Research and Cultural Learning in Costa Rica!

My name is Steve Haberlin. I’m a doctoral student in the elementary education program at
U.S.F. I am joining the students heading to Costa Rica in late May through the study abroad
program. I received two scholarships-the Global Educators Scholarship and the Mark and Kay
Orr International Affairs Scholarship-to help me subsidize this trip. My purpose in traveling to
Costa Rica is to assist my major professor, Dr. Jennifer Jacobs, with research that looks at how
the pre-service teachers attending the trip perceive their cultural identities. We are asking them to
photograph their experiences, including living with Costa Rican host families and working with
teachers and students there, and examine cultural beliefs and norms. As a university intern
supervisor, I will also be assisting group leaders with making sure everyone has a safe,
educational trip. Of course, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was very excited about seeing Costa Rica
from a tourist perspective (we have a full agenda that includes visiting a rain forest, learning
salsa dancing, and participating in a host of other cultural experiences. I’ve had the fortune of
traveling internationally (Asia/Europe) and I always experience a rush—a true feeling of
adventure-when I find myself in a foreign land with nothing but a map. I have learned so much
from experiencing other parts of the world—and I think this experience will be no different. Of
course, professionally, I believe this trip will help boost my teacher education and scholarly
credentials, as can claim having experience working with pre-service teachers in an international
context. We also plan to publish findings from our research.

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