This past month I visited SI Costa Rica while on a “vision tour” with professors representing nine colleges or universities from the states. All are interested in partnering with Students International for semester programs. It is exciting to report that Costa Rica will be offering semester programs similar to the spring Guatemala term and the fall term in the Dominican Republic. Jeff Dixon, country director, and Darin Mather, who has been instrumental in developing curriculum for all of the programs, are crafting a unique program that will include an SI partnership with the University of Costa Rica. Several Christian Universities are excited about the partnership that would allow science majors to study abroad without falling behind in their required class and lab work. The program would also include an emphasis on learning the Spanish language and offer time to work alongside our staff at the ministry sites.
The current semester programs in Guatemala and the Dominican Republic have served as great models, yet each country and culture is unique. The Costa Rica program looks as if it will begin spring of 2011. Students spending a semester in a country while pursuing their course of study and serving at the ministry sites have been a blessing to the work of Students International. Furthermore, the semester programs encapsulate our mission and vision statement:
Bringing students and the poor together cross-culturally to encounter God, share the Good News, disciple and serve others in occupational ministries.
Seeing students and the poor transformed into the likeness of Christ and discover their true calling.