Costa Rica: an Immersion in Culture and Nature

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Do you have a desire to explore an international locale in unconventional ways?  Need a tropical experience? Are you eager to dig into another culture and earn academic credit at the same time?  Then the hybrid course Costa Rica: an Immersion in Culture and Nature may be your ticket to learning and adventure.


Since the 1990's, Costa Rica has been a world leader in ecotourism and natural resource conservation, while simultaneously maintaining an ancient, vibrant culture. In the early and mid 1900's, Costa Rica logged 65% of its forest cover to make way for the production of coffee, chocolate, bananas, animal pasture, and more. Later on, Costa Rica began conserving its resources, implementing renewable energy, and investing in infrastructure and technology. In the 1940's, Costa Rica disbanded its military. Since the first World Happiness Report in 2012, Costa Rica has been top-ranked on the list in life satisfaction.

This course will introduce you to the people of Costa Rica and immerse you in the vibrant culture through home stays on working family farms and visits in the capital city of San Jose. Students will spend their arrival day in the city of San Jose, where they will meet the rest of the course participants and instructors. Throughout the next eleven days, students will visit the Savegre River Valley, San Isidro de General, and Uvitas, where they will spend each night with local families. We will learn about the ecosystems of the humid tropics as we hike between farms and travel by raft down the Rio Savegre. This program partners with Autentico Adventures, which is a locally owned and operated Costa Rican adventure outfitter that will be facilitating the course. Students will be exposed to a diverse range of activities that will allow them to develop their leadership, communication, critical thinking, team-building, facilitation, Spanish, and technical skills through expeditionary learning. 

As a Hybrid Course, the fall term portion will be online, as we study the history of Costa Rica, tropical ecology, and ecotourism. It will be an affordable way to knock out some of your required credits, have a meaningful international experience (not a resort vacation), and maybe ignite your inner passion for Natural Resource Conservation and Global Awareness.  Most of the costs of the class and the trip are allowable educational expenses and covered by financial aid.  Intrigued?  Contact one of the instructors for more information. Pura Vida!


Learn more about this program by reading about one student's experience on our blog and check out our digital herbarium of Costa Rican plants created by student Leigh Torrence! 


Faculty-led programs are available to ALL OSU STUDENTS

This includes all majors and campuses, including E-campus, Cascades, dually enrolled students at partner Community Colleges, and our main campus in Corvallis. Because these programs are short-term, they tend to bring together diverse groups of graduate and undergraduate students, online and campus-based learners, students of different ages, majors, and life experiences. That diversity makes group interaction so much richer because there are so many different perspectives.



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