Costa Rica Leadership Exchange – Summer
This summer field study gives SES students the opportunity to participate in a leadership exchange and cultural immersion with high school students in Costa Rica. The summer study is part of the larger SES-Costa Rica Youth Leadership Exchange. See that page for more information about the entire program.
Note: This study is different from the SES Costa Rica Field Study, which occurs in Trimester 2. That study focuses on rainforest ecology and adventure learning, whereas this one focuses on culture and leadership.
This leadership exchange program is a collaboration between the School of Environmental Studies and Liceo de Poás, a public high school in Poás, Costa Rica. There are three parts to the study:
- Throughout the school year, students from SES and Poás engage in a collaborative, virtual study via the Internet of environmental issues (such as climate change) in their countries and the larger world.
- In the summer (typically late July-early August), students from SES travel to Costa Rica and stay with families of Poás students for two weeks. They attend school and work together on environmental service learning projects in Costa Rica.
- The following spring (typically April), students from Poás travel to Minnesota for two weeks, and stay with families of the SES students that they hosted in Costa Rica. They attend school and work together on environmental service learning projects in Minnesota.
Learning Objectives for the SES-Costa Rica Leadership Exchange:
- Develop leadership skills
- Develop global competency through cultural immersion
- Develop skills in collaboration and problem-solving
- Develop communication skills in both English and Spanish
- Study an important environmental issue (such as climate change) and how our two countries and the world are impacted.
- Build capacity to make a difference in the world!
Summer Field Study Activities:
- Live with a host family for two weeks in Costa Rica
- Attend classes at Liceo de Poás
- Learn about environmental issues (such as climate change) in Costa Rica through discussions with community members in Poás, visits to local businesses, and guest speakers
- Plan and implement service learning projects with Costa Ricans in Costa Rica, designed to bring awareness to the community about environmental problems and solutions
- Visit government sites such as the city hall and the Costa Rican Congress to learn about legislative action
- Explore a rainforest, a volcano, and other Costa Rican natural attractions to see environmental impacts firsthand
Students who wish to participate in this field study should:
- Be willing to live with a host family
- Be willing to host a Costa Rican student when they come to Minnesota
- Have some basic skills in Spanish or a willingness to learn, since most host families do not speak English; Spanish fluency is not necessary because the Costa Rican students speak English
- Enjoy meeting people of all ages
- Be willing to participate in service learning
- Have a desire to study environmental issues like climate change
- Enjoy the challenge of learning to live in another culture
A little about Liceo de Poás:
Liceo de Poás is a public high school located about 7 miles north of the international airport. About 1300 students attend the school in grades 7-12, coming from nine small towns in the area. The school is located in San Pedro de Poás. The school year runs from mid-February through mid-December, with a two-week break in July and a one-week break during Semana Santa (Holy Week) before Easter.
Liceo de Poás is a school devoted to academic rigor and innovation. Since 2006, the school has been part of the Educational Innovation Project of the Costa Rican Ministry of Education. About 20 students in each class are selected to participate in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program, a rigorous college-preparation program. Many students have participated in an exchange program with a school in Germany, and also in the English Access Program of the US Department of State.
The school lies in the Central Valley of Costa Rica, which is really a high plateau in between two mountain ranges. The weather is the most pleasant in the country – typically 60-85 degrees Fahrenheit year round. San Pedro de Poás, population about 7500, is at the edge of the sprawling area of the capital, San José.
For more information, please contact:
Jane Tunseth firstname.lastname@example.org