The goal of this program is to help students develop cultural awareness and problem solving skills as well as provide students the opportunity to conduct international sustainable service leaning projects. We achieve these goals through a variety of course work, including regular guided discussions of the assigned study topics, student’s experience and thoughts about the field trips, and guided tours to the cultural and historical sites, as well as conducting service learning projects and staying with local families (homestay).
The start of this program begins in San Jose, but the group will move on to the world-famous EARTH University soon after. A major benefit of staying at EARTH University is the interaction between the OSU and EARTH students who are from various tropical countries around the world as well as access to their many educational farms (cacao, coffee, banana, and livestock). While at EARTH, students will be able to witness the education that takes place at and prepare for their service-learning projects. The projects take place in a partner community that EARTH is assisting through development efforts and includes a 2-3 day home stay with a local family. Examples of past projects include building a bio-digester, creating urban gardens, constructing mobile chicken coups, assisting with school renovations, or writing project manuals in English for other English-speaking groups that visit EARTH University. Students will eat in the cafeteria with the EARTH students and have ample opportunity to make new friends from around the world.
It isn’t all work and no play, the program will also visit Cahuita National Park, a 2,711 acre national park with hiking trails and a beach on the Caribbean coast. The plant and animal diversity in Cahuita is one of the highlights of the program. At this and other locations students will have the opportunity to hike and enjoy the beauty of Costa Rican ecosystems. Other past tours have included Arenal Volcano, various marketplaces and historic sites throughout the country.
Upon completion of the education abroad in Costa Rica and the campus based course, students will be able to identify and analyze the impact of sustainable technology on a developing country, study practical and sustainable solutions that involve service partnerships with the local entity or community (EARTH University, Costa Rica), and synthesize the theory and practice of service-learning within a community and/or global context.
This program is offered annually.
The application deadline for this program is October 1, 2018.