Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Travel study students experience Costa Rica’s ‘pura vida’

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The Costa Rica Intercultural Communications Travel Study group together on their first night in San José at Tiquicia restaurant.

Pura vida means pure life. That’s what 28 individuals got to experience on the Costa Rica Travel Study led by the Department of Communication and Office of Global Experiences, which provided an opportunity for a 19 day trip as part of intercultural communications studies. 

As part of the course students learned about the cultures of Costa Rica, the ecology of the land, the economy, and experience what it is like to be in a different country. Students were immersed into the culture and history of Costa Rica. Over the course of 19 days, 25 students and three instructors had the opportunity to go do many activities that made new experiences.

There’s zip lining at La Fortuna that had seven different long routes of ziplining through the jungle with a rappelling off the cliff at the end where it felt like you were in an action movie. They tried a variety of new foods such as different kinds of fruits, beans, rice, empanadas, and many kinds of tacos. The group visited a chocolate farm, learned how to cook all kinds of chocolates with the tools that sometimes even involved dancing.

“For me Costa Rica was an eye opening experience. I consider myself to be pretty well traveled, but nothing compares to traveling with 25 other students who are all feeling the same excitement and nerves as you,” senior communication major Makayla Haight said. “The most incredible part of the experience was not only traveling to six different cities and getting to experience all of the culture within each, but connecting with my classmates and making so many new close friends as well. The Costa Rica travel study was unique because we got to learn all about the culture and communication, but we also got to see the ocean, swim with sea turtles, and hike in the clouds. Costa Rica is one of the most beautiful countries I’ve had the opportunity to visit, and the locals made it feel like home for three weeks.”

The Costa Rica Intercultural Communications Travel Study group together on a trail at Rincón De La Vieja national park.

The students learned how to cook empanadas, cheesy bread, and saw an amazing view from the mountains. They snorkeled in the ocean to see sea life, including dolphins swimming by the boats, saw a whale leap from the waters, a turtle swimming up towards them, a shark resting on the bottom, and walked on the beaches of an island. 

The study abroad group also attended a fair that had a rodeo. In Costa Rica rodeos are viewed as an exciting sport, the audience cheered on as the bulls charged and the participants dodged the bulls. Students visited many national parks such as Mistico Park Hanging Bridges, Caño Negro National Park, Rincón De La Vieja National Park and Manuel Antonio National Park. The group visited a bat house where they learned about bats in Monteverde. They went on a coffee tour that also had a jungle tour where they saw a toucan, a mama sloth with a baby hanging in the tree, and learned how they made natural coffee. The study abroad group even visited a tribe that explained their culture, ecology, the history of their tribe, important traditions of respect towards animals, respect to the environment and the values of warriors. 

“I chose to go on the travel study trip because I love to travel but have never been to Central America. I think studying abroad is an excellent opportunity for students to expand their horizons and experience new things,” junior business management major David Zimmerman said. “One thing that stood out to me was the locals I met while I was there. For the most part, everyone I met was very nice and willing to help you if you had any questions. Some even went as far as to tell me what areas were safe and what streets I should avoid when walking somewhere.”

The group visited several cities in Costa Rica, including San Jose, La Fortuna, Monteverde, Liberia, Quepos, Uvita and Heredia. The memories that the travel abroad trip allowed students to make will surely be highlights of their college careers.

Some of the Costa Rica Intercultural Communications Travel Study group went to Nutauval Waterfall hike in Uvita.
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