Language Immersion and Human Services Exploration in Costa Rica
This study abroad program in Costa Rica will explore Costa Rican social welfare systems and social work, involve an exploration of cultural humility via immersion into the local culture, and include a service learning opportunity with a local children's shelter. The instructors are collaborating with the Academia Centroamericana de Español (ACCE) in Costa Rica to provide students a comprehensive cultural immersion experience and create a meaningful learning opportunity. The ACCE program will provide small group Spanish social work and health and human services' instruction based on each student's Spanish proficiency, lectures by native social work educators and professionals, site visits to social welfare agencies and additional cultural activities. Learning activities will also explore issues of environmental justice and the impact of tourism on human services in Costa Rica. ACCE arranges for students to stay with Costa Rican families that live near ACCE for a total immersion into the culture and language. Participating students will complete a 25 hour service learning at a local children's shelter following the completion of two weeks of Spanish-language and social welfare studies at the ACCE school in Grecia. To meet the goals and objectives of the course, the ASU instructors will host course sessions with the students prior to the trip to Costa Rica, and meet for instruction while in Costa Rica.
The program goals are to give students the opportunity to enhance their cultural competency; enrich their understanding of their own cultural heritage and community norms; learn about the human service professions in Costa Rica; understand the social welfare system in Costa Rica and how the system is different and similar to the U.S. welfare system; understand the historical, political, and environmental context that impacts social welfare; improve their Spanish language skills to better serve human service clients; and provide service to a local community agency. The goals will be addressed by: 1) giving students the experience of living with a Latin American family to better understand the culture and family structure, 2) enhancing the students' cultural competency through lectures regarding Latino culture and social work, 3) attending language school to enhance the students' ability to communicate with Spanish-speaking clients, 4) visiting Costa Rican social service agencies, 5) experiencing Latin American cultural activities, 6) discussing the similarities and differences of the social welfare system in Costa Rica and the US 7) discussing, reflecting on, and writing about their international experience and how it has affected their approach to human service practice. The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics and The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) require social work students to be culturally competent to work with client systems of diverse racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds. After graduation, many social work and other students will be working with Latino populations in North Carolina and other states. Students can develop a unique understanding of cultural competency by being in a Latin American country like Costa Rica, living with a host family, and working with families and children in their native environment.
SW 3530 – Cultural Immersion and the Social Welfare System in Costa Rica – 3 credits
SW 3531 – Cultural Humility and Human Service Practice in Costa Rica – 3 credits
SW 5540 – Advanced Cultural Immersion and the Social Welfare System in Costa Rica – 3 credits
SW 5541 – Advanced Cultural Humility and Human Service Practice in Costa Rica – 3 credits
All students are strongly urged to attend a Faculty-led Study Abroad Financial Workshop prior to submitting the signed application to OiED. These workshops are held throughout the semester. We will answer your questions about program payment schedule, cancellation policy, financial aid and other funding sources, financial planning, and other related topics. ALL IN-PERSON WORKSHOPS WILL BE HELD IN THE PLEMMONS STUDENT UNION. Online and evening workshops are available on (TBD). For workshop dates and to register for a workshop, please click here.
Billable Program Cost: $ 3,408.25
Includes: airfare, in-country program transportation, lodging, international health and evacuation insurance, program events, most meals, and OIED/CCS administrative fee.
Estimated Additional Student Cost: $ 450.00
Estimated costs include but are not limited to: immunizations ($100), personal expenses ($200), and some meals ($150).
* Non-US citizens may need to apply for a visa before entering Costa Rica
** Tuition and fees for summer program are not included in this cost. Please go to this link
and scroll down to "Study Abroad Rates" to determine what tuition and fees you will be charged based on your individual status. Please note that summer tuition and fees are updated during the spring semester.
Appalachian reserves the right to cancel or alter the program format or to change costs in case of conditions beyond the university's control. Further details about Appalachian's withdrawal/cancellation policy can be found at this link.
||Submit with application
If you plan to use any form of financial aid (loans, grants, scholarships) to participate in a short-term, faculty-led education abroad program, we strongly recommend that you take the following steps before applying to the program:
- Complete your FAFSA for the academic year in which the program is offered. Please be mindful of Financial Aid deadlines!
- Visit the Office of Financial Aid's website at http://financialaid.appstate.edu/study-abroad. Read all the information carefully and print the Study Abroad Agreement Form for the appropriate term that you are requesting an increase in financial aid due to studying abroad.
- Go to the Office of Financial Aid on the second floor of the JET Building to discuss your financial aid eligibility with Kim Overcash or Laura Sullivan PRIOR to applying to the program.
The international component of this course is 06/29/19 to 07/20/19.
Pre-Program Course Meetings
Two (2) full-day mandatory in-person course meetings: Thursday, May 16 and Friday, May 17, 2019.
One (1) to two (2) mandatory online course meetings during the Spring 2019 semester and June 2019.
One (1) meeting; date and time TBD.
Dr. Kellie Reed Ashcraft
Professor, Department of Social Work
Kellie Reed Ashcraft is a professor in the Department of Social Work, and is in her 21st year at Appalachian. She primarily teaches introductory social work at the bachelors and masters social work levels, as well as courses in the MSW Community and Organizational Practice concentration. Dr. Reed Ashcraft's research and practice interests include community practice, program evaluation, trauma-informed/resilience-building community efforts, and at risk children and families. Dr. Reed Ashcraft previously led a 6 credit, study abroad trip to India with 11 undergraduate and graduate social work students. She and Ms. Sarah Donovan co-led the Costa Rica SW program in 2018 and is excited to co-lead it again in 2019!
Ms. Sarah Donovan
Lecturer, Department of Social Work
Sarah Donovan is a full-time Lecturer of social work and enjoys teaching foundational social work courses to students who are new to the field. Her favorite course to teach is Cultural Competence in the Helping Professions, and she expects her professional focus on cultural humility will promote student learning during the cultural immersion experience in Costa Rica. Ms. Donovan is bilingual and focused her professional social work practice on working with and advocating for Spanish-speaking immigrant families in North Carolina for the past 14 years. Ms. Donovan has traveled throughout many parts of Europe and Central America and looks forward to returning to Costa Rica with Dr. Reed Ashcraft and all the amazing students who will be accompanying them!
How to Apply
- CONTACT THE FACULTY DIRECTOR(S) TO DISCUSS THE PROGRAM
- SUBMIT YOUR ONLINE APPLICATION
- Log in to AppalNET/Banner Self-Service.
- Select the "Direct Link to Web Self-Service" using your AppState username and password.
- Select the Student Tab.
- Scroll down and click on the "Faculty-Led Study Abroad Application Packet*" link.
- Select the program-specific application form from the programs drop-down menu.
- Fill out, save, and submit the online application.
- PRINT, SIGN, AND DATE THE PAPER APPLICATION FORM
- PAY THE NON-REFUNDABLE DEPOSIT
- Walk to the Office of Student Accounts, located on the 2nd floor of the John E. Thomas building.
- Give the name and term of your program to the Cashier who will look up the deposit charge on your account (e.g., Poland COM Summer 1).
- Pay the non-refundable deposit by check, cash, debit card, or money order. Please note that Student Accounts can no longer accept credit card payments in person, but they can take credit card payments online. Online credit and debit card payments are subject to a non-refundable 2.75% transaction fee.
- BRING YOUR SIGNED PAPER APPLICATION TO OIED
- Walk to the Office of International Education and Development (OIED), located on the 3rd floor of Plemmons Student
Union, Suite 321.
- OIED will make your enrollment official upon reception of your signed paper application and verification of deposit payment.
All students are strongly urged to attend a Faculty-led Study Abroad Financial Workshop prior to submitting the signed application to OiED. These workshops are held throughout the semester. We will answer your questions about program payment schedule, cancellation policy, financial aid and other funding sources, financial planning, and other related topics. ALL IN-PERSON WORKSHOPS WILL BE HELD IN THE PLEMMONS STUDENT UNION. Online and evening workshops are available on (TBD). For workshop dates and to register for a workshop, please click here
You will NOT be enrolled in the program until you have completed all 5 steps above.
You are strongly encouraged to share the information contained in the Faculty-Led Education Abroad Program Online Student Application Form with your family and loved ones (including the Student Handbook), before submitting your application.
DEADLINE TO SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION:
Programs are open until full. If a program is full, the Faculty-led Education Abroad Program online student application form for that program will be deactivated and you will no longer be able to apply. The application deadline is 03/15/2019 but applications are accepted on a rolling basis so students are encouraged to apply early.
Appalachian reserves the right to cancel or alter the program format or to change costs in case of conditions beyond the university's control.