Students experience Costa Rican culture through study abroad program

Mount Mercy students spent four weeks studying in Costa Rica and embracing the local culture this month. Assistant Professor of Spanish Belkis Suarez led the group of seven students in Heredia, Costa Rica, at the Universidad Latina to study language and way of life in the Central American country.

The students toured a coffee plantation, hiked through a volcanic park, and swam in the Pacific Ocean. They also participated in a service project, helping create a garden to benefit disabled children. During their trip, students lived with host families and learned to cook Costa Rican dishes.

Spanish is a newer program established at Mount Mercy and Director of International Programs Catharine Cashner was excited to see the opportunity available for students to study within the Spanish culture so soon. This was also the first faculty-led summer study abroad program through the university.

Students participating in the Costa Rican trip included Mikayla Morrison of South English, Iowa; Gina Behnke of Holy Cross, Iowa; Alexandria Pircer of Cedar Falls, Iowa; Sophie Blake of Clarence, Iowa; Bianca Curtis of Green Lake, Wis.; Daniel Wayson of North Liberty, Iowa; and Tyler Hartley of Muscatine, Iowa.

"This has been an exciting growth opportunity for our students," Cashner said. "I applaud our students on their accomplishments, as well as Professor Suarez for bringing this project to fruition."

For more information on study abroad opportunities at Mount Mercy, visit the International Programs page.

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