The Recreation, Park and Leisure Studies program offers both faculty led international trips as well as full semester abroad options.
Travel to Kenya, Costa Rica or Belize!
Three faculty led trips are currently being offered in RPLS as part of the Outdoor Recreation Immersion Semester (ORIS). The trips are open to all University students with students in the ORIS having priority registration. See the RPLS website for more information on this exciting experientially based major!
- REC 5191 Adventure Recreation, Tourism and Eco-Tourism: Explore Costa Rica - 3 credits
Next trips: January 7-16, 2014 (Trip is FULL), January 6-15, 2015
- REC 5301 Wilderness and Adventure Education: Climb Kilimanjaro - 4 credits
Next trip: January 2-18, 2014 (Trip is FULL)
- REC 5301 Wilderness and Adventure Education: Dive Belize - 4 credits
Next trip: January 6-15, 2015
For registration information and trip details for Kenya, Costa Rica, Belize or the
Outdoor Recreation Immersion Semester, please send your inquiry to:
Dr. Connie Magnuson
Highlights from past trips:
Belize Trip Highlights, January 2013
This exciting trip takes you to the beautiful country of Belize to explore the wonders of the world’s second largest barrier reef and an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- A two-day Discover SCUBA lesson while there will allow you to dive with an instructor up to 40 ft. to have an up close view of the reef and this fascinating and endangered marine ecosystem.
- 3 nights stay at a marine station on the reef to learn about what is threatening the reef, what preservation is being done and why we should care.
- Travel by boat to the Smithsonian Research Station and snorkel the crystal clear waters nearby.
- Visit a Jaguar Preserve and go tubing on the river through Cockscomb Wildlife Sanctuary.
- Get a birds eye view as we do a thrilling zip-line in the jungle at the Bocawina National Park!
Costa Rica Trip Highlights, January 2012
This trip is an adventurers dream in a tropical paradise. A custom itinerary has been developed to maximize
the educational opportunities this amazing country has to offer. This 10-day trip traveled to Costa Rica
January 3-12, 2012.
- Learned about the diversity of this country, the important role of ecotourism, preservation, and
sustainability, while experiencing a variety of exciting adventure recreation activities.
- Visited several National Parks, including Poas Volcano.
- Enjoyed a thrilling rafting trip on the Pecuare, a world-class, whitewater river flowing through a
- Toured a coffee plantation to learn about Costa Rica's largest export crop and fair trade practices.
- Hiked into the coastal jungle for a camping overnight. A night hike with headlamps allowed us to
seek out the nocturnal critters!
- Travelled by boat to access Poor Man’s Paradise on the edge of Corcavodo National Park for a 2-
night stay on the beach near the Turtle Protection project.
- Explored the underwater world and marine ecosystem of Cano Island National Park on a
snorkeling expedition accompanied by manta rays and a pod of pilot whales!
- Observed several varieties of monkeys, iguanas, sloths, and birds on a zip-line canopy tour at
Hacienda Baru along the coast.
Costa Rica Trip Highlights, January 2011
This trip is an adventurers dream in a tropical paradise. A custom itinerary has been developed to maximize the educational opportunities this amazing country has to offer. This 10-day trip traveled to Costa Rica January 7-16, 2011.
- Traveled the National Institute of Biodiversity and Nectandra, an organization working to reforest lands and protect water sources.
- Learned about the diversity of this country, the important role of ecotourism, preservation, and sustainability, while experiencing a variety of exciting recreation activities.
- Enjoyed a thrilling 2-day rafting trip on the Pecuare, a world-class whitewater river flowing through a tropical forest.
- Visited a coffee plantation to learn about Costa Rica's largest export crop and fair trade practices.
- Hiked the cloud forests of Mount Chirripo, the country's tallest mountain.
- Learned about the research being conducted at the Cloudbridge Reserve in the Talamanca Range.
- Took a guided kayak tour of a mangrove estuary, one of the most endangered ecosystem types in Costa Rica.
- Observed several varieties of monkeys, iguanas, sloths, and birds on a zip-line canopy tour at Hacienda Baru along the coast.
Kenya Trip Highlights, May 2010
- While climbing Mt. Kenya (2nd highest mountain on the continent behind Kilimanjaro) students, faculty and expert guides presented lessons on topics such as Global Climate Change Impacts, Wildlife Preservation, Political Involvement in Wilderness Management, Mountain Hydrology, Wilderness and Minority Cultures, Kenya Flora and Fauna, Altitude Sickness/Hypothermia, Mountain Zones, Wilderness Ethics, Kenya Culture and more.
- Village home-stays and work with Kambi Primary School:
- Students lived with families in the village (most without electricity or plumbing) for a totally immersed cultural experience.
- Side by side with the Kambi primary students, we planted over 200 trees in Mt. Kenya National Park as part of the "Green Belt Movement" to reforest depleted areas and promote conservation and renewal of essential natural resources.
- Our U of MN students painted, stained, and prepared a newly built classroom for the use of the 6th grade students at Kambi. We were on hand to officially open the class and a plaque was hung at the entrance in our honor for our contribution.
- Our U of MN students purchased a variety of recreation equipment to donate to Kambi. We taught the Kambi children how to play baseball, toss a Frisbee, play American flag football, fly gliders, hopscotch, play volleyball, and more!
- We met with the game warden for one of the national game reserves and other wilderness managers to learn about challenges and issues that they deal with as protectors of endangered global resources. This was followed by visits to several game reserves including an orphaned elephant sanctuary, giraffe center and wildlife conservation program, and Jane Goodall's Sweetwater Sanctuary.