Monteverde, Costa Rica

January in Monteverde

Study Sustainable Development for the Tropics
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Information for term January in Monteverde

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

November 1, 2019

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Deadline: November 1, 2019
  • Dates: Dec 30, 2019 – Jan 20, 2020
  • Credit: 3 semester hours / 4.5 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA


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Costa Rica is the little country with the big reputation for protecting natural capital while promoting sustainable economic development. Front and center of the Costa Rican conservation and sustainability movement is the very progressive mountain community of Monteverde. This is a great setting for international students to explore how grassroots movements evolve into international ones, and how they shape the culture and identity of a nation. 

Unique Experiences

  • Learn how tourism

    can bring more than new people to a community. As a student, you’ll explore environmental, economic, and social impacts of this powerful force, and come away a more enlightened traveler in the process!

  • Travel to a stunning national park

    situated squarely in the renewable energy region of Costa Rica. Learn about the controversy that surrounds geothermal energy development and biodiversity conservation.

  • Visit the Monteverde

    Cloud Forest Reserve, rich with plants and dripping with mist. This resource is critical not only for the economy of Monteverde but also for the hundreds of plants and animals that call this wet world ‘home’.

  • acres of cloud forest

  • species of birds

  • annual tourists


Location & Culture

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Monteverde is a small, international community, nestled along the edge of the cloud forest in the Tilarán Mountains. Drawn to the area’s spectacular beauty and opportunity to see quetzals and monkeys, tourists now contribute the principal revenues to the zone, although coffee plantations and dairy farms still dot the landscape. Recent opportunities for economic development, possibly at the expense of nature and peacefulness, have ignited heated debates among a highly engaged, informed, and active community.

The Culture


  • Travel to northwestern Costa Rica to the epicenter of renewable energy production to visit solar, wind, and geothermal plants. Hear from the energy experts about how Costa Rica aims to become carbon neutral.
  • Hike in the world-famous Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, and observe cloud forest plants and animals. Insiders will tell you about how these protected areas both conserve biodiversity and contribute to the economy.
  • Visit local businesses involved with tourism and learn from residents about their opinions on the good, the bad, and all the rest of tourism development.
  • Take a day trip to a local sustainable farm and enjoy a meal of 100% organically-grown food, direct from the fields. 

Daily Life

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  • Housing

    Homestays: While at our base in Monteverde, students live with Costa Rican families. Host families have been carefully selected, experienced with CIEE students, and are generally located in Santa Elena or Cerro Plano. You will have a private room, access to a shared bathroom, a key for the house, and laundry service.


    All meals are included in the program fee. Students are provided with breakfast, a sack lunch, and dinner. Host families can generally accommodate diet requirements and restrictions, such as vegetarianism.

Monteverde, Costa Rica

Where You'll Study

  • A

    CIEE Monteverde

    in Cerro Plano de Monteverde is located within easy walking distance of the center of Monteverde and Santa Elena, where students reside with host families.

What People are Saying

  • My homestay family means the world to me. I know I will be back to visit them soon, could not have been a better match.

    Samantha, University of Colorado Boulder, Spring 17

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Program Details

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What you need to know

The program details

The January in Monteverde program is an intensive introduction to pressing environmental sustainability issues facing many tropical, developing nations today. It is best suited for outdoorsy, active students who are looking for an immersive experience. 


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  • Grading

    Grades are based on quizzes, exams, essays, oral presentations, deliverables, plus attendance and participation in classes, including outings.


    The program schedule is structured and full. You are held to high standards of academic and personal conduct. There is no time for weekend travel and you will be strongly encouraged to spend evenings and Sundays with host families and in community activities, practicing the language and learning about the local culture.



    Students need to have a GPA of at least 2.5.


    Two college-level courses in the natural sciences, environmental studies, sustainability, or agriculture


Program Credit

  • Total credit, 3 semester/4.5 quarter hours
  • Contact hours: 45

Students enroll in one course, Sustainable Development for the Tropics.

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.


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Scholarships & Grants

CIEE offers more than $8 million in scholarships and grants annually to help students like you make your study abroad dream a reality.

Students who apply to this program are eligible for the following scholarships and grants:

  • Global Access Initiative (GAIN) Grants

To be considered, submit the CIEE Scholarships & Grants application within your CIEE program application. Learn more at the Scholarships & Grants section of our website.

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Dates, Deadlines & Fees

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Dates, Deadlines & Fees

You get more for every dollar when you study abroad with CIEE, because our high-quality programs include everything from excursions to insurance. There are no hidden charges, and no disappointing surprises when you arrive.

  • Tuition
  • Housing
  • All meals are included.  
  • Advising before you depart to set goals and answer questions
  • Optional on-site airport meet-and-greet
  • Two- day orientation - an introduction to Costa Rican culture, your academic program, and the city, plus practical information about living in your host city.
  • Full-time program leadership and support in your host city
  • Field trips and cultural activities
  • Overnight excursions
  • Insurance and other travel benefits, with CIEE iNext
  • 24/7 emergency on-site support

To help you budget, keep in mind that students are responsible for the cost of international airfare, local transportation, books and supplies, visas, and personal expenses. In addition, ask your college or university study abroad advisor if your school charges additional fees for study abroad.

No Hidden Fees


Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Fees & Housing

January 2020 Nov 1, 2019 Dec 30, 2019 Jan 20, 2020

To help you budget, keep in mind that students are responsible for the cost of international airfare, local transportation, books and supplies, visas, and personal expenses. In addition, ask your college or university study abroad advisor if your school charges additional fees for study abroad.

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Our Staff

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Get Started

Here's what you need to do to take the next steps:
  • 1

    You're one step closer to an amazing study abroad experience! 

    Apply Now
  • 2

    Share your plans and confirm you're on track to meet all required steps to go abroad.

  • 3

    Contact an Advisor

    Send us an email if you still have questions or need information about applying to this program.