April’s Country of the Month: Costa Rica

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Costa Rica is a lush and beautiful land with extravagant scenery and rich culture. The official language of Costa Rica is Spanish. The capital city is San José, with a population of about 300,000 people, located in the geographic center of the country. Costa Rica has a tropical climate throughout the whole year, and would offer a nice break from Oklahoma’s unpredictable winter weather. Students may have heard much about Costa Rica’s advanced environmental policies and awareness, or about the country’s unique lack of official military personnel. Explore the nation, and experience Costa Rican culture and cuisine through the opportunities listed below.

Faculty Led Programs:

College of Human Sciences
While visiting various cities such as San Jose, Ciudad Cariari, Playa Hermosa, Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, and many more, you can receive academic credit in the beautiful Costa Rica. Introduction to International Experience is a one credit hour course that will advance leadership skills while experiencing the culture and landscape of Costa Rica! For more information, email Jordan.garriott@okstate.edu.

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Affiliated Approved Programs:

Visit these sites to learn more about how an affiliated program can get you to Costa Rica, or email abroad.okstate.edu to get information on how to apply.

SOL Education Abroad: http://www.soleducation.com/costa-rica

Heredia

AIFS: http://www.aifsabroad.com/costarica/

San Jose

CISabroad: http://www.cisabroad.com/study-abroad/costa-rica

San Jose (Internships available)

API: http://www.apistudyabroad.com/programs/costa-rica/

San Joaquin

San Jose

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Record Breaking Year for Study Abroad

By: Cole Campbell

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It is an exciting time for the Study Abroad office at Oklahoma State University. The student applicants for reciprocal exchange just found out which country they will be making their new home next year. When students apply for a direct exchange study abroad program, they list their top three choices of universities and we are happy to announce that everybody was placed into one of their top choices. This year we have seen a record breaking number in the amount of students who are committing to studying abroad, a trend that has held true for the last several years. Oklahoma State students can take advantage of an international experience by participating in a reciprocal exchange program, an affiliated/approved program, a faculty-led course abroad, and even through National Student Exchange to another state or U.S. territory. In the 2009-10 school year, we saw a combined 563 students participate in an exchange program and in only five short years, the amount of OSU students abroad has nearly doubled, totaling at 1,056 students for the 2013-14 school year. Students are starting to realize that a study abroad experience can be so much more than an extended vacation, and that it can be a great resource for professional development, to learn a new language, and to discover a new culture while still discovering yourself.  To find out more about how to start planning your experience abroad, visit us at abroad.okstate.edu or visit us in 242 Student Union.

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Never Far from the Equator

By: Carlie Pearson

Dr. Tom Kuzmic has put 17 years into Faculty-Led Study Abroad program through the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. While the program began in Honduras, the past four years Dr. Kuzmic has taken students to Ecuador and the Galapagos islands for a two- week spring break. During the trip, students experience three unique ecosystems and begin their exploration in the rainy, humid Amazon, slowly transitioning to the dramatic high- rising Andes Mountains. For an unforgettable finish, students end with a visit to the magical Galapagos Islands. Though the landscape is vastly changing, students are never far from the equator.

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Not only will students begin to understand and appreciate a set of diverse ecosystems, they will also examine the culture of their inhabitants. “We tend to think we have all the answers, that we live right,” Dr. Kuzmic explains. But through his experiences abroad, has come to realize that there are a lot of different perspectives in the world. He believes through study abroad we can all gain a lot- and not just by looking, but by experiencing.
“I hear, and I forget. I see, and I remember. I do, and I understand.” This quote is from the Chinese Philosopher Confucius, but Dr. Kuzmic uses it to explain his views about study abroad. “Side- by- side with folks, engaging in daily tasks,” he says can broaden your way of looking at the world. Learning by doing is the way to break stereotypes. Not every student has the time or ability for a semester abroad, but even two weeks is enough time to accomplish a deeper understanding of humanity.
There are many faculty- lead trips through the Colleges of OSU that are short-term opportunities to study abroad. Students do not have to be a member of the College to participate in one of their international courses. Check out the various opportunities on each colleges website.

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