Canada, Costa Rica initiate young professionals exchange program

August 27, 2010

 

Young Ticos will soon have the opportunity to work on Canada’s famous ski slopes, study in the best Canadian universities or travel through the northern nation’s national parks, thanks to an agreement signed by the two countries’ foreign ministers on Friday.
 
The agreement overrides immigration requirements for a one-year period so that Ticos and Canadians between 18 and 35 years of age can participate in an exchange program.
 
Canada has similar programs with Chile, France, Poland, Sweden, Australia and the United Kingdom, among other nations.
 
“This is an opportunity to build people-to-people ties,” said Peter Van Loan, Canada’s minister of international trade, who was in San José for the signing of the agreement. “It allows young people the chance to work, to play, to travel in a foreign country.”
 
Costa Rican Foreign Minister René Castro praised the program for creating a platform for cultural exchange and said it has the potential to bring Costa Rica closer to its goal of joining the nations of the developed world.
 
“It’s a pleasure to work to open doors for youth,” he said. “We hope that hundreds – maybe thousands – will benefit from a program that opens borders and opportunities for young people through a cultural exchange and mutual learning.”
 
The two countries still have to agree on a quota for how many people from each country can take advantage of the opportunity.
 
According to Castro, both governments are in the process of gauging their citizens’ interest in participating in the program.
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