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Five students of public high schools will study in the United States thanks to scholarship program

MAY 14th 2018

•Full scholarships will be given for a two-year study plan, each of them equivalent to $43.000. 
•The beneficiaries will study in a Community Colleges and will apply their learning process in internships from companies that operate in Costa Rica. 

May 14th, 2018. Since today, senior students of professional technical high schools and from public high schools that belong to the International Baccalaureate Program, who speak English, can participate in obtaining a scholarship to study in the United States. This will be possible thanks to the Dr. Ana Sittenfeld Specialized Technicians Scholarship Program, which is financed by the Costa Rica United States Foundation for Cooperation (CRUSA).

A total of five scholarships will be given to study in the United States in the STEM areas: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Each scholarship is equivalent to $43.000, which includes the registration costs, materials and book quotas, health insurance, and living expenses. 

The beneficiaries of this program will study for two years in Community Colleges and will be able to complement their academic training with internships in companies that have operations in Costa Rica and whose headquarters are located on the US.

This initiative is carried out thanks to the partnership between the CRUSA Foundation, the Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency (CINDE), the US Embassy, the Costa Rican Cultural Center of the United States, through its educational advisory office Education USA, a program of the Department of State of the United States of America; and UNITED Airlines.

"Since we are heading towards a knowledge-based industry, the country has the challenge of meeting the needs of training human capital in STEM areas. Companies are changing the ways of doing business and increasingly demand more specialized staff, so it is necessary to adapt the vocational training offer to the requirements of the productive sector and that is part of what we seek with this scholarship program, "said Marisela Bonilla, Coordinator of Human Capital, Knowledge and Innovation of the CRUSA Foundation.

The selection process will be open from today until June 8, those interested can visit the website of the CRUSA Foundation ( or its social networks. The participants must complete the scholarship application form and provide the required documentation. A vital requirement is being a senior student at a professional technical high school or at one of the public high schools that participate in the International Baccalaureate Program and have English proficiency. 

The Cultural Attaché of the United States Embassy, Merlyn Schultz, indicated that "education is one of the most important pillars for our diplomatic office. These opportunities for Costa Rican students allow them to prepare better and thus contribute to the development of the country's workforce, to expand educational opportunities abroad for the future leaders and innovators of Costa Rica. This alliance, between CRUSA, CINDE and the Embassy, becomes an alternative to enter a university in the United States, in the future. With this program, we want Costa Ricans to know that it is possible to study in the United States and live an international educational experience that will strengthen the existing ties between our countries, as well. "

The multinational companies attracted by CINDE generate approximately an average of seven thousand new jobs per year. For the period 2018-2022, these companies would need to supply personnel for approximately 35 thousand new positions. For this demand, it is necessary to train bilingual specialized technicians in areas such as quality, design and manufacturing processes, software development, financial analysis, mechanics and mechatronics, language and technology management, ERPs and systems; to name a few.

Jorge Sequeira, Managing Director of CINDE, commented: "This initiative seeks to generate valuable educational opportunities for the country's youth. Costa Rica has always stood out for the quality of its human talent as one of its competitive advantages for the attraction of multinational companies and for this reason, it is essential to continue investing in education. We hope that many young people apply to the selection process and opt for one of the scholarships to study abroad. "

The scholarship holders will also have technical and financial support from Education USA for the preparation process, with funding from the Opportunity Funds Scholarship Program of the US Department of State.

CINDE will help to monitor the priority areas and the support of high-tech companies, so that beneficiaries carry out internships where they enhance their professional and soft skills.
UNITED Airlines will provide airline tickets for selected students to enjoy the scholarship.

The CRUSA Foundation will receive the applications and verify compliance with the participation requirements, then carry out a pre-selection of candidates and send it to the Selection Committee (made up of CINDE, the United States Embassy, Education USA and the CRUSA Foundation). This Committee will analyze the applications and aspects such as leadership and academic performance of the interested participants.

The winners will be announced at the end of June.

Key areas: Science and Technology

According to the four principles of the Fourth Industrial Revolution of the World Economic Forum, “evolutionary advances in artificial intelligence, robotics, Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, 3D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, materials science, energy storage and quantum computing are redefining whole industries and creating new ones from scratch, " modifying the way in which companies do business and the way in which societies interact. This is why there is a need to pay more attention to this theme.

The HIPATIA 2017 platform, from the State of Science, Technology and Innovation capabilities, indicates that the number of new professionals in Science and Technology in the country has increased, but there are not enough to solve the lack of human talent in this area, for 2015 only 28% of university graduates were in these fields, in contrast to 72% in Social Sciences and Humanities.

In such context, the Dr. Ana Sittenfeld Specialized Technicians Scholarship Program expects to fulfill the human talent required for strategic areas in the country. This is the second year this selection process is being developed and it is expected to promote 15 more scholarships within the next 3 years. 

For more information
Carlos Morales

Fanny Alvarado Q.   
Imagen y Comunicación Creativa