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Department of Animal Sciences


Costa Rica: Service Learning

The goal of this program is to help students develop cultural awareness and problem-solving skills while also allowing students to conduct international sustainable service-learning projects. We achieve these goals through a variety of course work, including regular guided discussions of the assigned study topics, student’s experience and thoughts about the field trips and guided tours to the cultural and historical sites, as well as conducting service-learning projects and staying with local families.

 This program begins in San Jose, but the group will move on to the world-famous EARTH University soon after. A major benefit of staying at EARTH University is the interaction between the Ohio State and EARTH students who are from various tropical countries around the world as well as access to the school's many educational farms (cacao, coffee, banana, and livestock). While at EARTH, students will be able to witness the education that takes place at EARTH and prepare for their service-learning projects. The projects take place in a partner community that EARTH is assisting through development efforts and includes a two to three-day homestay with a local family. Examples of past projects include building a bio-digester, creating urban gardens, constructing mobile chicken coops, assisting with school renovations or writing project manuals in English for other English-speaking groups that visit EARTH University. Students will eat in the cafeteria with the EARTH students and have ample opportunity to make new friends from around the world.

 The program will also visit Cahuita National Park, a 2,711-acre national park with hiking trails and a beach on the Caribbean coast. The plant and animal diversity in Cahuita is one of the highlights of the program. At this and other locations, students will have the opportunity to hike and enjoy the beauty of Costa Rican ecosystems. Other past tours have included Arenal Volcano, various marketplaces and historic sites throughout the country.

 Upon completion of the education abroad in Costa Rica and the campus-based course, students will be able to identify and analyze the impact of sustainable technology on a developing country, study practical and sustainable solutions that involve service partnerships with the local entity or community (EARTH University, Costa Rica) and synthesize the theory and practice of service-learning within a community and/or global context.

FAES (March 7-15, 2019)

Application Deadline: November 1, 2019

Information sessions:

  • September 4, 2019 | 5:15-6:15 PM | Smith Laboratory 1180
  • Monday, September 23, 2019 | 4:30-5:30 PM | Ag Admin 005