Costa Rica’s investment promotion agency, CINDE, is launching a scholarship program this year to send five students to the US to receive STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education.
For the program, Costa Rica has set aside US$1.45 million to be spent over a period of five years. Each scholarship represents a cost of approximately US$41,430, covering all kinds of expenses including tuition, books and materials, and health insurance.
“This will help address workforce shortages in Costa Rica,” said S. Fitzgerald Haney, US Ambassador in Costa Rica, adding that the embassy would help identify US institutes specialized in STEM education.
The selected students will receive additional financial support from Education USA and an opportunity to draw from the Opportunity Fund, run by the US State Department.
Additionally, the lucky students can intern at a US business with operations in Costa Rica while studying in the States.
Foreign multinationals, particularly those in the service industry, generate 35,000 new jobs in Costa Rica, according to CINDE. To meet this demand, says the agency, the country should train as many young people as it can in key disciplines, including software design, financial analysis, English language, and ERPs and systems, among others.
“Without any doubt, strengthening our human resources is one of the biggest priorities to boost our country’s competitiveness in key industries,” said Luis Gamboa, president of CINDE.