In 2017, Universidad Latina de Costa Rica (ULatina) and the University of Northern Iowa won the Marlene Johnson Challenge Award by creating a joint academic program based on sustainability, language, and culture. The institutions received a USD $25,000 grant for the project, financed by the U.S. government and the International Association of Educators.
The result was the Academic Immersion Program in Culture, Languages, and Sustainability, in which students from both institutions traveled to the U.S. and Costa Rica respectively for academic and cultural exchange.
“The award was a great achievement because many universities were participating, and winning proved that our project surpassed expectations. It also reaffirmed the university’s commitment to academic innovation,” said Ana María Vega, Coordinator of the Ulatina School of Tourism.
This program gave 10 tourism program students the opportunity to visit the University of Northern Iowa for two weeks in April 2018 to take courses and share best practices and lessons learned on the challenges of sustainable tourism.
In May, ULatina hosted students from the University of Northern Iowa for two weeks. The students took Spanish classes, visited different sites, and learned about sustainable tourism, one of the pillars of Costa Rican cultural wealth and preservation.
The successful initiative between these two institutions will continue in 2019 and 2020 with business and hospitality students respectively.
This article has been translated into English to be shared on the Laureate International Universities website.