Students, Faculty Offered Chance to Study Sustainability in Costa Rica

October 15, 2013

Saint Leo University’s Global Studies Program is sponsoring a nine-day academic trip in March 2014 to Costa Rica, with a focus on sustainability. The trip is open to undergraduates throughout the university, and planning is beginning now to allow students and families to make the appropriate budget and scheduling arrangements.

This trip is planned for March 15 to 23, which coincides with spring break at University Campus. Like some other academically oriented trips, this tour offers students the chance to travel outside the United States at modest rates. The estimated cost per traveler is $1,600, including airfare, accommodations, and all visits. The group will fly out of Orlando, FL.

“The study tour to Costa Rica presents one of the most affordable travel opportunities, to one of the world’s most beautiful destinations, to study one of the most pressing global issues of the century,” said Dr. Patricia Campion, director of the Global Studies Program, and the faculty leader for the trip. [Dr. Campion stressed that students should not confuse this trip with alternative spring break trips also offered through the university, but that are centered on volunteer experiences.]

Dr. Campion and additional faculty members will visit the Center for Tropical Agriculture Research and Higher Education (CATIE) for much of the trip. The group will hear lectures on agroecology, sustainable productions systems, sustainable tourism, and biodiversity. Related trips are planned to coffee and sugar cane farms, botanical gardens, a cocoa experimental station, as well as visit Poán Volcano National Park, the Guayabo Archeological Monument, and the capital city of San José.

The trip can be linked to a special topics course (GLO 300) from the Global Studies Program that students may take as an elective. Alternatively, students may join the trip without any course enrollment or requirements. This makes the trip an option to Saint Leo students who are enrolled through the Center for Online Learning or studying at education centers, and who have an interest in sustainability issues.

The Global Studies major at Saint Leo University was recently launched by the School of Arts and Sciences. This is an interdisciplinary, skill-based major in which students learn to think critically about the complex interactions among global social, political, economic, environmental, and ethical phenomena with applications to all regions of the world. Students satisfy a foreign language requirement and complete a global internship.

The major is ideal for students contemplating careers at public, private, and nongovernmental organizations with an international focus, or graduate studies in international business, social services, social sciences, international development, international relations, law, or criminal justice.

For further information, contact Dr. Patricia Campion, director of the Global Studies Program, at (352) 588-8352 or