red bridge monteverde rain forest
Monteverde, Costa Rica

Summer Sustainability + The Environment

Study Program

Dates

-

6 weeks

Costs

Credit

6 - 7 per Block semester hours

9 - 10.5 per Block quarter hours

Eligibility

Application Deadline

The application deadline has passed.

Apply Now

Request Information

Contact Us

Dates

-

12 weeks

Costs

Credit

6 - 7 per Block semester hours

9 - 10.5 per Block quarter hours

Eligibility

Application Deadline

The application deadline has passed.

Apply Now

Request Information

Contact Us

Dates

-

6 weeks

Costs

Credit

6 - 7 per Block semester hours

9 - 10.5 per Block quarter hours

Eligibility

Application Deadline

The application deadline has passed.

Apply Now

Request Information

Contact Us

Tentative Dates

-

4 weeks

Credit

6 - 7 per Block semester hours

9 - 10.5 per Block quarter hours

Eligibility

Application Deadline

Apply Now

Request Information

Contact Us

Tentative Dates

-

4 weeks

Credit

6 - 7 per Block semester hours

9 - 10.5 per Block quarter hours

Eligibility

Application Deadline

Apply Now

Request Information

Contact Us

Tentative Dates

-

8 weeks

Credit

6 - 7 per Block semester hours

9 - 10.5 per Block quarter hours

Eligibility

Application Deadline

Apply Now

Request Information

Contact Us

Overview

Live on the edge of the world-famous Costa Rican cloud forest in Monteverde, where you'll learn about sustainable economic development, environmental engineering, and other science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM)-related topics. Since the 1960s, the San Luis de Monteverde region of Costa Rica has been at the forefront of field study in environmental protection and began attracting scientists that marveled at its incredible biodiversity.

See firsthand why there is no better place than CIEE Monteverde for students to study ecology, conservation, sustainable practices, the consequences of climate change, conservation in the tropics, and more. During this summer Open Campus Block program, you can choose to spend one six-week block (or up to two) exploring ways to protect the environment and live more sustainably.

Build Your Summer Adventure
Select one or two six-week blocks at any CIEE Open Campus Block location. Stay in Monteverde for both blocks or go mobile and spend your second block in Berlin, Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Copenhagen, Dublin, Kyoto, London, Madrid, Paris, Rome, Santiago, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, or Yucatan.

Unique Experiences

LEARN FROM COSTA RICAN FARMERS

who maintain crops, improve their soils, and have high productivity with natural and climate-smart practices

LIVE IN A RURAL MOUNTAIN COMMUNITY

surrounded by a tropical cloud forest and friendly Costa Ricans

SEE UP CLOSE

how alternative energy makes Costa Rica largely independent of fossil fuels

1948

THE HISTORIC MOMENT WHEN COSTA RICA ABOLISHED ITS ARMY AND BECAME KNOWN AS THE “SWITZERLAND OF CENTRAL AMERICA”

98%

LITERACY FOR COSTA RICA IS HIGHEST IN LATIN AMERICA

2050

THE YEAR COSTA RICA ASPIRES TO REACH CARBON NEUTRALITY

Experience
  • students hike rainforest abroad costa rica
  • waterfall student monteverde costa rica

Your Destination

Monteverde lies along the continental divide at the crest of the Cordillera de Tilarán mountain chain in the northwestern region of Costa Rica, which is blanketed by a cool, wet cloud forest extending into the Atlantic lowlands. The cloud forest provides a striking contrast to the deciduous forest on the Pacific side.  

The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve was founded in 1972 to protect the entire ridge above Monteverde and down into the Peñas Blancas Valley. As a result of its unique history and geography, Monteverde is a stunning home to exotic flora, fauna, and wildlife and sustainability projects, including agriculture, energy production, water conservation, forest management, and biodiversity conservation.  

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

kayaking river abroad costa rica

EXCURSIONS & ACTIVITIES

Excursions and activities may include:  

  • Natural destinations, such as national parks or reserves, to experience Costa Rica’s biodiversity and natural beauty.  
  • Rising with the sun for birding tours or farm chores and experiencing biodiversity after the sun goes down with a guided night hike in the forest.  
  • Exploring indoor and outdoor areas with access to forest trails and gardens for recreation, self-exploration, and co-curricular activities.  
  • Optional weekend at a homestay where students can live with a local family in Monteverde and immerse themselves in Costa Rican culture.

Program Blogs

From CIEE

CIEE Global Interns Building a Sustainable Future

By College Study Abroad at CIEE

Global Internships are an important part of the work we do at CIEE to help individuals build bridges across culture and contribute positively to the world. Working abroad is the... keep reading

From CIEE

Summer Sustainability and the Environment Program

By Karen Masters at CIEE

Allison Inanoria from the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona shares a video about the Summer Sustainability and the Environment Program in Monteverde. If you want to see a Spanish-language adaptation... keep reading

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

Housing
Academics

Academics

Students take two credit-bearing courses during each block of attendance. Students can also enroll in an optional Survival Spanish course (non-credit) during a single block. In-class work is augmented with co-curricular visits to the city’s wide variety of cultural institutions and organizations relevant to the course offering. Courses are taught by knowledgeable and well-trained Costa Rican instructors who are experts on Monteverde’s academic resources.

GPA

2.5


 

Language Requirements

There are no specific language requirements for this program.
 

Additional Requirements

Please refer to the detailed Program Essential Eligibility Criteria.

Recommendations

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.

Requirements

All students must enroll in two credit-bearing CIEE courses per block.

Program Credit

  • One block: 6-7 U.S semester/9-10.5 quarter credits 
  • Two blocks: 12-14 U.S. semester/18-21 quarter credits

Course Credit

  • CIEE courses: typically, 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 45 contact hours 
  • language courses: 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 60 contact hours 
  • lab courses: 4 U.S. semester/6 quarter credits; 60 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

Each course is a full semester in content, covered in a six-week block, so the pace is accelerated, and the workload is demanding. Courses are designed to follow U.S. academic culture and standards. The class environment typically features a combination of traditional lecture and discussion with co-curricular excursions and activities. Heavy emphasis is placed on student participation. To avoid falling behind, students should not plan personal travel away from the city when classes are in session and plan trips for the weekends in between blocks.
 

Class Format

Courses are typically for CIEE students only. Classes are scheduled for Monday-Friday and meet two, three, or four times per week. Attendance is strictly enforced both for classes and required co-curricular excursions. Students should expect an average of two hours of preparation required for each hour in class. Instruction is supported and augmented online with our learning management system, Canvas.

Grading

The U.S. grading scale of A-F is used. Students are graded based on attendance, class participation, homework, project work, presentations, and midterm and final examinations. Learning outcomes assessment is continuous through personal reflections, evaluation feedback, self-assessment, and requirements as set out in course syllabi.

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

English and/or Spanish

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.

Courses

Course Information

Course Notes

  • Courses are listed below by block and track; course list subject to change. Courses are in English unless otherwise noted. “GI” denotes courses that are offered at multiple CIEE locations. 

Language Classes 

  • During course selection, students interested in a non-introductory language course will be required to take a language assessment to determine their proficiency level. Enrollment will be finalized on site and is based on assessment outcomes. 
  • Students can also enroll in an optional Survival Spanish course (non-credit) during a single block. 

Summer Block I 2024

Course
Language
Semester Credit

Summer Block II 2024

Course
Language
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.

Scholarships

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
  • MSI Grant
  • CIEE Stem Scholarship

To be considered, submit the CIEE Scholarships & Grants application within your CIEE program application.

Learn more about scholarships

Dates & Fees

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.

Program

Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Fees & Housing

Program Summer Block I 2024 6 weeks Application Due Deadline Passed Start Date End Date Fees & Housing $5,450
Program Summer Blocks I, II 2024 12 weeks Application Due Deadline Passed Start Date End Date Fees & Housing $10,900
Program Summer Block II 2024 6 weeks Application Due Deadline Passed Start Date End Date Fees & Housing $5,450
Program Summer Block I 2025 4 weeks Start Date * End Date *
Program Summer Block II 2025 4 weeks Start Date * End Date *
Program Summer Blocks I, II 2025 8 weeks Start Date * End Date *

*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.

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 protection with benefits.

Participation Confirmation = $300*

Educational Costs = $2,953**

Housing = $2,000***

Insurance = $197

Total Fees = $5,450

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 = $0

International Airfare = $650

Local Transportation = $100

Books & Supplies = $140

Personal expenses = $150

Total Costs = $1,040

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

*non-refundable

**direct cost of education charged uniformly to all students

***Includes three meals a day

All meals are included

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 protection with benefits.

Participation Confirmation = $300*

Educational Costs = $6,403**

Housing = $4,000***

Insurance = $197

Total Fees = $10,900

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 = $0

International Airfare = $1,300

Local Transportation = $300

Books & Supplies = $420

Personal expenses = $300

Total Costs = $2,320

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

*non-refundable

**direct cost of education charged uniformly to all students

***Includes three meals a day

All meals are included

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 protection with benefits.

Participation Confirmation = $300*

Educational Costs = $2,953**

Housing = $2,000***

Insurance = $197

Total Fees = $5,450

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 = $0

International Airfare = $650

Local Transportation = $100

Books & Supplies = $140

Personal expenses = $150

Total Costs = $1,040

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

*non-refundable

**direct cost of education charged uniformly to all students

***Includes three meals a day

All meals are included

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 protection with benefits.

Estimated Costs

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

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

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 protection with benefits.

Estimated Costs

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

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

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 protection with benefits.

Estimated Costs

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

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

What's Included

Tuition

Housing

Pre-departure Advising

Advising before you depart to set goals and answer questions

Optional on-site airport meet-and-greet

Orientation

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 travel protection

24/7 emergency on-site support

Staff

Our Staff

Pablo Allen

Center Director

Pablo is a native Costa Rican, born and raised in San José. He is an an evolutionary ecologist interested in sexual selection, animal weapons, and phenotypic plasticity. Since rejoining CIEE...

Jessica Arias

Academic Director

Jessica is a PhD candidate on Agricultural Science from the University of Costa Rica. She earned a BSc. in Ecotourism and a MSc. in Sustainable Development, with a concentration in Conservation...

Jose Carlos Calderon

Student Life Manager

"Moncho" earned his BSc in Biology at the University of Costa Rica with a specialization in bats. He has worked for CIEE Monteverde for over 10 years as Assistant Instructor...

Get Started Steps

Get Started

Here’s what you need to do to take the next steps:

1

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

2

CONNECT WITH YOUR CAMPUS STUDY ABROAD OFFICE 

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.
 

Request Info