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*UTK Costa Rica First-Year Business Program
Bahia Ballena, Costa Rica; Los Santos, Costa Rica; San Jose, Costa Rica (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Fall
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Budget Sheets Fall
Dates / Deadlines:
There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
GPA Requirement:
Consult College of Business Administration
Language of Instruction:
Class Standing:
Language Prerequisite:
Course Prerequisite:
first-time, first-year Haslam College of Business Student
Eco-Lodge, Hotel
Program Type: UT Faculty-Directed Open to non-UTK Students: No
Experience Type:
Study Abroad Program Coordinator: Anne Hulse
Field of Study:
Business Administration
Program Description:

Costa Rica First-Year Business Program

.Costa Rica Postcard

This will be a highly experiential study abroad program in which a small group of first-year UT HCB  students (no more than 18) will have the opportunity to visit and interact with a variety of businesses and leaders throughout Costa Rica, where tourism, technology, and agriculture are key economic drivers. Through workshops, site visits, lectures, documentaries, group discussions, cultural activities, and hands-on simulations, students will learn about contemporary business and development issues in Costa Rica while also exploring the culture, history, food, and natural environment of this beautiful Central American country. Students will receive an introduction to the “Pura Vida” business culture of Costa Rica, and learn about sustainable development and ecotourism.


Students who successfully complete the program will receive credit for International Business 489, which is a 0-credit degree requirement for HCB students pursuing an IB collateral or concentration. The program also satisfies the Chancellor’s Honors Program’s Ready for the World requirement.

Destinations Visited and Program Activities


Los Santos is located in central Costa Rica, about 65 kms south of the capital San Jose. The Los Santos region covers over 863 sq km of majestic forest reserve which helps to protect the biodiversity of the surrounding land and watersheds. The name Los Santos means the Valley of the Saints and many local villages were named after Catholic Saints. The district is known for its vast variety of flowers, trees and rich landscapes of flowing rivers and lush green valleys. From the mountain tops to the Pacific Ocean, you can enjoy 360 degree views of shear beauty.

  • Artisan Coffee Tour

  • Visit Coopedota

  • Volunteer work with Heart of Gold in the community of Santa María de Dora or Copey de Dota


The Osa Peninsula is located in southwest Costa Rica on the Pacific Ocean. It is home to a vast majority of Costa Rica’s wildlife and the Corcovado National Park. The peninsula is central to discussions on
conservation, treatment of national parks, and eco-tourism.

  • Four lectures/workshops about sustainable business in Costa Rica

  • Community Walking Journey

  • Mangrove Kayak Tour

  • Guided Whale Tail Walk with typical Costa Rican lunch


San José is set in the lush Central Valley of the Costa Rican highlands and is where the majority of Costa Ricans work, live, and study. Students studying in San José, Costa Rica will be able to experience a Latin American metropolis while also having the rest of Costa Rica's pristine natural wonders at their fingertips. Downtown San José features a pedestrian-friendly walkway down which students enjoy strolling, stopping at a café and sipping on a coffee and shopping at the Mercado Central. The city is filled with cultural offerings including numerous unique museums and students enjoy catching musical and theater performances at the elegant Teatro Nacional.

  • Cultural Activities

  • Café Britt Tour with presentation

  • Site visit to multinational business

  • Visit San José Markets


Students will be housed in shared rooms in hotels or eco-lodges during the program.

Program Leader

Mark Willoughby, Haslam College of Business (

This program is currently not accepting applications.

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