Monteverde, Costa Rica

Summer Sustainability + The Environment

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Information for term Summer Sustainability + The Environment

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

The application deadline has passed.

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Dates: Jul 11 – Aug 6, 2022 (4 weeks)
  • Credit: 3 - 4 semester hours / 4.5 - 6 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA


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Live on the edge of the world famous Monteverde cloud forest, while exploring sustainable economic development (Session II), and environmental engineering (Session III). There’s no better setting to study these topics than in Costa Rica, a little country with a big reputation for protecting the environment, harnessing renewable energies, and creating secure food systems. You’ll discover many treasures during your time abroad in this special country as you explore sustainable fisheries, tourism, conservation, agriculture, or renewable energy.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement

CIEE is requiring all participants to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before traveling on programs. Read more ›

  • Take excursions

    to farms, island communities, protected areas, renewable power plants, and more.

  • Attend classes in

    Sustainable Development (Session II), or Environmental Engineering (Session III).

  • Live with a local family,

    advance your Spanish skills, and integrate into Costa Rican culture.

  • visitors every year

  • seasons a year


Location & Culture

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Perhaps best known for the famed Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, this small, international community nestled along the edge of the cloud forest in the Tilarán Mountains is a portal to a lush haven of biodiversity.  Today, tourists contribute the principal revenues to the zone, though coffee plantations and dairy farms still dot the landscape.  The region, comprising numerous small towns, is home to about 5,000 people of diverse backgrounds.

CIEE wants all our students to feel welcomed, supported, and empowered to succeed while studying abroad. Local CIEE staff have provided details about conditions and cultural attitudes that students with specific identities might encounter in Monteverde.

The Culture


  • Visit fishing communities on the island of Chira, where locals are leaders in the sustainable fishing industry (Session II).
  • Get inside access to local decision-makers, business owners, and leaders, for hands-on training in sustainability practices in ecotourism (Session II)
  • Learn technology for innovative agriculture and energy production in the historic city of Cartago (Session III)
  • Gain knowledge and skills for carbon accounting toward the goal of carbon neutrality (Session III).


Help design or manage farm production and waste (Session III); contribute to conversations and deliberations on integrated conservation and economic development projects (Session II).

Daily Life

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    Whether on or off-campus students live in dormitories surrounded by the Cloud Forest with other CIEE students and less than 10 minutes walking from the classrooms. Students live in double, triple, or quad rooms shared with other CIEE students of their same cohort with en-suite bathrooms, shared desks, and closets. Indoor and outdoor areas for recreation and study, with access to forest trails and gardens.


    Students are provided with breakfast, hot lunch (pack lunches on weekends), and dinner.

Monteverde, Costa Rica

Where You'll Study

  • A


    Located next to the Monteverde Cloud Forrest

  • B

    Getting Around

    Students get around by foot and take buses, taxis, and ATVs

What People are Saying

  • "I really enjoyed the learning environment and even with covid regulations there are enough safe excursions. The education is top notch and I feel like I have learned a lot about environmental issues and ecotourism that was not possible at my home university."

    Melissa H., University of North Carolina at Wilmington
  • "Its truly a one of a kind experience that can benefit a wide range of people."

    Courtland J., Morehouse College
  • "It's a great experience. Everybody should do at least one study abroad program."

    Vummadi C., Trinity Washington University


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This summer program is designed for energetic, outdoorsy students, interested in immersing in academics, local culture, and nature.  See what it is like to live sustainably in Costa Rica, where low-impact practices are a way of life.  Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of renewable energies and environmental impacts.  Investigate engineered responses to the need for managing energy, water, and nutrient flows in the production of food, fuel, and electricity. Students can also enroll in an optional Communicative Spanish Language course (1 credit).  In-class work is augmented with co-curricular visits to the town’s rich variety of environmental organizations and attractions relevant to the course offerings.

CIEE Monteverde has a wet and dry laboratory, 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.


It is recommended that students participating in this program have completed 2 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 are required to enroll in one 3-credit CIEE course per session.

Program Credit

Total credit: 3-4 U.S. semester/4.5-6 quarter credits per session

Course Credit

  • CIEE course: 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 45 contact hours per session
  • CIEE Communicative Language course: 1 U.S. semester/1.5 quarter credits; 15 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

Students should expect their schedules to be very structured and full.  Classes are scheduled for Monday through Saturday, with daily homework assignments and weekly quizzes.  Students are expected to attend all classes, all daylong activities and outings, and one overnight excursion within the country per session. Saturdays are filled with co-curricular activities.  There is no time for weekend travel, and you will be strongly encouraged to spend evenings and Sundays extra-curricular activities, practicing the language and learning about the local culture.


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

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

Course Notes
Students studying with CIEE for multiple sessions may only take Communicative Spanish once.

Summer 2022 CIEE Courses

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Summer Session II

Semester Credit

Summer Session III

Semester Credit

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 CIEE sites.


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Scholarships & Grants

CIEE offers 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:

  • Wollitzer Merit Scholarships in Area or Comparative Studies
  • Ping Scholarships for Academic Excellence
  • Ritzmann Tropical and Marine Ecology Scholarships
  • Global Access Initiative (GAIN) Grants
  • Stohl International Undergraduate Research Scholarships
  • CIEE Gilman Go Global Grant
  • CIEE Stem Scholarship

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

See more scholarship info

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

Summer Session III 2022 4 weeks Deadline Passed Jul 11, 2022 Aug 6, 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 = $3,116 **

Housing = $640 ***

Insurance = $194

Total Fees = $4,250

Estimated Costs

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

International Airfare = $650

Local Transportation = $50

Books & Supplies = $25 ††

Personal expenses = $100

Other = $100 †††

Total Estimated Costs = $925

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.

See Scholarships

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 lunch and dinner daily, plus brunch on Sundays

Round-trip based on U.S. East Coast departure

†† Prior to departure

††† Covid test to enter the US, if required

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.

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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

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 Us

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