Richard.J. Gladon, Cheryll A. Reitmeier, Mark L. Gleason, Gail R. Nonnecke, Nancy H. Agnew and Dennis G. Olson
Mark L. Gleason, Amy Wang Wong, Donald R. Lewis, Luis Felipe Arauz Cavallini, Barbara C. Clawson, Kevin R. Duerfeldt, Hayley M. Nelson and Gail R. Nonnecke
The creation and educational impact of a reciprocal travel exchange program for student groups in horticulture and allied sciences between Iowa State University (ISU) and the University of Costa Rica (UCR) are described. The program, called the “Intercambio,” (“exchange,” in English), has facilitated group travel for 10- to 12-day periods to farms and agricultural research centers in the host country annually since 1999. The article explores how the Intercambio began and factors that have helped to sustain it, to provide ideas for educators interested in initiating similar exchanges. Analysis of responses to a 2015 written survey of student participants indicated that the Intercambio has exerted a strong impact on academic studies and career choices for 77% of the ISU students and 100% of the UCR students, as well as amplifying interest in the other country and raising cultural understanding and tolerance.