MEA’s 2020-21 academic calendar is postponed. We have replaced our workshops with Sabbatical Sessions. Click here to learn more.
Frequently Asked Questions

You’re curious. We like that.

Being a Modern Elder

The majority of our students are between 45-65 years old (and we’ve had plenty of students in their 30s and up to their late 80s), fluent in English, and hail from diverse backgrounds all over the world. Their common thread is that they’re experiencing personal and professional changes in life — re-entering the workforce, transitioning out of a career, job, or family role, and more.

We consistently hear that the program is incredibly beneficial in the lives of our graduates. Here are a few of the benefits they’ve described:

  • Pragmatic, usable tools that will change your daily life and relationships.
  • Deep learning that’s practical for careers and wise for the soul.
  • A profound mindset shift that creates more resilience and adaptability.
  • A sense of close-knit community. (The connections you make here may last a lifetime.)
  • Reflections from those going through similar explorations and sharing ideas and insights.
  • A nurturing, health-enhancing environment that provides rejuvenation.
  • An understanding of the skills you possess and how they can change your career and life.
  • An understanding of how you think about yourself, how it may hold you back, how to shift it.
  • Becoming a world-class “noticer”—yourself, your world, your attitudes as you age, your vision.
  • A place to relax, reflect, and look after yourself, sometimes for the first time in years (if ever).

We’re reclaiming the word “elder” because, frankly, elders are fantastic. Elders are people who’ve been around the block and have deep wells of wisdom to share with the world.

What’s more, the word "elder" is a relative term. If you're a 45-year-old surrounded by 25-year-olds, you're an elder in that group. More and more of us are finding ourselves in situations and organizations like this.

While “elderly” refers to years lived on the planet, “elder” refers to what we do with those years. “Modern elders” reflect on what they’ve learned and incorporate it into their relationships with younger generations. A modern elder is also curious, with a desire for learning, connection, understanding and relevance as both mentor and intern, sage and student, teacher and learner, all at the same time.

Campus and Experience

Students traveling to MEA from outside of Baja California Sur fly into Los Cabos (SJD) airport. Our round-trip private shuttle picks you up (arrive on the first day of the workshop by 4PM) and brings you back (departures flexible). The shuttle is included in the cost of your workshop on your scheduled arrival and departure days.

Our number one priority is your safety. The Todos Santos and El Pescadero areas are almost completely free of criminal activity. We provide safe and reliable transportation in our private shuttle from the time you land until you arrive at our rural, beachfront compound—an hour away from the bustling Cabo area. And, we have 24/7 staff on campus and a state-of-the-art surveillance system.

Our climate is comfortable during most of the academic year (October - July). But temperatures can range from “quite cool” to “dang, it’s hot” in a single day, so we recommend these three words when packing: layers, sunscreen, hat! We also send a comprehensive packing list upon acceptance.

While the daily schedule can vary greatly, a typical day has blocks of free time (before 10 am, between lunch and the afternoon class, and sometimes in the evening), interspersed with classes and activities.

Most days follow a flow like this:

8:00 am Optional Mindfulness Class (typically meditation or yoga)

10:00 am Morning Wisdom and Educational Class (180 minutes)

1:00 pm Lunch

3:00 pm Afternoon Educational Class (120-150 minutes)

7:00 pm Dinner

8:00 pm After Dinner Program (sometimes before dinner instead)

We keep our workshops small, so that everyone has a chance to participate fully. Our cohorts average between 16 and 20 people.

Applications and Tuition

Given the small size of our workshop cohorts (16-20 students), it’s a competitive process to be accepted into your workshop of choice. While we seek students who are in transition and curious about learning and evolving, we also strive to facilitate a diversity of experience in each cohort. So, there are no specific rules that define our acceptance process. If your application is not accepted, we may suggest other MEA weeks when your application is more likely to be accepted, or encourage you to apply again in the future.

A link to scholarships applications is included in each workshop application. The application asks several open ended questions to help us assess your needs. We are committed to socio-economic diversity and consistently aim to have 50% of our students receive some form of scholarship.

Five day workshops are great for folks with really busy schedules, but they actually cost about the same amount of money for us to produce. A five day workshop is more like a sprint, not just for our students, but also for our staff. So it’s a time/money value decision for you to make, personally. If seven days feels too long and you need to get back to work or home, then a five day workshop is perfect for you. If an extra two days of room, board, and focus will give you the spaciousness you need, we offer that, too.

Health and Safety

The health and protection of our guests and team are of utmost importance to us.

We follow all CDC cleaning and disinfecting recommendations for hard and soft surfaces, electronics, linens, laundry, and trash handling in all our shared spaces and guest rooms. In the wake of Covid-19 and new protocols, our staff now dedicate twice as much time on cleaning rooms between guest stays. Additionally, our housekeeping staff wear sanitary masks and gloves during all of their cleaning in rooms and on-campus, and will do so until this is no longer best-in-class protocol for hospitality operations.

If you have a medical emergency, we have a local doctor on call, an emergency center about a 15-20 minute drive away in Todos Santos, and modern hospital facilities available in both Los Cabos and La Paz. The old adage “Prevention as the best medicine” is especially true in this rustic environment. Unfortunately, we’re unable to accommodate people with mobility limitations due to our uneven stairs and walking surfaces, or those recovering from a serious illness or injury.

The food that Chef Tony prepares for us could be described as “healthy-licious”. He’s found the magic overlap between good for you and “dang, that’s good.” There are also vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options at every meal. Our pre-arrival questionnaire covers special dietary needs as well, and we will do our very best to accommodate you. (There’s rarely been a diet we couldn’t make work.) If you require specialty items, make sure to give us plenty of lead time. We can’t make guarantees on sourcing absolutely everything, but dang, we sure try.

While we don’t have a gym on site, we do offer a stunning three-mile beach for walking, and jogging, as well as mountain bikes for adventuring, two pools, and spaces for individual yoga and other physical activities. Depending on the scheduled free time during the week you attend, you may have the opportunity to surf at a renowned and easily accessible point nearby. (Boards and gear rentals not included, but easily arranged.)

Have more questions?

Set up a call with our admissions team so we can help you through the process.


With “best of MEA” optional programming, these expansive sessions provide you with the place and the nourishment to reflect and reset in a safe and beautiful location.

Learn more

The pandemic has forced us all to pivot (or “swerve” as we say at MEA). We’ve postponed our 2020-21 academic calendar for the season. But, because people are craving connection more than ever, we’ve created Sabbatical Sessions at our beautiful oceanfront campus. Instead of coming for a weeklong intensive workshop, you can now join us for an extended stay of two weeks or longer to enjoy an MEA-inspired respite. Our inclusive rates reflect less curriculum...with more R&R.

Explore Sabbatical Sessions Visit Modern Elder Academy