UNCG Campus Weekly

Campus Weekly is published each Wednesday when classes are in session. In the summer, it is published biweekly.

UNCG students immerse themselves in Costa Rican culture

Group photos of students in Costa RicaStudy trip led by Donna Duffy (Kinesiology) and Lisa McDonald (CSD)).

This past month, 19 UNCG Human Development & Family Studies and Social Work majors studied abroad for three weeks in Costa Rica as a part of the Language and Culture Immersion program that UNCG has hosted since 2006.

This year, the trip was led by Dr. Donna Duffy (Kinesiology), and Dr. Lisa McDonald (Communication Sciences and Disorders). Duffy explained that the goals of the trip were to help “students gain personal and professional experience as a result of this trip, which better informs them to work with people from diverse backgrounds and with people who have needs that are different from their own.”

UNCG teamed up with Centro Panamericano de Idiomas (CPI), allowing students to explore Costa Rican culture through language training, unique tripes to ecological and cultural sites, and rooming with local families.

A typical day for the UNCG students was brimming with a plethora of both education and leisurely activities. Desiree Louvierre, a UNCG Social Work major, explains:

“A normal day in Costa Rica was waking up around 5 a.m., getting ready and eating breakfast with our host families, then walking to our meeting point to join our group of students and professors. We would drive to whatever our day field-trip was, such as touring coffee plantations or schools, then we would eat lunch at a local restaurant and drive back to school for our four-hour Spanish class. Once class was over, we would head back home to eat dinner with our host families and call it a night.”

This condensed trip abroad offers students various opportunities for cultural emersion: Desiree explains that being bilingual, working with children and understanding how different countries deal with welfare and poverty are pivotal towards success with her Social Work degree. She explains that the trip “definitely jump-started my efforts to learn more Spanish and I hope to continue learning,” and would love to continue studying abroad if given the opportunity.

Ultimately, the trip was an eye-opening experience for all students involved. UNCG prides itself on offering their students various study-abroad opportunities, allowing them to enrich their majors and personal life experiences, and take unexpected learning paths in their time as students.

See more at http://blog.studyandtravelcostarica.com/?cat=105.

By Christina Blankenship
Photo courtesy Lisa McDonald