The Program

Changemaker Sprint gives participants real-world experience with social entrepreneurship, providing the necessary skill set and mindset for participants to establish a social enterprise and solve a meaningful social problem.

Changemaker Sprint

January 22 – March 16, 2018

July 2 – August 24, 2018

Changemaker Sprint introduces participants to the world of social entrepreneurship and allows them to take the first steps in becoming changemakers. At the most basic level, social entrepreneurship is the idea that you can have a positive impact on the world while making money. It’s both a mindset and a skill-set.

The mindset is seeing yourself as someone who cares about issues facing the world and has the confidence to take action. The skill-set is about how to identify the ‘right’ issue for you and then build a financially sustainable solution. Learn more about the benefits of our programs.

Changemaker Sprint consists of:

There is no better way to experience the local culture and learn/improve your Spanish than to live with a ‘Tico’ family.

Our homestay families are very welcoming and have experience with students from around the world. You will have a private bedroom, bathroom and wifi.

All of our families are walking distance from the center of Ciudad Colon, a charming town, 30 minute ride from San Jose International airport.

Costa Rica is a stable democracy and was rated the safest country in Latin America in 2011. Learn more about Costa Rica.

Your interests will help us match you with an innovative social enterprise in Costa Rica where you’ll be doing your part-time internship.

All of our internship opportunities are with organizations that are making a positive impact while making a profit. You get to see from the inside how that is done!

At the same time, you will be making a contribution to the organization with a specific need that they have.

By the end of your internship, you’ll have learnt a lot, made professional connections, and contributed to advancing their work! See our list of internships.

Changemaker Sprint deepens social innovation knowledge for all participants by facilitating participants’ discovery of their unique strengths and building enthusiasm for utilizing these strengths in our fast-changing world. By the end of the program, you will have:

  • A “Can Do” approach to problem solving and a critical approach to analyzing complex issues
  • A much clearer sense of what your top strengths are and how to use them in what you plan to do next
  • A deep understanding of Appreciative Inquiry and how to apply that approach in creating the change you’d like to see in the world
  • A healthy relationship with failure, not as something to fear, but as an indication that you have tried something difficult and have the potential to learn from that experience
  • A sense that you are indeed in charge of your own future!

The U.N. mandated University for Peace is the academic partner for the program. It is an international university that was established in 1980 by the United Nations with students from over 55 countries. It is located just 4 miles (7 km) from where you will be staying. In fact, nearly all UPEACE’s 150+ graduate students also live in Ciudad Colon.

You will be enrolled as a student in UPEACE’s Centre for Executive Education and will take an online course titled: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Social Change. So, when you complete the program, you’ll also earn a certificate from the University for Peace!

Learn more about the certificate course from UPeace

A Typical Week in the Changemaker Program

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Language Classes 9:00-10:30 9:00-10:30 9:00-10:30 9:00-10:30 Free/Run Personal Errands
Changemaker Program 10:30-12:00 10:30-12:00 10:30-12:00 10:30-12:00 10:30-12:00
Internship 1:30-4:30 1:30-4:30 1:30-4:30 1:30-4:30 Free/Leave for Weekend Trip
Evening Free Cultural Event Workshop Series Student Initiated Free

10 Reasons Why We Chose Costa Rica