Costa Rica is a beautiful paradise where building construction management students have been given the opportunity to spend a Spring Break while experiencing the culture, construction and a service project. Spring Break 2012 consisted of travel to the Poas Volcano (the second largest crater in the world), La Paz waterfalls and park (where toucans ate out of our hands) and a coffee plantation.
Students learned a lot during a tour of a construction site. They watched a concrete rebar installation and a precast plant on the site of a seven-story hotel and casino. They learned about productivity charts, and the company was implementing last project planner lean concepts.
One of the major highlights of the trip was a service project in an elementary school. Student did tilework and painting in a cafeteria setting. They shopped for supplies and completed all of the work in two days.
Student participants really enjoyed the experience. Their reflections include:
- “During this trip, I grew as person. Traveling with a group of people I did not know very well was a scary experience in itself. But the whole group agreed that we wanted to get as much as we could out of the trip, which was very helpful in making the trip a fun experience.”
- “Having an open mind to try new things made the trip wonderful and a great learning experience.”
- “A study abroad trip is something I had always heard people talk about but I did not realize how much I could learn until I did it myself.”
- “The service project was a big success and not only as an educational experience, but also as a life-enriching experience. One of the main reasons I chose to go to Costa Rica was because I wanted to give back and make a difference in other lives. The service project was what made the whole trip complete and what made it a success. It had a large impact on me as a person as well as the entire community.”
For more information about participating in a Costa Rica trip, email Daphene Koch.