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, 2021

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Tentative Dates: Dec 27, 2021 – Jan 17, 2022
  • Credit: 3 semester hours / 4.5 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA


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Put on your hiking boots and spend January in the progressive mountain community of Monteverde studying Sustainable Development for the Tropics, surrounded by the region’s breathtaking natural scenery.  Coursework is taught in English at the CIEE Global Institute - Monteverde and is complemented with immersive co-curricular activities designed to increase intercultural understanding.

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!


    like solar, wind, and hydropower, that are helping Costa Rica avoid fossil fuels and become carbon neutral


    where mosses and orchids, dripping with mist, decorate the boughs of gnarly trees and brightly colored birds dart through the fog for fruits. 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’.


  • 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. This area is famous as an epicenter for grassroots conservation and private reserves, and the community is emerging as the vanguard of innovation for Costa Rica’s carbon neutrality program. 

The Culture


  • Hike in the under the dripping boughs of the cloud forest and observe colorful 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. 
  • Explore and experience the power of renewable energies, including solar, wind and hydropower, operating at large and small scales, to gain insight into the how and why Costa Rica is an international leader in the carbon neutral movement.

Daily Life

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  • Housing

    Students stay on the CIEE Global Institute campus in shared rooms with bunkbeds and en suite bathrooms. The campus includes indoor and outdoor common areas for recreation and study and allows exclusive access to forest trails and gardens.


    All meals are included in the program fee. Students are provided with breakfast, a sack lunch, and dinner.

Monteverde, Costa Rica

Where You'll Study

  • A

    CIEE Monteverde

    Located next to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve, CIEE Monteverde offers a comfortable home-base for students and faculty conducting research and coursework.

  • B


    Located in the Cordillera de Tilarán mountain range, Monteverde is home to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve which contains over 26,000 acres of tropical plants and animals.


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The January in Monteverde program is an intensive introduction to environmental sustainability issues facing many tropical, developing nations. Emphasis is on the economic sustainability of renewable energy, ecotourism, and agriculture. Courses are taught by qualified instructors at the CIEE Global Institute – Monteverde.

CIEE Global Institute – Monteverde is located on an extensive 153-acre campus that includes forest and farms against a backdrop of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Facilities include classrooms, residence halls, and recreational areas in a natural setting. There are laboratories, a herbarium, plus organic gardens to support a wide array of STEM studies and research opportunities. An extensive trail system through forest and fields, links classrooms to a botanical garden, animal stables, and coffee and vegetable production areas.



Language Prerequisites

There are no specific language requirements for this program.

Additional Requirements

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

Individual courses may have additional prerequisites; for CIEE courses, these are listed in the syllabi below. Students are responsible for having their own course approval conversations with their advisors.

Program Requirements

All students take the required CIEE course.

Program Credit

Total credit: 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits

Course Credit

CIEE course: 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 45 contact hours

Individual courses may have additional prerequisites; for CIEE courses, these are listed in the syllabi below. Students are responsible for having their own course approval conversations with their advisors.

Academic Culture

The program is made up of three weeks of classes, designed to follow U.S. academic culture. Class attendance is strictly enforced for both classes and required co-curricular excursions. There is no time for weekend travel and students are strongly encouraged to spend evenings and Sundays taking part in extra-curricular activities to practice the language and learn about the local culture.

Class Format

Courses taught at CIEE Monteverde are for CIEE students only. Courses are taught Monday - Saturday. Instruction is supported and augmented online by our learning management system, Canvas.


Assessment is based on the individual’s overall performance in the course, including quizzes, exams, essays, oral presentations, deliverables, plus participation in classes, including outings. Students must check with their professors to find out exam and project presentation dates. Under no circumstances will CIEE alter deadlines or exam dates for study abroad students who have made conflicting travel plans. The U.S. grading scale of A-F is used.

Individual courses may have additional prerequisites; for CIEE courses, these are listed in the syllabi below. Students are responsible for having their own course approval conversations with their advisors.

Language of Instruction


Individual courses may have additional prerequisites; for CIEE courses, these are listed in the syllabi below. Students are responsible for having their own course approval conversations with their advisors.


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Course Information


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 Open Campus Network and that are offered at multiple CIEE Centers.

Dates & Fees

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Dates & 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.


Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Fees & Housing

January 2022 Nov 1, 2021 Dec 27, 2021* Jan 17, 2022*
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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 = $2,803 **

Housing = $300 ***

Insurance = $47

Total Fees = $3,450

Estimated Costs

Students are responsible and manage costs related to travel, meals, books, and personal expenses. Below are estimates for consideration.

Meals not included in program fee = $50

International Airfare = $700

Local Transportation = $40

Books & Supplies = $20

Personal expenses = $100

Other = $100 ††

Total Estimated Costs = $1,010

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

** direct cost of education charged uniformly to all students

*** includes all meals

r?ound-trip based on U.S. East Coast departure

†† Covid test fees for entry to the US

*Dates for this program are provided as tentative dates. Please consult with your study abroad advisor to confirm dates before purchasing your flights.

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, your college or university may charge additional fees for study abroad, or may require you to receive a transcript via CIEE's School of Record, which carries an additional fee of $500. January 2020 programs in Latin America are not eligible for CIEE Scholarships and Grants.

What's Included

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What's Included

Pre-departure Advising
Advising before you depart to set goals and answer questions
Optional on-site airport meet-and-greet
Introduction to your program plus practical information about living in your host city
On-site Staff
Full-time program leadership and support in your city
Cultural and/or Co-curricular Activities
Excursions and/or Study Tours
Travel Protection
CIEE iNext and a local liability insurance
24/7 emergency on-site support

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 Us

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