This is a learning abroad course that uses community engaged-learning (CEL) to explore the power of community engagement in an international context. We will utilize the history, culture, and civic issues affecting Monteverde, Costa Rica, as a living laboratory. The course is composed of weekly on-campus classes and a one week intensive in-country experience in Costa Rica over spring break in March. The course is the result of collaborative efforts between The Lowell Bennion Community Service Center, Learning Abroad, the Departments of Political Science, Undergraduate Studies, and the Monteverde Institute.
Central to Community Engagement in Costa Rica is the interdisciplinary and collaborative nature of community-based experiential learning. We will consider and discuss civic leadership, community health, systems ecology, and collective impact to better understand how the activities and impacts of traveling and tourism affect quality of life, culture, and community in a Central American country.
Students will learn from first hand experiences that highlight:
This Program is planned to run again in Spring Break 2022.
- the role of women in development
- fair trade agriculture
- sustainable development
- conservation biology
- cooperative business management
- Available credit(s): 3 credits
- Applicants are required to enroll in the program course
- Click on the Courses Offered link above for more information, including prerequisites
- 2020 class meets every Wednesday from January 8 - March 4 from 4:30pm-6pm until Spring Break when the class will travel to Costa Rica for one-week intensive community engaged learning and adventure. The travel and experiential learning component will include several community activities, projects, and excursions.
Possible excursions may include:
- Cloud forest and continental divide
- Urban community development
- Canopy tour
- Fair trade coffee and mixed farms
- Women's arts & crafts cooperative
- 100% post-consumer waste paper product micro-business and more
LEARNING ABROAD BADGES
In addition to taking classes, students enrich their time abroad by participating in Learning Abroad Badge opportunities such as, Career Development, Language Immersion, Research Experience, and Community Engagement:
The Learning Abroad Badges listed in the Fact Sheet
above are included in this program. Some programs offer opportunities to earn additional Learning Abroad Badges through independent options
. Students interested in earning multiple Learning Abroad Badges can participate in the Global U Program
and receive special recognition at graduation.
This program automatically earns the Career Development and Community Engagement Badges:
- Career Development:
- Students work, observe and network with community leaders and volunteers, while implementing initiatives with the host community.
- This experience will provide valuable, comparative and practical insights into community development, international relations, and public administration that can be highlighted on resumes and during job interviews.
- Community Engagement:
- As part of the program, students work with a grassroots association that addresses community development in the region. Past work projects have involved elementary schools, health centers, community centers, road and water infrastructure, and small collective business feasibility studies.
- Students will interact with local leaders and volunteers while learning unique ways of addressing common challenges.
- Dean McGovern
- Executive Director, Bennion Center
- Associate Professor, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
- See Housing Type(s) above
- Participants are required to use the program housing facilities
- Housing is included in the program cost
- Click on the Budget Sheet link above for information about ESTIMATED costs
- Participants should read the full Withdrawal Penalty Policy BEFORE applying
- Scholarships are available for Degree-Seeking, University of Utah students
- Financial Aid might apply, visit your Financial Aid Counselor for more information
LEARNING ABROAD HANDBOOK
The Learning Abroad Handbook outlines the University of Utah's eligibility requirements, financial policies, conduct standards, administrative procedures, academic expectations, as well as visa and passport guidelines for Learning Abroad Programs. ALL participants are subject to the rules and regulations in the Learning Abroad Handbook. It is every participant's responsibility to read the Learning Abroad Handbook and contact Learning Abroad with any questions.