Students will spend the first night of the program in a hotel before moving to the first homestay in the Heredia region. Students will remain at the first homestay for several nights, before transitioning to a second homestay family in the Monteverde region of Costa Rica. During the final days of the program, students stay in hotels as they are engaged in touring different parts of Costa Rica. Students who choose to stay in Costa Rica for the internship extension will return to a homestay for the remaining time in Costa Rica.
Most breakfasts and meals will be provided by the homestay family. In addition, a welcome dinner and several group lunches (about five total) are included in the program price. Students who choose to stay in Costa Rica for the internship extension will continue to receive their meals at the homestay during the remaining time in Costa Rica.
Activities vary year to year but may include visits to a variety of companies, a visit to a typical, functional small farm, a canopy tour in a cloud forest reserve, a Latin-American cooking class, a Latin-American dancing class, a hike in Manuel Antonio National Park, a presentation about indigenous communities in Costa Rica and volunteer projects. In addition, all students will have the opportunity to engage in the typical activities of daily life in Costa Rica through their homestay experiences.
"I learned that I take things for granted in the US, and this culture has really opened my eyes up to it. I learned more about businesses in this country and I think I want to get into marketing. I really liked how there were three different layers to the trip. We got to see how life is like in the city, the mountains and the beach areas. Where else would you be able to do that? We were able to see the differences or similaries between families and I will always remember my homestays. It was a great experience that I want to do again. I learned that I can go out of the country, not knowing anyone I'm with, barely speaking the language and survive. To me, that is such an accomplishment and I am so proud of myself and everyone I went with. I really was immersed in the language and culture and became a Costa Rican. I will never forget that. It is going to be so weird going back to the USA. I feel like I became a different person and I wonder how things are going to change for me back home. I feel like I am a better person now because of this trip. It has opened my eyes to the culture of the Ticos and the Nicaraguans, and what it is like to be an immigrant."
“I have met some great new friends for my last year at Rollins, gotten to know an admirable professor better, met so many amazing ticos, seen some of the most breathtaking views, improved my Spanish skills, and obtained very valuable international business knowledge. However, it is not over for me yet! I am sad to see people go, but am so hopeful andexcited for my next month and a half in this beautiful country! I know it will be hard for my internship to beat this program, but both will for sure have different benefits and impacts on my future. This program was a perfect blend of edutainment, fun, service, and business experience. It was a great test of embracing ambiguity – something that will remain with me in the future, and hopefully I only get even better at doing so. I feel very blessed for this opportunity – pura vida!”--Melinda Dehn '13