The Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE), the country's oldest and largest nonprofit study abroad and intercultural exchange organization, has purchased a 155-acre residential and research campus in San Luis de Monteverde, Costa Rica.
Formerly owned by the University of Georgia, the facility, adjacent to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve, is now the home of CIEE’s Global Institute – Monteverde. With a wet lab to support biology and chemistry lab work, updated computer lab, classrooms, dorms, dining hall, and an open-air classroom, the new campus offers a comfortable home-base for students and faculty conducting research and coursework in science and sustainability.
Besides these amenities, the eco-friendly facility also boasts a working organic farm that will enable the site to produce 50 percent of all food consumed by staff, students, and faculty. Through sustainable farming, tree-planting efforts supported by the campus’ reforestation nursery, and other conservation projects, the Global Institute – Monteverde plans to offset the entirety of students’ carbon emissions and become carbon neutral within the next year.
Now that the sale of the property is final, CIEE has begun making infrastructure improvements, including upgrades to campus’ technology and laboratory equipment in preparation for study abroad STEM programs that will take place there starting this summer.
For college students, CIEE’s Global Institute – Monteverde will offer Sustainability and the Environment, an interdisciplinary program focused on sustainability and Spanish language; and the 6-week Open Campus Block program STEM and Society, focused on biology, ecology, chemistry, and Spanish language. It will also support faculty-led and custom programs.
In addition, the new campus will host Global Navigator High School Summer Study Abroad programs related to sustainability and tropical biodiversity conservation, along with a project-focused Gap Year internship program centered on campus initiatives in carbon neutrality, conservation of biodiversity, environmental education, and renewable energy generation.
"CIEE is committed to supporting the growing need for high-quality international STEM programs and coursework for our academic consortium. We’re delighted to add this extraordinary research facility in one of the world’s most important cloud forests to our Global Institute Network," said CIEE President and CEO James P. Pellow. "The new Global Institute – Monteverde site will enable us to support research and teaching in emerging fields including climate change, sustainability, environmental sciences, and a host of other STEM topics."