Students Descend Upon Costa Rica Washington, DC - Just think about it, a whole week in beautiful, balmy Costa Rica!That's where about 100 first-year Gallaudet University freshmen and transfer students will be coming Saturday, March 13. True, they will be accompanied by a score or so of faculty and staff. True, they are expected to paint and plant and perform other odd jobs at a couple of deaf schools in between trips to the country's famed jungles and beaches. And true again, during the fall semester, they had to attend seminars about Costa Rican history and geography, and learn rudimentary Costa Rican Sign Language. But hey, it will all be worth it in the long run-won't it? You bet it will be worth it, says Dr. Barbara White of the Department of Social Work and lead faculty member on the trip. Not only will students return with a new appreciation for another culture and the knowledge that they helped out Costa Rica's deaf community-as did the students who went on last year's trip-but most will also have developed stronger ties to Gallaudet and to their academic futures. The trip to Costa Rica is sponsored by the university's First-Year Experience program. The study tour aims to introduce first-year freshmen and transfer students to international travel and the notion of "global citizenship." It is based on the known fact that students who study abroad are more likely to complete their degrees and to possess an edge in the job market after graduation. Over 90% of Gallaudet students who participated in last year's Costa Rican study tour continued their studies the following fall.