A class led by Dr. Dorothy Anthony and Shirley Michaels, departed for Costa Rica in May, 2010 for a two week-long course. The purpose was for the students to understand critical health issues from a multi-dimensional perspective and to think critically about how health and disease in a global society impacts everyone on the planet.
Students learn through travel
Students visited a basic health care center EBAIS, the first point of contact in the health care system for most citizens, where well-care and prevention are emphasized. As a service learning project, students painted an EBAIS clinic. They stayed in a casa universitarias where their Mamatika (Costa Rican mother), who spoke no English, cooked and cared for them.
In addition to immersing themselves in the health care system of Costa Rica, students visited several national parks to learn about the flora and fauna first hand; toured the country, including the well known volcano, Arenal; and shopped at artisans’ marketplaces. The students also wrote a policy brief in an area related to their major. For example, one student compared the physical education requirements for schools in the US and Costa Rica. Another, a criminal justice major, compared policing of drug trafficking.
The students were able to experience another culture, whose language is not their own, and were offered an opportunity to develop independence, personal growth, and self-confidence.