Public Relations

Daily Pioneer News

Monday, March 01, 2010

UWP School of Education offering trip to Costa Rica

PLATTEVILLE- The University of Wisconsin-Platteville School of Education is offering a short-term, faculty-led international experience in Costa Rica. Sue Alborn-Yilek, UWP Education Office of Special Programs coordinator, and Linda Doser, UWP School of Education professor, will escort 10-20 UWP students to Monteverde, Costa Rica.

From June 18-30, UWP students will learn about the history, culture, politics, environment and people of this part of the world. A pre-trip session will be arranged for orientation and post-trip sessions will also be organized to reflect on the experience. The trip will include excursions to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Arenal Volcano, a local coffee plantation and a serpentaria.

UWP is partnering with the Cloud Forest School in Monteverde where most classes between preschool and grade 11 are taught in English. Each UWP student will attend a home stay with a Costa Rican, or Tico, family whose children attend Cloud Forest School. According to Alborn-Yilek, "This is intended to be an immersion experience for students to learn as much about the Costa Rican culture as possible in a short amount of time. Typically, one or two students will live with a single Tico family."

One of the major components of the immersion experience will be journaling. Prior to the trip, students will read "Charting a Hero's Journey" that will teach them to write about their experiences. "Journaling will allow our students an opportunity to capture their observations and then record their interpretations - the meaning behind what they observe. We will encourage them to not only capture what they see, but also what they hear and smell to be in tune with what is happening around them," said Alborn-Yilek.

One of the major learning outcomes of this trip will be to empathize and understand what it's like to be immersed in a different culture. Alborn-Yilek explains, "More than 14 million immigrants entered the United States during the 1900s, according to the 2000 census. Children of immigrants are estimated to be one in five students in grades K-12 throughout the United States and pre-service teachers will need some preparation to serve these students in their future classrooms. An immersion experience, such as this, will allow undergraduate students an opportunity to gain an understanding and appreciation for the English language learners they will eventually serve in their classrooms."

The cost of the trip is $1,950 and students are responsible for that amount. Students who participate will receive a $500 grant from the Project for Adult Access to Continuing Education and they can also apply for a $300 short-term, international study grant through the UWP Financial Aid Office. The registration deadline is Friday, March 5.

Anyone wanting more information about this class may visit their booth at the Study Abroad Fair on Friday, March 5 or contact Alborn-Yilek at (608) 342-1248 or

Contact: Sue Alborn-Yilek, coordinator, UWP Education Office of Special Programs, (608) 342-1248, Written by: Sarah Quella, UWP Office of Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

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