Monteverde, Costa Rica

Sustainability + the Environment

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Information for term Sustainability + the Environment

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

May 1, 2021

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Tentative Dates: Aug 22 – Nov 30, 2021 (14 weeks)*
  • Credit: 17 semester hours / 25.5 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA

Application Deadline

November 1, 2021

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Tentative Dates: Feb 21 – May 14, 2022 (12 weeks)*
  • Credit: 17 semester hours / 25.5 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA


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Watch your Spanish skills bloom in Monteverde as you dig into today’s pressing environmental issues. Take four required content courses focused on environmental studies and sustainability, as well as a Spanish language course at your placement level at CIEE Global Institute – Monteverde. Learn in the classroom and field, and travel to remote parts of Costa Rica and Panama that most visitors never see. You’ll be rewarded with unique and life-changing experiences, new knowledge and skills, and inspiration to carry the sustainability movement forward. All courses are complemented with CIEE co-curricular activities and excursions beyond the city to enhance classroom learning and provide intercultural understanding.

Unique Experiences


    and learn about how they impact communities and biodiversity


    that is a model for sustainable fishing practices


    and apply the principles of conservation and sustainability to real-life situations

  • species of plants and trees

  • Natural Wonders of Costa Rica including the Monteverde Cloud Forest

  • inhabitants


Location & Culture

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

The CIEE Global Institute – Monteverde is located in the San Luis Valley, which is embedded in a farming community and close to a major eco-tourism destination.

The Culture


  • Travel Costa Rica and Panama, visiting remote communities and protected areas.
  • Meet local people and business owners to get a firsthand look at a range of environmental protection projects.
  • Discover local foods, legends, and customs as you visit unique villages.
  • Be mentored by a resident expert and help solve a local sustainability challenge.

Program Blogs

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Program Blogs

Daily Life

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  • Accommodations while in Monteverde

    Students stay on the Global Institute campus and in homestays:

    • Campus accommodations: Students stay on campus in shared rooms with en suite bathrooms. Three simple, but hardy meals are served in the dining hall. The campus includes indoor and outdoor common areas for recreation and study and allows exclusive access to forest trails and gardens.
    • Homestay: Students stay with Costa Rican families in simple, rural homes. They are provided private rooms and three meals per day. Bus transportation from the town center and the CIEE Global Institute is provided.

    Co-curricular travel: Students and staff travel extensively around Costa Rica and into Panama. During those excursions, the group stays in simple lodges.


    Campus accommodations: Three simple, but hardy meals are served in the dining hall.

    Homestay: Students are provided three meals per day.

Monteverde, Costa Rica

Where You'll Study

  • A


    Located next to the Monteverde Cloud Forrest

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    Getting Around

    Students get around by foot and take buses and taxis.


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This demanding program is designed for energetic, outdoorsy students who are committed to fully immersing in academics, local culture, and nature. Successful students are those committed to working hard, playing hard, and expanding their comfort zone. Students learn in the classroom and field, and travel to remote parts of Costa Rica and Panama that most visitors never see. They are rewarded with unique and life-changing experiences, new knowledge and skills, and inspiration to carry the sustainability movement forward.

CIEE Global Institute – Monteverde is located on an extensive 153-acre campus that includes forests and farms against a backdrop of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Facilities include classrooms, residence halls, and recreational areas in a natural setting. There is a wet 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.

Additional Requirements

Major in environmental studies/science. Have completed two college-level courses in natural sciences, environmental studies, or agriculture. 


Some college-level Spanish recommended.

Program Requirements

Students must take 5 required courses including Spanish language and an Internship.

  • 3 CIEE Biology/Environmental courses
  • 1 Spanish language course
  • 1 Internship

Program Credit

Total credit: 17 U.S. semester credits/25.5 quarter credits

Course Credit

  • CIEE Biology courses: 4 U.S. semester/6 quarter credits, 60 contact hours unless otherwise noted
  • CIEE Spanish language courses: 4 U.S. semester/6 quarter credits, 60 contact hours
  • CIEE Internship: 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 25 seminar hours, 110 placement hours

Academic Culture

With a full schedule every day, plus time allotted to be with host families, students have little or no opportunity for independent travel or activities. The program is demanding – and highly rewarding. There is little or no opportunity for independent travel, but field trips are extensive. Fall Schedule: Late August to late November. Spring Schedule: Early February to mid-May.

Class Format

Students learn with other CIEE participants in small, dynamic groups, taking five classes that are designed specifically for this program. Learning happens through lectures, fieldwork, excursions, interviews, small group work, and discussions. Because of the focus on critical thinking, assignments and exams are writing intensive. Classes are held Monday through Saturday. Courses taught at CIEE Monteverde are for CIEE students only. Instruction is supported and augmented online by our learning management system, Canvas.


Students are assessed with traditional evaluation tools – tests, reports, essays, participation, and oral presentations – and given a standard letter grade of A-F.

Language of Instruction

English and Spanish


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Fall 2021 CIEE Courses

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Academic Projects

Semester Credit

Biological and Physical Sciences

Semester Credit

Languages and Cultural Studies

Semester Credit

Natural Resources, Conservation, and the Environment

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.


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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:

  • Ping Scholarships for Academic Excellence
  • Ritzmann Tropical and Marine Ecology Scholarships
  • Global Access Initiative (GAIN) Grants
  • CIEE Gilman Go Global Grant

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

Fall 2021 14 weeks May 1, 2021 Aug 22, 2021* Nov 30, 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 = $15,563 **

Housing = $2,420 ***

Insurance = $167

Total Fees = $18,450

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 = $100

Books & Supplies = $20

Personal expenses = $350

Other = $100 ††

Total Estimated Costs = $1,220

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.

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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

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

†† Covid test fees for entry to the US

Spring 2022 12 weeks Nov 1, 2021 Feb 21, 2022* May 14, 2022*

*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.

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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

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.