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

  • Visit several business to learn about their business strategy, practices, and opportunities
  • Cultural activities are included so students can learn more about Costa Rica's history and culture
  • For MAcc students with a serious interest in Costa Rican and Latin American culture, markets, and the business environment

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.

The Business and Culture of Costa Rica 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.

Students are required to participate fully in pre-departure meetings and all scheduled activities in Costa Rica. Before the program, all students will complete assigned readings, participate in case study discussions, and make a group presentation 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 visted, prepare daily journals, and prepare posts for the School of Business program blog site. Upon return, students will prepare a written report that summarizes their business and personal learning experience in Costa Rica.

All students will earn 3 credits in IBUS 741: Business Practices in Latin America. Credit is granted by the University of Kansas upon successful completion of the course and overseas program and will be posted to the student's Spring academic record at KU. 

Students will be in double or triple occupancy accommodations at hotels. Several group meals are also included in the program.

Students will 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 Western Union Bank, Baxter, a coffee company, a small recycling company, and a dairy company.

The group will also participate in cultural activities. Past activities in San José have included a city tour and visits to the National Theater, Gold Museum, and artisan market. Activities outside of San José have included visits to a sugar cane plantation, a beach on the Pacific, and botanical gardens. 

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 understanding Costa Rican and Latin American culture, markets, and the business environment. Admission will be selective. Minimum GPA is 3.0, though exceptions will be considered after submission of a petition.

Alee Phillips, Director of the Masters of Accounting program, will lead the program again this year.

Business School Scholarships

Scholarships may be available for study abroad programs. Consult the Center for Global Business Studies website for more information on study abroad scholarships for business students. 

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 arrival.

June 2021: Passport processing times for U.S. passports are currently 18 weeks for routine service and 12 weeks for expedited service. Students who don't have a valid passport should apply for one immediately. For more information see, How to Apply for A 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 arrival. Please carefully read the information on the website.