Costa Rica Reflection

I thoroughly enjoyed every second of my time in Costa Rica. Pitt Business’ Plus3 program is an incredible way for their students to experience the world while learning things that will transfer over to their domestic studies. While abroad, we focused on supply chain management, specifically, how coffee makes its journey from, for example, a…

Looking Back on My Costa Rica Adventure

My study abroad program was two weeks in Costa Rica studying the supply chain of the coffee industry. It was so much fun but also it was exhausting and came with lots of challenges. I only had some Spanish vocabulary background from high school, but basically no experience speaking the language. So it was very…

Reflection Part II: The Pura Vida Effect

Upon arriving in country, we sat down with our host mom to sign a contract stating that we’d be respectful of the house, follow basic rules, etc. All was going smoothly until we reached the last bullet point.                 -Student must speak/communicate in Spanish and only Spanish. My…

Reflection Part I: American Girl in Tico Culture

In 11th grade, I took a writing course that focused on the power of storytelling. One of my classmates shared a story with the class about her experience travelling back to her family’s roots in India. She spoke of how excited she originally was to meet her people, however, her dream didn’t go quite as…

Thomas Angelo Scholarship

            I am very thankful and honored to have received the Thomas Angelo Honors Scholarship.  This scholarship helped lessen the financial burden for my family and made it easier for me to attend Plus3 Costa Rica.  Once again, I am extremely grateful for the opportunity that the Thomas Angelo Honors Scholarship and Plus3 Costa Rica…

Final Reflection

Growing up in a family with five kids, travel was never easy or common. The furthest I had ventured outside of Pennsylvania was New York City. Then I found this Plus-3 program which would allow me to earn three credits outside of the country. I knew I had to be a part of it. With…

Time Really Does Fly

I cannot believe these two weeks are over.  I feel like it was just yesterday that we were getting off the plane and waiting in the long line at customs, but tomorrow is the day we head home.  Throughout these two weeks,  I have learned way more than I expected about the coffee industry, and…

It’s Been Real… and It’s Been Fun

I am excited to go home and harass a stranger in line at Starbucks about the coffee making process (if I can still bear to drink the trash at Starbucks). I feel as though I could now write a book about coffee because I am so well versed in the topic. I probably won’t be…

Professor Coffee

Over the past two weeks, we have toured several different coffee farms and have seen how it impacts the people of Costa Rica. Experiencing the culture here has also made me aware of why the Tico’s do the things that they do. At the coffee farms we learned so much about how much it takes…

What I Learned in Coffee School is…

Get ready, this one’s a long one. I can’t believe that my last day in Costa Rica is actually here. I have learned more about Costa Rican culture, and of course about the coffee process, than I would have imagined. I will definitely be a proud coffee snob back in the States. I analyzed the…

I had the time of my life

Before coming to Costa Rica, I never thought about where my food, or drinks for that matter, originated.  Market omelets came from market and that was that.  Never had I thought about where the eggs, mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, onions, or cheese came from.  At most, there was a farmer a ways a way who raised…

¡Al Fin!

Hola, amigos! The day that we all dreaded from the start has finally arrived. Tomorrow morning, we board the bus and head back to the good ole’ United States. Though, I am excited to see my family and friends and tell them all about the trip, leaving all these great memories behind will not be…

What I learned in coffee school is…

Coffee farms are much more complex than I initially imagined they would be. The number of management decisions that must be made, both on a day-to-day basis and in the long term, is staggering. Additionally, farm managers often must make their decisions based on predictions and trends rather than on hard facts. One of the most…

There’s love in every cup.

Coffee plays a large role in the life of a Tico. Over the past two weeks we have had the chance to study the coffee supply chain and daily life in Costa Rica. It’s a staple part of their diet, but they do not drink what we consider “Costa Rican coffee.” Much of the best…

¡Despedida Costa Rica!

I have spent two weeks traveling across Costa Rica, visiting multiple different coffee plantations: Doka Estate, Café Britt, Life Monteverde, Café Rey, and Coopedota. Each is different and approaches the coffee making process in their own way. The industry, culture, and environment of coffee is so complex. Being here has given so much depth to…

Coffee Addiction and Learning Logistics 

Now that the trip is over, it’s time to analyze everything I have learned about logistics in the coffee supply chain. It has been an awesome two weeks of learning and experiencing.   1. Coffee farms The first step in the supply chain of coffee is the coffee farms. The logistics at the farm have to…

Two Weeks That Went Too Fast

The past two weeks have exposed me to more coffee than I have been in my prior 18 years. I have seen six different coffee plantations and learned almost everything there is to know about how coffee is first planted to when it finally arrives in the consumer’s hands. I now have a deep understanding…

Time for the Taste Test

After my past two weeks in Costa Rica, I have learned an abundant amount of information about the coffee industry. With regard to the supply chain of coffee, I can easily relate how my topic of logistics is applied to each step. Examining each of the coffee companies that I visited, I can take the…

A Farewell to Plus3

I had my first cup of coffee sometime around 9th grade. I’d occasionally bring thermoses to my high school when I had extra time in the morning (rarely). I slowly amped up my intake during the summers leading up to college, as I worked every day and struggled with consistently waking up so early. It…

Adiós

Over the past two weeks, my group and I have thoroughly researched the coffee making process. This has helped me develop a greater understanding of coffee, as well as a greater appreciation for everyone involved in the coffee making process. We visited many coffee farms this trip, including Doka, Café Britt, Starbucks, Life Monteverde, and…