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Developing Global Perspective in Costa Rica

Developing Global Perspective in Costa Rica
Designed for those with limited international travel experience, this program will help students develop awareness of and reflect on their personal and cultural identities, learn how individuals in another culture engage with their society, and recognize similarities and distinctions between the two.
San Jose & Monteverde, Costa Rica
Language of Instruction: 
Academic Disciplines: 
-Open to All Majors
Program Type: 
Faculty Led
Program Summary: 

Global Perspective: “A viewpoint that tries to understand the place or places of individuals, groups, cultures and societies in the world and how they relate to each other”
~Bell, 2014. 

Designed for the first-time international traveler, this study abroad program will aid students in examining their own identities within the context of cultural and societal groups in the United States in order to better understand their own perspective. By comparison, and through the abroad experience, students will explore the culture of the host country, learning about its history, societal values, cultural and racial identity groups, and current social issues and how these are reflected in the perspectives of citizens and their response to certain situations. Current issues in the U.S. that may also be of significance to the host country will be explored, such as immigration, access to education, environmental policy and the economy.  


Costa Rica is known for its natural beauty, extraordinary diversity of flora and fauna, social and political stability, high educational levels, and efficient infrastructure and services. San José, Costa Rica’s capital, is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city. It lies in the Central Valley on a plain surrounded by large forested mountain ranges, some of which include active volcanoes, green savannahs, and working coffee plantations.  

Monteverde, Costa Rica is a small community located in the Cordillera de Tilaran mountain range.  It is home to one of the rarest habitats on Earth, the cloud forest, and an astounding variety of flora and fauna.

Academic Information: 

All students will enroll in LA&S 492 Special Topics: Developing Global Perspective (3 credit hours)

This course will meet on the KU campus for two hours, once weekly, for seven weeks prior to travel and once upon return from Costa Rica.  Once participants have been selected, a meeting time for the pre and post-trip meetings will be determined.

On-campus course meetings will cover diverse topics such as defining global perspective; exploring culture and its intersection with personal identity; addressing bias and stereotypes; Costa Rica, its history, and issues of relevance to Costa Rica and the United States; sustainable tourism; and preparing for the international travel experience.  Each of these topics will be explored in more depth throughout the 8-day study abroad experience in Costa Rica.


While abroad, students will be housed in double occupancy accommodations at hotels in San Jose and Monteverde, Costa Rica.  Breakfast will be provided daily.  Most lunches and dinners are also provided. 

Life Abroad: 

The program will start in Costa Rica's capital of San Jose. The group will go on a city tour to visit the most important sites of interest and become familiar with the city. There will be lectures on such topics as Nicaraguan immigrants in Costa Rica, indigenous groups and the cultural history of Costa Rica, and higher education. Planned excursions from San Jose include Irazu Volcano National Park, Cartago, and the beach.

The group will also spend several days in Monterverde where there will be a hike in the cloud forest, a presentation about ecology and the preservation of the forest.  

Identity Abroad: 

Identity Abroad

SAGE is dedicated to creating international engagement opportunities that meet the needs of all our students and providing resources to support you through the process of studying abroad. Study abroad is achievable for students of all identities including our BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ students, students with disabilities, and students with religious/non-religious viewpoints. Before selecting a program, consider how your identities may impact your experience abroad in unique ways and talk with your Program Coordinator about any program-specific concerns. Students with documented disabilities should discuss any accommodation needs with their Program Coordinator early in the planning process.

Additional Resources

Check our Identity Abroad page and resources listed below for information specific to you and other students who may be on your program.


This program is open to undergraduate students that are active participants in TRIO SES or TRIO STEM at the University of Kansas.  Preference will be given to students who have not previously participated in a study abroad program or had extensive experiences abroad.  The class and study abroad program will be conducted in English; however, knowledge of Spanish would be beneficial during the Costa Rica program. 

Program Faculty: 

The course and study abroad program will be taught and directed by Dr. Julie Hamel and LaTisha Davis, full-time staff of the KU TRIO SES and TRIO STEM program.  

Julie Hamel, PhD
TRIO SES Student Success Specialist​

LaTisha Davis, MLA
Associate Director, TRIO SES

*No Federal Funds are used in support of the Developing Global Perspective class/program.


Spring 2022 programs now accepting applications !

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9th among public universities in the country for high quality, low cost study abroad programs — U.S. News & World Report
Longest-running exchange program in Western Hemisphere (begun in 1958) between KU and University of Costa Rica
18th in the nation among public universities for undergraduate participation in study abroad — Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange
28.1% of KU undergraduate students study abroad prior to graduation.
KU students who study abroad graduate in four years at twice the rate of students who do not study abroad
More than 160 study abroad programs in 75 countries, with instruction in all disciplines and 20+ languages
Students can study abroad for an academic year, semester, summer, spring break, or winter break
Programs include international study, internships, service, and research opportunities
Students participating in semester, academic year, and select summer programs fulfill Goal 4.2 of the KU Core curriculum
Students can fulfill major, minor, certificate, elective, and KU Core curriculum requirements abroad
Programs are available for students in every major at KU
Financial aid is applicable to study abroad programs, and most KU scholarships and grants can be applied to study abroad
Study Abroad & Global Engagement and many academic departments offer scholarships to qualified KU students
By studying abroad, students gain a global perspective on the world and strengthen their career opportunities
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