27 March 2012

Costa Rican Adventures

posted by Meaghan Milliorn

Last week on spring break, a group of 16 International Business students and three professors traveled to Costa Rica to learn more about sustainable business practices while understanding more about another culture.

The students blogged about their experiences here, but I wanted to highlight a few excerpts that stood out to me. From these posts, it’s easy to see that the students learned a lot while having some fun, too.

“Costa Rica is a small, open economy that heavily relies on the United States’ market stability, making them very vulnerable to changes in the world economy. Main goals of the economy are to promote exports of new agricultural process, to create new technology, and to take advantage of their beautiful county for tourism.” – Sawyer McDaniel

“We also learned about the educational system in Costa Rica which I found interesting because it differs from ours in the US. The difference is that once you reach high school you can choose to stay in general education or choose a specialized program that focuses on technical skills. I was also surprised to learn that college was very inexpensive for Costa Ricans, about $900 a year. Which has me thinking, maybe I should come to school here if I continue my education.” – Evan Nguyen, undergrad in the International Business and Spanish Programs

“While on this visit, I’ve been immersed in the most beautiful settings I’ve ever seen in my life. Lush plants with richly saturated blooms in red, magenta, orange and yellow are everywhere you look. Cloud forest. Rain forest. Butterfly farm. The bus rides have produced views of dramatic mountainous landscapes and breathtaking vistas. The list of aesthetically pleasing sites goes on and on. And I have indulged in incredible food, fun and conversation.”

And this excerpt makes me appreciate our gas prices. I couldn’t imagine paying $6 a gallon!

“Gas prices aren’t advertised at gas stations; rather, the government publishes the price in the newspaper each time there is an increase. Starting this Thursday, gas prices will go up $.80, so that a gallon of gas will cost over $6. Part of the reason gas is so expensive is that Costa Rica does not produce crude oil or have any refineries.” – Samantha Cook, graduate student in the Master of Business Administration and Juris Doctor Programs

The bus ride to the beach is a long one, so we entertained ourselves by singing karaoke to Neil Diamond, Guns N Roses, and of course Fernando’s favorite, the almighty Garth Brooks. That was pretty fun and I especially enjoyed the lyrical wonders of Hotel California sung by a certain professor who will remain nameless.” – Marilyn Breaux, graduate student in the Master of Business Administration Program

To read more about the students’ adventures, visit their blog.

One Response to “Costa Rican Adventures”

  1. Amazing adventures.
    My name is Joaquin, and I am professor in the University of Valencia. Next summer my students and me are planning to go to Costa Rica, as well. Apart from landscape (vulcanos, forests, etc), Costa Rica has a literacy rate of 94.9%,one of the highest in Latin America.Elementary and high schools are found throughout the country in practically every community. Universal public education is guaranteed in the constitution. Primary education is obligatory, and both preschool and high school are free. There are only a few schools in Costa Rica that go beyond the 12th grade. Students who finish 11th grade receive a Costa Rican Bachillerato Diploma accredited by the Costa Rican Ministry of Education. There are both state and private universities, with the public universities being regarded as the best in the country, as well as being one of the best means of social mobility, given the large proportion of the budget spent to subsidize students from poor families.

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