatemala and one of the most beautiful birds in the world. The highlight of the trip for me however was a zip-line adventure that we had in the canopy of the forest.  There were 13 lines in total, two of which were over a km in length and we had to cross them in pairs. The experience was  nerve wrecking and adrenaline filled the entire way as we were easily over 10oft off of the ground.

Ziplining through the Canopy in Monteverde

Group before an afternoon hike around the hotel

These were all the major weekend excursions that we went on since being in Costa Rica. If you are prospective student, remember that March 15th is when admissions results come out. Also if you have any questions about anything related to admissions, send them by email to or to

Weekend 1- Waterfall Gardens, Volcanoes, Coffee Plantations and host family

Hey all,

So the first weekend in Costa Rica was pretty busy, we got thrown right into it. We got to San Jose on Saturday around 3pm and went to the school where we are taking our classes. It is called Mesoamerica, a small Language school where they teach Spanish and English, the Elon Center here in Costa Rica. The person in charge is Linda Holland, she is sort of like a dean of the students on the trip but she is the owner of the school, which is also a private business. Anyways we got to the school around 4 and we were picked up by our host

Carlos (Papi), Nikki, Dani and I eating out one night

families. My host family is obviously the best. I am only the second person that they have hosted for a semester so they are relatively new at hosting students long term.  Anyways my family is awesome, my mom and dad are Arleyne and Carlos, and I have two siblings, a 20 year old brother Dani and a 17 year old sister Nikki. They are extremely awesome and friendly, and it has been a blast living with them up till now.

We spent our first night, Saturday night with our host families getting settled in and stuff, but then our activities started bright and early at 8 am Sunday morning.  That morning we all met up at Parque Sabanilla  (a pretty central location to everyone) to catch the bus for our Sunday adventure. Our adventure started at the Doca coffee plantation.  We arrived shortly after 9:30 and we were fed a delicious Costa Rican breakfast of gallo-pinto (rice and beans), fresh fruit, eggs and fresh coffee, straight from the plantation. It was some of the best coffee that I ever had to this point. Costa Rican coffee trumps all. After breakfast, we went on a tour of the coffee plantation and we saw how the coffee beans are picked and processed before it becomes a the coffee that we brew and drink. It was interesting, we learned how of the coffee produced only 10% of top quality coffee is kept in Costa Rica and all the rest exported to stores like Starbucks. Despite this however, the 2nd class coffee which is sold locally is often better than the top quality that is

Kyle, Caroline and I during the plantation tour

exported because those beans get mixed in with coffee from all over the world so it loses its flavor, there fore 2nd class Costa Rican coffee trumps all (or at least Starbucks).

After the plantation we went to the Poas Volcano. Costa Rica has several dormant and a few active volcanoes that have turned into nature parks for eco-tourism. There was a bit of hike associated with this stop because it is a volcano we had to hike up to the tope to take picture and see the inside of the crater of the volcano. That would have been awesome however if the weather was better. There were think clouds everywhere. Since the volcano is pretty high point we were practically standing in the clouds and it was extremely windy. We could not even see the crater because the cloud cover was thick. It was cool though because we were in the clouds. It wasn’t raining but everything got wet because we were practically walking in the clouds.

We waited at the top of the Volcano for probably around an hour hoping that the weather would change but things never got better so we left and went to La Paz Waterfall Gardens. These were awesome and extremely pretty. We had lunch provided for us at the gardens then we practically explored the gardens freely. There were lots of exotic birds like Toucans and Macaws, there was a butterfly garden, tree frog place, and a collection of dangerous snakes. They even had Jaguars, Pumas and sloths! After we looked at the animals, we

Molly and I catching butterflies at La Paz

walked along a path that went past the three waterfalls that the park were named after. These waterfalls were simply amazing and beautiful, more eco-tourism. Eco tourism is when you use the environment as a means of attracting and promoting tourism. This generates revenue from tourism and increases awareness and helps with environmental protection. After the waterfalls we went home, ate dinner with our host families and prepared for school because we are students, so we had to prepare for orientation and our first classes etc.

This first weekend was lots of fun and I bought a Costa Rican hat that I wear just about everywhere. It has become my trademark but I like it and its utility (its got a small pocket at the side). Although technically not part of the weekend later that week the Political Science class we took a field trip to the Asmblea Legislativa, which is like their version of the Parliament or Capitol Hill. It was a really cool experience because we met many Costa Rican senators and even a former first lady.

Political Science Class with former first lady at Asmblea Legislative

That’s about it for the first week and weekend. That week was mainly orientation and our first week of classes. I am taking a full 16 hours so things are difficult. Especially since the days end at around 10pm but start much earlier at around 6 am. I am taking Latin Ameircan Politics, Latin American Literature, Spanish 227 and the Upper Level GST on food and so far so good with classes. They are challenging and require a lot of time with work but it is not impossible. Anyways I now have to catch you up on three more weeks of activities.

Blending in with nature to attract butterflies at La Paz

Until next post (prolly later tonight or tomorrow)