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August

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Destination Costa Rica for education students

Group of JMU students in casual dress studying around table in Orotina, Costa Rica
JMU students study in Orotina, Costa Rica, where they were enrolled in two literacy and teaching courses. (Photo courtesy of Dr. Jen Newton)

Sixteen James Madison University students participated in Education in Costa Rica: Literacy and Curriculum in a Global Community, a short-term study abroad program organized by two College of Education faculty and the Office of International Programs.

“Students were enrolled in two courses, Literacy Across the Curriculum and Teaching English Language Learners,” said Dr. Jen Newton, assistant professor of educational foundations and exceptionalities. “The purpose of the trip was to bring those two courses to life with real-world experiences.”

Newton and program director Dr. DJ Loveless, assistant professor of early, elementary and reading education who taught in Costa Rican public schools before joining the JMU faculty, led the group of JMU students.

  • The JMU students traveled to Orotina, Costa Rica, via San Jose to work in the local public elementary school.
  • The students lived with seven local host families, sharing meals and learning more about the local culture.
  • The June 25-July 26 trip was divided into two phases, with an initial phase at the University of Peace, where the students took courses and focused on cultural assimilation. The second phase consisted of project-based learning in the Orotina school implementing service projects developed in the first phase.

Students interested in participating in a similar trip next summer from June 24 through July 26, 2015, may find details on the Office of International Programs website.

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Aug. 21, 2014