Monteverde, Costa Rica

College Away

A Different Kind Of Remote Learning
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Information for term College Away

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

The application deadline has passed.

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info


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Online Never Looked So Fun

One thing is for sure, Spring 2021 won’t look like any other... Why not make it awesome?!

CIEE College Away gives you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to live in the Monteverde cloud forest, while keeping up with all your online college courses and requirements! Call Costa Rica “home” for four weeks at a time, and bond with a group of U.S. college students abroad.

Take “distance learning” to a whole new level and take control of your spring experience. Make it a semester to remember for all for the right reasons! Come home refreshed, more independent and with new lifelong friends and memories.

Each session is in 4-week blocks. Apply for your desired start date , and you can add up to three sessions during the application for 12 weeks in Monteverde!

Unique Experiences


    Take your online courses in the unmatched beauty of Monteverde, Costa Rica – Pura Vida!


    Natural history hikes along the continental divide, mountain horseback riding, ziplining, sun and sand on a Pacific beach, toucans and howling monkeys


    Sustainable farming and see the impact of climate change first-hand in the local plants, insects and animals


  • species of amphibians



Location & Culture

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You have to see this site to believe it. Set right next to the world-famous Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve, CIEE’s new Global Institute is an amazing 150-acre campus complete with a working organic farm, open-air classroom and science labs.

Dorms are bungalow style and the sustainable dining hall serves fresh produce straight from the farm. Although you’d never need to leave this eco-friendly preserve, there’s much to explore on excursions planned to round out your experience.

With 100 species of mammals, 400 species of birds, and 2,500 varieties of plants, it’s no wonder National Geographic called this “the jewel in the crown of cloud forests.”  Below the mountains are small coastal towns offering pristine beaches, shops and restaurants, and tidal shores ripe for exploration.

Read more about travel requirements to Costa Rica.

Daily Life

Sample Activities

  • Zipline through cloud forest canopies
  • Visit the largest privately-protected reserve in Costa Rica to learn about tropical biodiversity
  • Recharge your battery with a game of soccer, music making, salsa classes, or gardening
  • Take a cooking class and learn authentic Tico recipes
  • Go on a biodiversity scavenger hunt, a night hike, and a rural town tour!

Activities are based on past programs and subject to change at CIEE's discretion to both adapt to local circumstances and student feedback. Our goal when revising itineraries is always to enhance your experience. Get ready for maximum fun!

Study Resources

  • Internet access 
  • Lounge, library and classroom facilities available for online study
  • Local CIEE program staff support
  • Virtual global internships can be added to the program

Daily Life

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  • Housing

    Doubles and single room options based on capacity with private bathrooms on CIEE's Monteverde campus. Access to library, sports (soccer, basketball, and volleyball), student lounge and common spaces. Once weekly laundry services. Depending on demand and size of confirmed applicants, program and housing may be expanded to the Yucatán. 

  • Meals

    All meals are included and shared in our cafeteria.

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Program Details

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What you need to know

The program details
  • Choose one 4-week session that aligns with your desired start date. You can apply for up to three sessions for a total of 12 weeks in Monteverde and accommodations will be provided between sessions for continuing students.
  • This program is designed to create a safe bubble in Monteverde this spring. Participants are required to have a COVID PCR test no more than 3 days before departing the US. Upon arrival on campus, students and staff self-isolate, use masks and distancing for five days, and CIEE coordinates a COVID PCR test, administered at the campus (included in program fees). Once negative tests are confirmed, students and staff can interact more closely and leave campus on supervised off-campus excursions.
  • Must be at least 18 and a freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior matriculated to a U.S. college or university.
  • Proof of class enrollment for spring 2021 with a current GPA of 2.5 or higher is required.
  • Students are expected to keep up with their school requirements and remain responsible for their own grades and deadlines.
  • A virtual global internship can also be added for $750.
  • Our Monteverde campus in Costa Rica and involves wilderness activities such as hikes in the cloud forest. Applicants should be comfortable being around bugs and monkeys!

View CIEE's COVID-19 risk mitigation measures and student guidelines.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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When are the programs running in the spring?
Programs are running January, February, March and April 2021. Additional dates may be added with demand. Courses will be from your home institution (online).

What are the College Away program requirements - is this for high school or gap students too?
Students must be 18 years old to participate in this college program, be enrolled as a full-time student at a U.S. university for Spring 2021 and have a 2.5 cumulative GPA. We do have a High School Away program as well.

When am I notified of application approval?
Qualified applicants will be notified of acceptance within a few days of your application. Programs are first-come, first-served, but capacity is limited.

How do I apply to multiple sessions or locations?
Students can enroll in only one location at this time, but you can apply for up the three 4-week sessions. When you create your new application online, select from the available session combinations. If you have already started an application, you can email and our staff can add sessions to your application.

Can I extend my program for additional sessions once I arrive?
Student can attend up to 3 consecutive sessions. An extension would depend on capacity and the program application deadline.

If I am not a U.S. citizen, can I still participate in this program?
Please email for more information or to speak to a representative directly. Students are responsible for following all immigration requirements for their host country.

Do I need a current passport? At the time I apply? 
Yes! This is essential. Students do not need to upload a copy of their passport to complete the College Away application, but you will need to have a valid passport before you travel!

Are Dublin and Monteverde applicants eligible for the Yucatan in case of overcapacity?
Definitely! Our Yucatan location will be opening up based on demand. Complete your application today, and our team will reach out if programs have reached capacity and will open to Yucatan. 


Are the rooms single occupancy like a dorm?
All programs include double and single room occupancy bedrooms available depending on capacity.

If I stay for multiple sessions, would I be repeating the same activities?
College Away staff will try to avoid repeat activities, but if there are “can't miss” activities we may rerun a select few. If there are multiple repeat participants, we would likely organize some parallel activities.

Will the program activities accommodate my course schedule?
If possible, yes.

Do you have any tips for deciding between Monteverde or Dublin?
Consider whether you prefer

  • a city experience or one immersed in a more wilderness setting
  • more history and culture or outdoor activities, sports, etc.
  • practicing Spanish or not

In Monteverde, are there College Away bubbles for each program – college, high school, etc. – or do the cohorts eventually merge?
The bubbles will merge.


Will I earn college credits while I am abroad?
Yes, you would continue to be enrolled in your home college or university online coursework for Spring 2021. You would receive credits directly from your school. You would need to speak with your college about current tuition/fee rates for the spring. These programs will not change those rates.

Trimester school classes start in early January and end mid-March, would College Away interrupt my term?
There are for session options to choose from including a mid-April start date. Students are required to be enrolled in online classes through their university. Program dates are on the Monteverde or Dublin program pages.

Are there spring internship opportunities?
Yes! If you are interested in doing a virtual internship while on College Away, please note that on the application and visit for information.

How can I apply?
The applications are live for College Away in Monteverde or Dublin. Click apply on either of those pages to start your application!  


What is the cost of each program and what does it include? 
College Away is $3,900 for Monteverde and Yucatan per session and $4,900 for Dublin per session. The fee includes housing, meals, activities, onsite support, iNext travel protection, excursions, but does not include airfare. In Dublin, groceries for breakfast and lunch each day are provided by CIEE and included in the program fee. You will need to purchase your own dinner. In Monteverde all meals are included. 

Does the alumni discount apply to College Away programs?

Are there scholarships available for the College Away programs? 
Not at this time. 

Does financial aid cover the cost or do I need to pay out of pocket?
We recommend you check with your university to see if financial aid would apply. The payments are made by the students.


What are the COVID testing requirements for each location? 
The COVID related restrictions are related to the government policies of each location. View requirements here for Monteverde and Dublin.

After clearance, are there precautions and social contracts to avoid risky activities out in the community or other cities?
For our bubble program in Monteverde, students complete a social contract are only allowed CIEE-supervised off-campus excursions. Dublin provided supervised off-campus excursions and students are required to follow restricted movement policies.

Can I travel after 5 days to any other countries?
This would not be advisable due to the possible need to restrict movements upon return. In some cases it may be possible, but it is strongly discouraged. 

Are students staying for multiple sessions? 
Yes! Our fall programs had students doing multiple sessions and the students from the earlier sessions could certainly stay as a pod and have more freedom. 

How many times do you have to take a Covid test in the bubble in the 8 week program?
For Monteverde, you take it once before arrival, and twice in an 8-week program.

Note: This course listing is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a contract between CIEE and any applicant, student, institution, or other party. The courses, as described, may be subject to change as a result of ongoing curricular revisions, assignment of lecturers and teaching staff, and program development. Courses may be canceled due to insufficient enrollment.
"(GI)" denotes courses that originated at CIEE's Global Institutes and that are offered at multiple Global Institutes and CIEE Centers.

Dates & Fees

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Dates & Fees


Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Fees & Housing

April Start 2021 4 weeks Deadline Passed Apr 12, 2021 May 7, 2021
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Program Fees

CIEE offers the most student support of any provider in its program fee, including an airport greeting, full-time leadership and support, orientation, cultural activities, local excursions, pre-departure advising, and CIEE iNext travel insurance with benefits.

Participation Confirmation = $300 *

Educational Costs = $3,433

Insurance = $167

Total Fees = $3,900

Financial Aid

CIEE offers the most grants and scholarships of any study abroad organization, including $8 million/year in travel grants, merit-based scholarships, institutional and MSI grants, and Gilman Go Global Grants.

This breakdown has been prepared from the program budget for the purpose of calculating eligibility for financial aid. During the course of program operations, actual figures may vary. It should not, therefore, be used as a basis for calculation of refunds. CIEE reserves the right to adjust fees at any time.

Students required by their US home institution to study abroad via CIEE's School of Record will be charged a $500 administrative fee in addition to the Program Fees listed.

* non-refundable

What's Included

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What's Included

Cultural and Extracurricular Activities
Travel Protection
CIEE iNext and a local liability insurance
24/7 emergency on-site support