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*UTK Costa Rica First-Year Business Program
Bahia Ballena, Costa Rica; Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica; San Gerardo de Dota, 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
Field of Study:
Business Administration
Language of Instruction:
Class Standing:
Language Prerequisite:
Course Prerequisite:
BA 100
Eco-Lodge, Hotel Program Type: Faculty-led
Open to non-UTK Students: No
Program Description:

Program Description

This will be a highly experiential study abroad program in which a small group of first-year UT CBA 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.

After flying into San José’s Juan Santamaría International Airport, the group will spend one night in San José prior to traveling by private coach to Bahia Ballena. Located on the picturesque southern Pacific coast of Costa Rica, Bahia Ballena is one of the few remaining authentic “Tico” coastal communities in Costa Rica. Here students will stay in a cooperative eco-lodge, receive an introduction to the “Pura Vida” business culture of Costa Rica, and learn about sustainable development and ecotourism—the lifeblood of the Bahia Ballena economy. During this phase of the program we will meet with community and business leaders, acquaint ourselves with local customs and practices, and enjoy this remarkable setting, including a kayaking tour in Terraba Sierpe Mangroves National Wetlands.


For the second phase of the program we will travel by private coach to the Osa Peninsula, a relatively tiny (about 35 miles long, 20 miles wide), remote, and undeveloped region further south on the Pacific coast that is among the most biodiverse on earth and a model for eco-tourism. There we will visit and meet with small business owners, learn about and discuss historical and current challenges to sustainable development and organic agriculture in the region, participate in a community service project, and again leave time to enjoy the outdoors through organized program activities.

On our return trip to San José, we will spend an afternoon and night in San Gerardo de Dota, a beautiful small mountain town whose economy relies on the new Los Quetzales National Park. Finally, we will return by private coach to San José, the capital of Costa Rica, where we will participate in a range of business site visits, including to: Café Britt, a large gourmet coffee manufacturer; a visit to a multinational business facility; and the Chamber of Commerce. We will also have time to explore this historic city through an organized tour, including its markets and plazas, prior to debriefing the experience and discussing future study abroad opportunities.


This program is restricted to students in BA 100, the CBA's first-year studies course, during the Fall 2014 semester.  Students who successfully complete the program will receive credit for International Business 489, which is a 0-credit degree requirement for CBA students pursuing an IB collateral or concentration.


The program fee includes multiple visits to local and international businesses, kayaking in the Terraba Sierpe Mangroves National Wetlands, a half-day group community service project, a guided rainforest hike, a visit to an organic chocolate farm, and city tours


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

Faculty Contact

Andrew Seidler

This program is currently not accepting applications.

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