sunset monteverde costa rica
Monteverde, Costa Rica

Sustainability + the Environment

Study Program

Dates

-

16 weeks

Costs

Credit

16 - 17 semester hours

24 - 25.5 quarter hours

Eligibility

Application Deadline

Apply Now

Request Information

Contact Us

Dates

-

16 weeks

Costs

Credit

16 - 17 semester hours

24 - 25.5 quarter hours

Eligibility

Application Deadline

The application deadline has passed.

Apply Now

Request Information

Contact Us

Dates

-

16 weeks

Credit

16 - 17 semester hours

24 - 25.5 quarter hours

Eligibility

Application Deadline

Apply Now

Request Information

Contact Us

Overview

Attending CIEE Monteverde is a unique and life-changing experience where you will develop new knowledge and skills while taking your Spanish language skills to the next level. This program is for students from all fields of study interested in digging into today's pressing environmental issues. When class is in session, you'll take three required content courses, an internship, and a Spanish language course. Outside the classroom, you'll participate in activities on local farms, natural reserves, field stations, and other experiences that provide intercultural understanding.

Unique Experiences

EXPLORE ALTERNATIVE ENERGIES

and learn about how they impact communities and biodiversity

INTERN WITH A LOCAL LEADER

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

3,021

species of plants and trees

7

Natural Wonders of Costa Rica including the Monteverde Cloud Forest

6,700

inhabitants

Experience
  • monteverde students abroad photography
  • costa rica student with tree jungle costa rica

The Destination

Located in the northwestern region of 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 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

monteverde cheers jungle study abroad

Excursions & Activities

  • Immersing yourself in the steamy jungle of the Lowland Rainforest. 
  • 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.  
  • Meet local people and business owners to get a firsthand look at a range of environmental protection projects. 
  • Earn work experience as an intern in a local organization or company. 
  • Indoor and outdoor areas with access to forest trails and gardens for recreation, self-exploration and co-curricular activities. 
  • Optional weekend at a home stay where students can live with a local family in Monteverde and immerse themselves in the Costa Rican culture. 

Program Blogs

From CIEE

Top 10 Study Abroad Volunteer Opportunities with CIEE

By College Study Abroad at CIEE

If you’re itching to study abroad and truly make a difference during your trip, save this blog post as we dive into our Top 10 study abroad volunteer opportunities! Can... keep reading

From CIEE

Recycling Internship with ADI San Luis

By Vanessa Correa at CIEE

Written by Maya Peske (Cornell College), Internship in Sustainability and the Environment The road from San Luis up to Monteverde is well known by all of the people in the... keep reading

From CIEE

Sustainable waste management for manure in a Monteverde dairy farm

By Vanessa Correa at CIEE

Written by Jack Mahr (Pacific Lutheran University), Internship on Sustainability and the Environment. With over 80 hectares, most of which is a primary forest, this Finca Laguna Verde does a... keep reading

What People are Saying

  • "Great experience; Trips were extremely fun and informative; Staff was really nice and helpful; Also, Costa Rica is a beautiful country with great people"

    Fayoni O., George Washington University

  • "Studying abroad in a new place is a very rewarding experience."

    Morgan O., University of Colorado-Boulder

Housing
Academics

Academics

This 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 participants learn in the classroom and field, and travel within Costa Rica to places that most visitors never see. You are rewarded with unique and life-changing experiences, new knowledge and skills, and inspiration to carry the sustainability movement forward. 

There is a wet laboratory, an herbarium, plus organic gardens to support a wide array of STEM studies and internship opportunities. An extensive trail system through forest and fields, links classrooms to a botanical garden, animal stables and coffee and vegetable production areas.

GPA

2.5

Language Requirements

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.

Please refer to the detailed Program Essential Eligibility Criteria.

Recommendations

Some college-level Spanish is recommended.

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

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

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

     

Program Credit

  • Through Fall 2023: 17 U.S. semester /25.5 quarter credits  
  • As of Spring 2024: 16 – 17 U.S. semester/24 – 25.5 quarter credits  
     

Course Credit

  • CIEE Environmental Studies and Biology courses: 2 - 4 U.S. semester/3 - 6 quarter credits; 30 - 60 contact hours
  • CIEE Spanish language courses: 3 - 4 U.S. semester/4.5 - 6 quarter credits; 45 - 60 contact hours  
  • CIEE Internship: 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 25 seminar hours, 110 placement 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 highly rewarding. Fall Schedule: mid-August to early December. Spring Schedule: Late January to mid-May. 

Class Format

Students learn with other CIEE participants in small, dynamic groups, taking five classes that are required for this program. Learning happens through lectures, fieldwork, excursion, interviews, small group work, and discussions. Because of the focus on critical thinking, assignments and exams are writing intensive. Classes are typically held Monday through Friday and are for CIEE participants only. Instruction is supported and augmented online by Canvas, our e-learning management tool.

Grading

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

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 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

All students take a Spanish Language class, at an appropriate level (as determined by a placement evaluation) from the list below. Participants should be attentive to the scheduling of the placement tests and the online class schedule, all of which will be communicated well in advance of the program start date.

Academic Projects

Course
Language
Semester Credit

Biological and Physical Sciences

Course
Language
Semester Credit

Natural Resources, Conservation, and the Environment

Course
Language
Semester Credit

Languages and Cultural Studies

Course
Language
Semester Credit

Academic Projects

Course
Language
Semester Credit

Biological and Physical Sciences

Course
Language
Semester Credit

Natural Resources, Conservation, and the Environment

Course
Language
Semester Credit

Languages and Cultural Studies

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
  • 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 Fall 2024 16 weeks Start Date End Date Fees & Housing $19,950
Program Spring 2024 16 weeks Application Due Deadline Passed Start Date End Date Fees & Housing $19,950
Program Spring 2025 16 weeks Start Date End Date

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 = $16,456**

Housing = $3,000***

Insurance = $194

Total Fees = $19,950

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

Personal expenses = $230††

Other = $100†††

Total Costs = $1,080

Optional Housing

CIEE accommodation options are detailed in the Housing section. Based on availability, Select or Select Plus Housing can be chosen during the application process for an additional fee:

Select Housing Fee = $750^

Select Plus Housing Fee = $1,500^^

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 all meals

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

††$100 emergency fund + cell phone expense + toiletries

†††Covid test fees for entry to the US, if required

^first-come, first serve, based on availability

^^first-come, first serve, based on availability

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 = $16,456**

Housing = $3,000***

Insurance = $194

Total Fees = $19,950

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 = $700

Local Transportation = $100

Personal expenses = $230††

Total Costs = $1,030

Optional Housing

CIEE accommodation options are detailed in the Housing section. Based on availability, Select or Select Plus Housing can be chosen during the application process for an additional fee:

Select Housing Fee = $750^

Select Plus Housing Fee = $1,500^^

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 all meals

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

††$100 emergency fund + cell phone expense + toiletries

^first-come, first serve, based on availability

^^first-come, first serve, based on availability

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

Meals

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