The Collaborative Community evolves through shared cohort experiences, and both residencies play a key role in that development. The first class experience is the North American residency when the cohort gathers at one of the partner schools for a long weekend to learn, live and lounge together. Relationships are shaped at the outset of this academic journey by the shared experiences of orientation, classroom experiences, meals, and some evening leisure.
Midway through the program, a week-long international trip strengthens the cohort connections as students meet in Costa Rica to explore and observe firsthand advanced sustainability practices supported at a national level. Much of the year, Costa Rica as a whole is carbon neutral. Students visit a number of local organizations, including the large Coopeatenas coffee cooperative; interact with local political leaders; and enjoy a lush, tropical, mountain climate.
A final, optional residency weekend at a location selected by cohort members concludes the program. Following the completion of all coursework and graduation, this weekend is an opportunity for students to share some of their research with each other through presentations and, of course, to bid farewell to one another.