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Preparing for International Careers in Costa Rica

Preparing for International Careers in Costa Rica
Explore the beautiful natural landscape and international career options in Costa Rica.
San Jose, Costa Rica
Language of Instruction: 
Academic Disciplines: 
-Open to All Majors
Program Type: 
  • Students will learn strategies that will allow them to create a job-search plan that matches their individual career goals
  • Connect with KU alums, global businesses, universities, and international organizations in Costa Rica
  • Students will have the opportunity to explore the capital city of San José as well as locations outside of the city
Program Summary: 

The Preparing for International Careers-Costa Rica course is designed for students interested in exploring international careers. An international career can be defined as either working abroad or living stateside and working with international partners. The course will give students an excellent overview of the resources, opportunities, and steps involved in researching international employment. Students will learn strategies that will allow them to create a job-search plan that matches their individual career goals. While in Costa Rica, students will connect with KU alums, global businesses, universities, and international organizations to learn first-hand about international careers. In addition, students will have the opportunity to explore the capital city of San José and visit various sites of interest within Costa Rica.


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.   

Academic Information: 

The course will be taught as a seminar. Students will be responsible for participating in class discussions as well as activities outside the normal class time. Students and faculty will meet on the University of Kansas, Lawrence campus during the Spring 2019 semester. These on-campus meetings will cover diverse topics such as global work culture, researching career opportunities abroad, skills required for working in an international career, applying for jobs abroad, cultural awareness and adaptation, and graduate study abroad.

All students will enroll in LA&S 480: Preparing for International Careers-Costa Rica (1-3 credits). Credit is granted by the University of Kansas upon successful completion of the course and overseas program. It is highly encouraged, but not required, that students have taken a job search course such as LA&S 470: Job Search for Liberal Arts & Sciences Students.

While in San José, the students will meet as a group each morning and/or afternoon to visit a company, organization, or university to learn about different international career opportunities. Additionally, students will be responsible for conducting informational interviews at a company or organization of their choice. 


Students will be in double occupancy accommodations at hotels with breakfast daily. Many lunches and dinners are also provided.

Life Abroad: 

Students will take a tour of San José to learn more about Costa Rica’s capital city and visit historical sites of interest. The group will also meet with current KU students studying abroad at the University of Costa Rica and other KU alumni who are living and working in San José. Planned excursions include a visit to hot springs, coffee farm, La Paz waterfalls, and a free day for activities in La Fortuna.


Open to undergraduate students with a 2.5 GPA who actively participate in one of the KU Collaborative's student sucess progams: Adidas Leadership Scholars, Emerging Scholars, Hawk Link, Heartland Camp, Hixson Opportunity Award, IMSD, McNair Scholars, Multicultural Scholars Program, OPTIONS, and TRIO SES & STEM. In addition, previous coursework and an interest in international issues, cultures, and language is encouraged. The class and study abroad program will be conducted in English; however, knowledge of Spanish would be beneficial during the Costa Rica program. Preference will be given to students who have demonstrated strong participation in their student success program and who have not previously participated in a study abroad program or had extensive experiences abroad. 

Further Reading: 

Attend an info session for the program-February 5, 2019 from 3:30-4:30pm in Anschutz 3N. 

There are significant funding oppportunitites for student participants on this program. Please contact the program faculty or Study Abroad & Global Engagement for more information. 

Students who are not part of any KU Collaborative student success program are eligible for the Preparing for International Careers in Germany Summer program and Preparing for International Careers in London Spring Break program. 

Program Faculty: 

Rhiannon Johson, Assistant Director, University Career Center (rmjohnson@ku.edu)

Julie Hamel TRIO SES Student Success Specialist​ (julie.hamel@ku.edu)


Study Abroad Information Center
Walk-in advising
Monday - Friday. 9AM - 5 PM
Lippincott Hall, Room 105
1410 Jayhawk Boulevard
Contact: studyabroad@ku.edu

Study Abroad Financial Advising
Financial Aid and Scholarship Info Session
Wednesday, 4:00 pm &
Thursday, 2:00 pm
105 Lippincott Hall


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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
The Office of Study Abroad 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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