Business Practices in Latin America

Image of a student group in San Jose, Costa Rica
The graduate level program is designed for students who have an interest in Latin American business.
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
Language of Instruction: English
Term: Winter Break
Program Type: Faculty-led
Open to non-KU Students: No
Fulfills KU Core 4.2: No
Fulfills KU Core 5: No

  • For MAcc students with a serious interest in learning about business culture and competitive dynamics in Costa Rican and Latin American
  • Visit several businesses to learn about their business strategy, practices, and opportunities
  • Tour San José, explore the cloud forest in Monteverde, and learn more about Costa Rica's history and culture

The Business Practices in Latin America program is designed for graduate accounting students to be able to learn more about business in Latin America, and more specifically, Costa Rica. The program will include visits to area companies, including a mixture of local and multinational as well as small and large firms. UCR Business professors will also give lectures on business in Costa Rica and other topics. Excursions and cultural activities are also included. The program will include two days of virtual learning prior to program departure.

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.

Universidad de Costa Rica

The Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR) was established in 1843 under the name Universidad de Santo Tomás. It was restructured in 1940 and re-named the Universidad de Costa Rica. It is the oldest and largest university in Costa Rica, with a population of 35,000 students. The program works directly with UCR’s School of Business to plan the site visits and meetings with local companies. In addition, many of the program lectures are held on UCR’s campus and taught by UCR faculty.

Students are required to fully participate in pre-departure meetings and virtual classes, as well as all scheduled activities in Costa Rica. Pre-departure requirements include virtual lectures, discussion of assigned readings and case studies, and group presentations about an assigned Business in Latin America related topic. While in Costa Rica, students will research and debrief other program participants about companies to be visited, fully engage in company visit presentations and alumni conversations, and complete a daily journal about their experiences. Upon return, students will prepare two written reports - one that summarizes their business and personal learning experience in Costa Rica and a research paper on a business or cultural topic related to something of interest experienced on the program.

All students will earn 3 credits in IBUS 895 Graduate Seminar in International Business: Business in Latin America. Credit is granted by the University of Kansas upon successful completion of the program and will be posted to the student's KU transcript as a Spring course. 

Students will stay in shared accommodations at hotels. Breakfast is included everyday as well as many group meals.

The program will start in the Monteverde cloud forest where students will visit an ecological sanctuary to learn about conservation, sustainability, and tourism and learn about Costa Rican culture through food. The group will also go on a guided hike in the cloud forest.

Then, the group will travel to San José. While in San José, students will spend a day on the UCR campus and attend lectures given by UCR professors that focus on Costa Rica and business topics. Past lectures have included Costa Rican history and culture, the business climate and foreign investment in Costa Rica, and UCR Business School social programs. In addition to lectures, students will visit companies in and around San José. Company visits in past years have included business specializing in medical technology, shared services, manufacturing and production, sustainability, and agriculture.

The group will also participate in cultural activities. Past activities in San José have included a city tour and visit to the National Museum as well as dinner show featuring traditional Costa Rica dances. A visit to the beach on the Pacific side is also planned.

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.

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 for MAcc students who have a serious interest in learning about business culture and competitive dynamics in Costa Rica and Latin America. Admission will be selective. Minimum GPA is 3.0, though exceptions will be considered after submission of a petition.

Alee Phillips, Director of the Master of Accounting program and Kelvie Crabb, Associate Director of the Master of Accounting program, will lead the program again this year.

Business School Scholarships

Scholarships may be available for business students on this program through Center for Global Business Studies.

Passport and Entry Requirements

All U.S. citizens must have a passport to enter Costa Rica; no tourist visa is required. It’s recommended that the passport is valid for six months beyond the return date. For students who need to apply for an adult passport, please view the processing times and request one soon. KU Study Abroad & Global Engagement has a Passport Center where students can apply for a U.S. passport.

Non-U.S. citizens are responsible for understanding their entry requirements. Read more about visas and entry requirements through the Embassy of Costa Rica in Washington D.C. Most students will meet the visa waiver requirement of having a visa issued from the U.S., but also must meet the requirement of having a valid passport for six months beyond the return date. Please carefully read the information on the website.