In this program, students will explore the competition within the eco-tourism and agriculture industries in Costa Rica, while simultaneously gaining knowledge and experience in business strategy, competitive advantage, and sustainable development. Students will have the opportunity to participate in activities provided by competing companies, and then compare and analyze their experiences. Students will select to be enrolled in one of two course options. The capstone course option is open to all majors. The MGMT 4175: Business Policy and Strategy course is for senior business majors. Participation in the program will fulfill the requirements for the first 7 weeks of MGMT 4175: Business Policy and Strategy.
The program was a fantastic experience and inspired me to want to travel more frequently. - Ryan, Winter 2019
I would recommend this program. You not only get to see another country and experience their culture but get to use experiences from companies you visit throughout the day and instantly apply that to what you are learning in class. - Trisha, Winter 2019
I have never been on a trip where I've been able to do so much in such a short period of time. I felt comfortable the whole time and loved the group we were with. Since Costa Rica is a place with so many different things to do, I truly felt like I got a full cultural experience. - Madison, Winter 2019
Nicholas Bailey, Assistant Professor
Campus Address: CBB 246
Dr. Bailey teaches Business Policy and Strategy and International Business here on the UNI campus. He has visited more than a dozen countries, including Brazil, Costa Rica, Denmark, England, France, Germany, India, Mexico, Poland, Turkey, and the UAE. In May, 2017, Dr. Bailey traveled with UNI Capstone students to visit the Amazon Rainforest and Tropical Savanna in Brazil. He has also taken UNI students majoring in Economics to Krakow, Poland on a research exchange. He looks forward to leading students abroad this coming winter break!
Nick Bailey was an amazing instructor to be with for two weeks. He was super helpful with making the activities fun as well as encouraging us to engage in the culture we were surrounded in. - Kelsey, Winter 2019
MGMT 4175: Business Policy and Strategy (3 credit hours) OR CAP 3154: Global Skills (3 credit hours)
Participants will choose to take ONE of the two courses listed. Details on each course are listed below. The Study Abroad Center will enroll students into the course they select.
Option 1: MGMT 4175: Business Policy and Strategy (3 credit hours)
Participation in this program requires several class meetings throughout the fall semester, although the course is scheduled as a spring course. You will be required to attend either Dr. Bailey’s 8 am or 9:30 am class spring semester starting in week 8. The Study Abroad Center will enroll participants in the course. Please contact the program's course leader for more information on academic requirements.
The essence of strategic management is the study of why some companies outperform their competitors for a sustainable period. In an effort to understand the fundamental questions of strategic management, this course explores the processes of analysis, formulation and implementation as it relates specifically to a company’s internal and external environment, business and corporate-level strategies, international strategies and entrepreneurship. This unique opportunity will allow business majors to complete the conceptual portion of Dr. Bailey’s Business Policy and Strategy class in an intensive 10-day course in Costa Rica. The second portion of the class will begin just before spring break during the second block of spring semester, where students will take part in a business strategy simulation and compete against their peers in managing an athletic footwear company.
For senior business majors. Prerequisite(s): completion of all other courses in the "business core"; ACCT 2120 (120:030); ACCT 2130 (120:031); MKTG 2110 (130:101); MGMT 2080 (150:080); MGMT 3100 (150:100); MGMT 3153 (150:153); MGMT 3154 (150:154); FIN 3130/5130 (160:151g); STAT 1772 (800:072) or equivalent; ECON 1021 (920:020); ECON 1041 (920:053); ECON 1051 (920:054); ECON 1011 (920:070); senior standing. To view the course syllabus, click HERE.
Option 2: CAP 3154: Global Skills (3 credit hours)
Participation in this program requires several class meetings throughout the fall semester, although the course is scheduled as a spring course. The Study Abroad Center will enroll participants in the course. Please contact the program's course leader for more information on academic requirements.
Students will have a hands on learning experience designed to increase their understanding of another cultural and economic environment different from their own. Through a variety of assignments and site visits, students will gain an invaluable introduction to Costa Rica, their history and geography, as well as current cultural, business, and economic practices.
All majors welcome. Prerequisite(s): Junior standing. To view the course syllabus, click HERE.
- In order to receive Capstone credit, program participants must have completed 60 credits hours prior to the program's course start date (i.e. be of Junior standing). Students who participate in capstone programs without meeting the credit hour prerequisite will receive elective credit. In this instance, students should consult with their academic advisor(s) regarding how the elective credit fits into their specific plans of study.
- Students attending colleges and universities other than UNI are welcome to participate in this program. If you are not currently a UNI student, but would like to participate in this program, please contact the UNI Study Abroad Center prior to starting your program application.
- Capstone courses cannot be repeated. If you have previously taken this capstone course, please contact the UNI Study Abroad Center prior to starting your program application.
Tentative Program Dates: Monday, January 3 (depart) - Thursday, January 13 (return), 2022
Sample itinerary is subject to change.
Day 1: Arrive in San José, Costa Rica
Day 2: Visit Starbucks affiliated coffee plantation to learn about cultivation, processing, and business practices of the industry; class in the evening
Day 3: Travel to Tortuguero National Park along Costa Rica's Caribbean coast, famous for nesting sea turtles. You will take a boat ride to the ecolodge where you will stay.
Day 4: Activities in the park
Day 5: Return to San José; class in the evening
Day 6: Travel to Manuel Antonio, located on the Pacific Coast; visit Walmart distribution center on the way; class in evening
Day 7: Guided hike in the morning through Manuel Antonio Park, home to 109 species of mammals,184 species of birds, and several private beaches; surfing lessons in the afternoon; class in the evening
Day 8: White water rafting with Tucanes Tours; class in the evening
Day 9: Half day Catamaran tour; class in the evening
Day 10: Return to San José
Day 11: Return to the U.S.
*This can be a physically demanding tour and students may need to walk at a normal/average pace at times over steep and uneven terrain.
**While staying in Manuel Antonio, students will have the option of participating in a zip-line canopy tour at an additional expense.
Housing & Meals
Students will stay in hotels arranged by the Study Abroad Center and paid for before departure. Breakfast and a few additional meals are built into the program cost. Students will purchase other meals out-of-pocket while abroad. Students are encouraged to try the local foods.
Capstone/BPS in Costa Rica - Winter
Estimated Program Cost:
* estimated total cost of participation, actual amount depends on type of housing accommodation selected, actual airfare purchase price, personal spending habits, and other factors
Cost of studying on-campus*
*per semester, estimated, will vary per person
Tuition & Fees:
Room & Board:
Dates & Deadlines
The Study Abroad Center reserves the right to determine participants' eligibility to Study Abroad. Students must meet all of the following in order to be eligible to Study Abroad:
- Have a cumulative 2.5 GPA or higher at the time of application and maintain this cumulative GPA prior to departure and throughout the study abroad process
- If your cumulative GPA is lower than 2.5, submit the following to the Study Abroad Center (103 East Bartlett):
- Letters of reference from two academic contacts (e.g. academic advisor and former or current professor) supporting your pursuit of study abroad. If you are attending a faculty-led study abroad program, one of the letters must be from a course leader. However, if the program has two course leaders, only one of the letters can be from one of the course leaders.
- Must be over the age of 18 years old
- Must meet the course prerequisites (participation in the program is dependent upon meeting these)
- Must be in good standing with the University
- UNI's partner institutions may require additional eligibility requirements to be met, these vary from institution to institution. Please consult with the Study Abroad Center staff to discuss these additional requirements if applicable.
- Applicants traveling to a region of a country or a country with an overall Travel Advisory Level 3 (Reconsider Travel) or 4 (Do Not Travel) will not be eligible.
- All study abroad applicants must pass the Study Abroad Applicant Assessment with a score of 70% or greater.
- Applicants may be selected for an in-person interview before being accepted. Selection for an interview does not guarantee acceptance into the program. You will be contacted directly by the Study Abroad Center if selected for an interview.