Experiential learning is a form of learning that combines concepts, context, and practice in a way that facilitates the application of knowledge to real problems or issues. It helps you develop the required competencies for a successful professional career and civic engagement as a responsible global citizen. Depending on the program selected, ICDS offers you the possibility to complement your studies with community-based work, clinical rotations, practicums, field work, co-ops, and internships.
Experiential learning relies on a methodology based on class work, where you deepen your understanding of real world issues, enabling you to contextualize the practical activities as part of your learning experience. Through your practical work, you reflect on your prior knowledge and use analytical skills to propose actions for positive changes. Experiential learning helps you develop skills to become a life-long learner, while reinforcing your commitment to civic engagement.
ICDS offers you several opportunities to complement your academic work with practical experiences. Depending on the program chosen, you may carry out community service as part of a course, as a separate credit-bearing experience, or as an extra-curricular activity. Your sense of civic responsibility is reinforced through your participation in organized activities, which are based on community needs and accompanied by reflection on the potential impact that these might have.
Community work opportunities:
ICDS’ programs are designed to facilitate your immersion into the culture. The academic and non-academic components of the programs, such as Spanish language instruction, community-based work, and living in homestays with local families are instrumental for a better understanding of the new culture.
ICDS’ interactive Spanish language courses with a focus on communication and taught at all levels, use real-life situations to teach language, thus enabling you to communicate in Spanish from day one and to acquire first-hand knowledge of the local culture.
Community-based work, a major component of ICDS’ programs, facilitates your understanding of the organizational culture of the NGOs you work with, as well as that of the host culture in general.
Cultural immersion is enhanced by your experience of living with a local family and being a part of their daily activities as a member of the household. You learn about the family structure in Costa Rica, their values, and their customs, while enjoying the “tico” hospitality.