Experiencing Spring Break in Costa Rica

Written by: Laura Barrett, Ag. Communications and Ag. Economics, Class of 2022

What better place to spend spring break than Costa Rica? Our ten AGEC study abroad students make some compelling arguments for the beautiful country. They enjoyed their time in Costa Rica over spring break with Dr. Fernandez and Amy Jones learning about the culture, visiting schools, trying local food, and experiencing different agricultural practices.

This popular short-term study abroad lasted 8 days and included traveling around San Jose to see coffee, chocolate, and livestock production, go snorkeling, hike in the rainforest and much more! A consistent favorite among their endeavors was the local produce. Jarrett Fischer (Sophomore; Farm Management; Cory, IN) says, “My favorite place we visited was a pineapple plantation because I was amazed at how much sweeter their pineapple is compared to what we buy in the grocery store. I also could not believe that people had to hand plant and harvest millions of pineapples each year on the small farm we visited.” 

A big attraction of this trip is getting to experience agricultural practices in a tropical environment. Students had the chance to experience a banana plantation. Kile McKee (Junior; Agribusiness Management; Chrisman, IN) says, “One interesting thing I learned during my time in Costa Rica was that one planting will allow 3 harvests of bananas.” They learned that bananas are actually herbaceous plants and don’t grow on trees. 

Purdue students spent a day of their trip at Paquena High School’s BioReserve. Jackson Allen (Junior; Agribusiness Management; Alexander, IL) says it was interesting to see the differences in our education structures because “students can choose the curriculum they study in order to prepare for the career of their choice... It was an inspiration to see how the [Eco-tourism] students have worked to learn English and that they were able to give us a tour through their Bio Reserve and around their campus. We also played a basketball game against their team and it helped to bring us and their students together. Our time spent there was very meaningful to myself and I am confident the other members of our group would agree.”  

Kelsey Bragg (Junior; Agribusiness Finance; Frankfort, IN) said, “My favorite place we visited was the area of Sarapiqui because it was there that I first got to experience Costa Rican culture. We also got to go White Water Rafting and visit a nature preserve. Studying Abroad was one of the greatest experiences of my entire life! It opened my eyes to how little of the world I have actually seen, and I got to make some incredible new friends.”

Our students all had a great experience and enjoyed their time in Costa Rica. Kile encourages others to take the trip by saying, “the number one regret I’ve heard from alumni was they didn't take advantage of the opportunity to study abroad during their time here at Purdue... If you haven't studied abroad yet I would highly recommend the opportunity. It is an experience that you will love and never have the chance to do again.” 

Other AGEC student attendees:  
Sadie Schmitt (Freshman; Agribusiness Finance; Elberfeld, IN) 
Jarrett Burroughs (Junior; Sales & Marketing; Brookston, IN)
Zoey Nobbe (Freshman; Agribusiness Finance; Greensburg, IN)
Derek Alexander (Sophomore; Agribusiness Finance; Columbus, IN)
Clayton Pottschmidt (Senior; Agribusiness Management; Seymour, IN)
Adrianna Dague (Sophomore; Agribusiness Management; Kewanna, IN)

Interested in next year’s spring break trip? Visit the College of Ag's Spring Break Website to learn more and be sure to attend the callout meeting this fall!

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