This fall, UGA Costa Rica is celebrating 10 years of offering academic programs through the Office of International Education and the UGA Costa Rica residential center. Between summer 2005 and May 2015, 1,849 students have participated in UGA Costa Rica education abroad programs.
“If you’re looking for nightclubs, hotels, beaches and the quintessential tourist experience, this may not be the place for you,” said Alex Wright, a former resident naturalist at the center. “If you’re willing to get off the beaten path and immerse yourself into a community, head down to UGA Costa Rica and experience the beauty of the San Luis Valley and its people.”
UGA Costa Rica programs now serve over 200 students annually with courses spanning more than 30 academic disciplines and 20 program offerings. UGA Costa Rica programs are focused on providing small-group, experiential learning opportunities that immerse students in the culture and natural history of Costa Rica.
Service-learning programs may find students teaching local schoolchildren, planting and monitoring trees as part of the UGA Costa Rica carbon offset program or learning about nutrition in a local hospital. Undergraduates in the physical and natural sciences have the opportunity to carry out their own field research studies. Spanish language students become part of the community through participation in homestays, soccer games and more.