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Business Practices in Latin America : Reviews (San Jose)

The following program review responses have been selected for publication by Study Abroad & Global Engagement
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Kevin Edward Fisk, Winter Break 2013 Participant
My favorite part was learning about the cultural differences and seeing the different ways businesses are being ran in Costa Rica.

 

Stephanie Lynn Palmer, Winter Break 2013 Participant
My favorite part of this study abroad was the immediate immersion into a different culture. Just stepping out in the streets had a completely different feel from the United States. The people were different, the stores were different, the houses were different - everything about the lifestyles I witnessed screamed, "Not in Kansas, anymore!". It was an incredible experience.

 

Winter Break 2014 Participant
Variety - We did so many different activities while we were there. We were able to explore the country in so many different ways, and I really feel like I gained an intimate knowledge of Costa Rica, its culture, and its business climate.

 

Winter Break 2015 Participant
My favorite part of the Study Abroad program in Costa Rica was being able to become immersed in the local culture. We were able to all over Costa Rica and go to the places that locals go, not just tourism areas. I was able to eat traditional Costa Rican food, which I loved!

 

Winter Break 2016 Participant
My favorite part was being able to go to different Costa Rican companies and see the similarities and differences of companies in Costa Rica versus companies in the US.

 

Nathan J Pearce, Winter Break 2016 Participant
I loved bonding with my classmates outside (far outside) of the classroom. With the help of our Costa Rican student friends and counterparts, I loved feeling like I was a Costa Rican for a week - I learned what it looks like to eat, think, and welcome people of all cultures and nationalities like a true Costa Rican!

 

Winter Break 2016 Participant
My favorite part of the program was that we were able to do so many different things in 10 days. The program incorporated outdoor activities as well as conferences in the classroom. It was nice being able to have different settings.

 

Laurin Ashley Wright, Winter Break 2016 Participant
I truly enjoyed our ability to interact with the student hosts from UCR throughout our program, both in the classroom and during our group activities.

 

Winter Break 2017 Participant
The day we spent at the waterfall and beach were much needed for relaxation and reflection upon the trip. My favorite company visit was to the sugar cane plantation.

 

Winter Break 2017 Participant
I really enjoyed the many different cultural activities and the fact that we didn't do extremely touristy things. We got to meet hard working individuals and really see how they survive in Costa Rica.

 

Winter Break 2017 Participant
The beach day at the end of the trip was extremely relaxing and a ton of fun.

 

Winter Break 2018 Participant
Being able to interact with UCR students alongside my KU classmates added a valuable component to the trip. While learning about cultural differences and about different industries, I was able to learn a lot the interests and the goals of my peers in a new light.

 

Winter Break 2019 Participant
Being introduced to a new culture in depth and getting to meet people with unique stories that were tied into their businesses.

 

Alok Rajendra Patel, Winter Break 2019 Participant
My favorite part of the program was meeting the locals. Talking to the locals allowed me to better understand Costa Rica's culture and how their values are incorporated within their economic activities.

 

Michael Andrew Virgo, Winter Break 2013 Participant
The program had a perfect mix between class time, company visits, and cultural experiences. You get a lot of chances to see amazing places and try the local dishes as well.

 

Winter Break 2014 Participant
I enjoyed learning how Costa Rica's desire for carbon neutrality impact the business landscape. I also thought that some of the business visits were interesting because Costa Rican businesses all have a very strong view of the role of corporate social responsibility programs. Learning about how businesses balance a profit motive with social responsibility and environmental awareness was extremely interesting.

 

Winter Break 2015 Participant
Our group traveled all around the Central Valley doing company visits where we witnessed firsthand how businesses operated in a country apart from the United States. The differences were subtle and might have been overlooked if we were not able to see for ourselves.

 

Winter Break 2015 Participant
I felt like we were a bit more immersed in a foreign culture than other programs I've participated in. Learning from Costa Rican lecturers and visiting Costa Rican businesses while spending time with the Costa Ricans was a great experience and really added depth to this program beyond the classroom activities.

 

Michael Alexander Collins, Winter Break 2016 Participant
I found it rewarding to learn about how business works in Costa Rica. I learned businesses from top business leaders in the community in food/beverage, coffee, high-tech, and banking. I loved how the University of Costa Rica developed a program to aid women with children and older people develop new businesses.

 

Winter Break 2016 Participant
For me, it was most rewarding to start to understand the Costa Rican culture and see why they are so proud of their country.

 

Winter Break 2016 Participant
The elements that I found most rewarding were the various company visits that we went on. Those visits helped us gain an understanding of business in Costa Rica, while also furthering our understanding of business in general.

 

Nathan J Pearce, Winter Break 2016 Participant
Learning about another culture is rewarding because it provides a bigger picture of the world than we tend to have in America. I loved seeing what kinds of things that other countries, namely Costa Rica, do better than we do as Americans. I enjoyed conceptualizing how we might improve certain aspects of our country's operations and culture.

 

Winter Break 2016 Participant
Getting to know the Costa Ricans (both the students and instructors) was the most rewarding. They truly have a passion for this program and it shows. I have never experienced a more welcoming culture than the one in Costa Rica. I think we all bonded and became close friends which made it hard to say goodbye.

 

Laurin Ashley Wright, Winter Break 2016 Participant
I found the majority of the conferences incredibly rewarding, in regards to both the cultural learning aspect as well as the inherent group bonding. The small group size (28 KU students) strongly facilitated positive relationship building and allowed us to feel comfortable asking any questions we had throughout the sessions.

 

Winter Break 2017 Participant
I thought all of the company visits were insightful as to how business operations are created and fulfilled in Costa Rica. As students we were able to receive a hands on approach from the owners and managers of multiple businesses that provided their own personal opinion about their company and the culture of Costa Rica.

 

Winter Break 2017 Participant
I felt that getting to interact with UCR students, UCR faculty, and all sorts of different Costa Ricans that weren't involved with the tourism industry. Everything was very authentic and extremely rewarding.

 

Winter Break 2018 Participant
The most rewarding experience was talking to small business owners that were local to the area and how they created their success.

 

Vincent Andrew Mckamie, Winter Break 2013 Participant
A study abroad experience, as a whole, is a great opportunity to not only learn about another culture, but it's a great way to learn about yourself and to bond and network with your classmates and faculty members.

 

Michael Alexander Collins, Winter Break 2016 Participant
I learned how important it is to have an open mind and be respectful. With this attitude, you can visit virtually any country in the world.

 

Winter Break 2016 Participant
Embrace the Costa Rican culture while you are there!

 

Winter Break 2016 Participant
Don't be afraid to go out of your comfort zone and to try new things!

 

Nathan J Pearce, Winter Break 2016 Participant
If you go in with the mindset that you are on vacation, you will limit your ability to have a great experience. If you go in motivated to have fun learning, your experience will far exceed your expectations and you will feel like you are actually on vacation.

 

Laurin Ashley Wright, Winter Break 2016 Participant
Costa Rica has implemented numerous environmentally friendly as well as socially responsible initiatives in their schools and society in general. I strongly believe their strategies make excellent examples to model our behavior after.

 

Victoria Elizabeth Hendren, Winter Break 2017 Participant
Be prepared to move around a lot, and the trip is very fast paced. Enjoy it while it last.

 

Landon Michael Johnson, Winter Break 2017 Participant
It's important to realize the role that smaller countries play in the operation of multinational companies, because it is likely a bigger role than you might think.

 

Winter Break 2017 Participant
I learned that not many things are on time in Costa Rica. Their culture is a "go with the flow" atmosphere, whereas business in America is typically very time oriented.

 

Winter Break 2017 Participant
If there is a schedule, don't look at the times things are scheduled for but instead look at the activities. Tico time is something to get used to, so just go with the flow and don't expect to be on time for anything.

 

Winter Break 2017 Participant
Definitely be able to handle change. No day will go according to plan and a lot of compromise is needed.

 

Winter Break 2019 Participant
From an international business perspective; Understanding different cultures that you are dealing with and trying to adjust to and accommodate to some of their cultural norms can make a huge difference for your business relationships.

 

Alok Rajendra Patel, Winter Break 2019 Participant
I learned that it is possible to achieve growth in a sustainable way. Costa Rica has doubled its GDP between 2008-2018 and they have been careful not to pollute the environment and maintain a strong tourist economy.