As multiculturalism becomes more and more of a global force, it behooves educators to include cultural exchange experiences in their curricula to prepare their students for the future. As an example, educators working for Massachusetts’ Wakefield State University gave a group of 12 students an experience they will treasure for the rest of their lives. As part of a short-term study abroad course, the college students spent their summer working four different elementary schools in Costa Rica.
As opposed to simply touring the country with bilingual guides, the students were largely left to their own devices when interacting with the locals. This forced the youngsters to deal with the frustrations and challenges inherent in not knowing the local language, something that ESL students across America are familiar with. Additionally, the small college class journeyed to the Children’s Eternal Rainforest, where they studied a wide variety of flora and fauna they would have never been exposed to in their home country. At the end of their time in Costa Rica, the students said they felt the experience was “life-changing.” Since those 12 young people got an first hand understanding of what it truly means to be part of a global community, their assessment seems apt.
Read the full article here: Westfield State students transformed by Costa Rican cultural experience