San José, June 4, 2021. To showcase Costa Rica’s higher education offerings to attract foreign students, the Foreign Trade Agency of Costa Rica and 15 universities in the country are participating in the NAFSA 2021 Annual Conference & Expo. This is the 7th time that the sector participates in this fair that brings together an educational community from more than 100 countries.
The participating universities are: Universidad Santa Paula, Universidad Veritas, UIA, LEAD University, Universidad de San José, UNIBE, Universidad Hispanoamericana, Universidad Central, Universidad Latina de Costa Rica, Universidad Latinoamericana de la Ciencia y la Tecnología (ULACIT), Universidad Internacional San Isidro Labrador, Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica, INCAE, UCreativa and Fundepos.
The national delegation is promoting Costa Rica as an ideal destination for foreign students to take short courses, faculty-led programs, internships, alliances, double degrees, tailor-made programs, summer programs, as well as teacher and student mobility and joint research; all with a focus on sustainability and technology as a competitive advantage for the country.
Alvaro Piedra, the Foreign Trade Agency of Costa Rica’s Export Director, stated that after not holding the fair last year due to the pandemic, this year it was held 100% virtually and the response from the education sector has been very positive.
“In this 7th participation in NAFSA we have the largest delegation in history: 15 universities. Thanks to this virtuality, which is a new way of doing business and strategic alliances, we can offer a robust platform to the educational sector: a country stand that has allowed them to have close to 200 meetings with educational centers such as University of California, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Iowa State University, University of Dallas, San Diego State University, Cambridge Assessment International Education, University of Washington Continuum College, DePauw University, South Dakota State University, Catholic University of Valencia, University of Innsbruck, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, among others,” said Piedra.
NAFSA 2021 provides
national universities with the opportunity to learn, participate and network
for international education professionals; as well as develop the knowledge,
skills and ideas they need to better serve their institution, advance their
professional development and effectively engage with colleagues from around the
world. They can also meet with universities, colleges, consortia, agencies and education sector representatives
from around the world.
“For Universidad Santa Paula, being part of one of the most recognized conferences on the subject of international education represents a great opportunity, not only to generate valuable connections, but also as an excellent space for training and professional growth for those of us who are dedicated to such an important sector. The Foreign Trade Agency of Costa Rica’s support has been key, since without them many institutions would not be able to access these experiences that allow us to position the Costa Rican offer of our higher education at an international level”, commented Verónica Castro, Director of the International Cooperation Office of this educational center.
For her part, Maria José Calderón, from Universidad Central, added that NAFSA represents the perfect opportunity for the achievement and development of the international projection plans of her company. “It allowed us to create an excellent networking network that opened the doors to new alliances and cooperation projects. Thanks to NAFSA we will strengthen the programs we offer to the University’s students and we will be able to provide a global education experience”.
Finally, Adrianne Pacheco, Coordinator of International Programs at Universidad Hispanoamericana, commented that through participation in NAFSA, they will continue to generate value for education in the country with talks to update, search for new opportunities and positioning Costa Rica as an educational destination. “In the midst of the pandemic of border closures and travel skepticism, at UH we continue to offer international exposure for our community with virtual strategies and the alliances generated in previous editions of NAFSA and other international networking efforts”.
In parallel to NAFSA, from May 17 to June 16, a Virtual Education Trade Mission is being carried out in the United States, with the participation of 8 institutions and around 50 business meetings between Costa Rican universities and Spanish schools with U.S. universities, colleges and agencies.
The U.S. Department of State reported that, prior to the pandemic, more than 1,100 Costa Ricans studied at U.S. institutions of higher education annually and more than 8,000 U.S. students, study in Costa Rica each year. They also noted that Costa Rica is one of the top destinations in Latin America for U.S. study programs.
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