Monteverde, Costa Rica

Tropical Ecology + Conservation

Click to scroll down and read more

Information for term Tropical Ecology + Conservation

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

The application deadline has passed.

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Dates: Aug 22 – Nov 30, 2018 (14 weeks)
  • Credit: 17 semester hours / 25.5 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA

Application Deadline

May 1, 2019
weeks
days
hours

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Tentative Dates: Aug 22 – Nov 30, 2019 (14 weeks)*
  • Credit: 17 semester hours / 25.5 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA

Application Deadline

November 1, 2018
weeks
days
hours

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Tentative Dates: Feb 7 – May 18, 2019 (14 weeks)*
  • Credit: 17 semester hours / 25.5 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA

Overview

Click to Open

Wake up to the sound of howler monkeys at our unique biological station, on the doorstep of the 57,000-acre Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. After exploring the ecology of the cloud forest, you’ll expand your horizons – and your classroom – beyond treetops to beaches, waterfalls, coral reefs, and more, for over seven weeks of travel and close study of ecosystems throughout Costa Rica and along the coast of Panama. Day by day, you’ll build your Spanish language skills and see what it means to live in rural Costa Rica.

Unique Experiences

  • EXPLORE BEYOND MONTEVERDE WITH TWO EXTENSIVE TRIPS

    including visits to Costa Rica’s mangroves, lowland rainforest, dry forest, turtle nesting beaches and many others, including the coral reefs of Panama’s Bocas del Toro Islands.

  • JOIN A SPANISH-SPEAKING FAMILY FOR A MONTH

    and fast-forward your language skills as you learn about native culture.

  • PUT NEW SKILLS INTO PRACTICE

    as you complete an independent research project that gives you an in-depth look at local flora or fauna.

  • species of plants and trees in Monteverde Preserve

    3,021
  • national parks in Costa Rica

    26
  • species of amphibians

    161

Location & Culture

Click to Open

The Culture

EXCURSIONS & ACTIVITIES

  • Explore Corcovado National Park’s Pacific Lowland Rainforest and neighboring Caño Island, looking for dolphins and whales along the way
  • Study nesting turtles in Tortuguero National Park
  • Discover the astonishing diversity of coral reefs in Panama’s Bocas del Toro
  • Explore a dry forest recognized for its study of regeneration in Santa Rosa National Park
  • See how local coffee farms, cheese factories, and butterfly gardens add to Monteverde’s vibrant landscape
  • Camp, hike, snorkel, boat and swim while comparing Atlantic and Pacific slope habitats
  • Hike above the treeline to explore endemic species and amazing views in Costa Rica’s paramo
  • Discover local foods and customs in the town of Monteverde

RESEARCH

Put your skills to work on an independent research project in tropical ecology or conservation, from observation to data collection and then to a presentation of your findings. At every step, you’ll be guided by an expert faculty advisor. Past projects have explored beetle habitats, hummingbird behavior, the prey of cane toads, orchids and their pollinators, and much more.

View Student Research

Daily Life

Click to Open
  • Biological Station

    For two months, students live next to the cloud forest at the Monteverde Biological Station where they attend classes and sleep four to a room. Rooms have four bunks, a private bath, and hot showers. All meals are provided – family-style. Two teaching assistants are stationed here for guidance and academics, and other staff members plan activities and keep students informed of community events.

  • Homestay

    Homestays: A one-month homestay with a Spanish-speaking family in Monteverde, Cerro Plano, Santa Elena, or another nearby town, makes it easy to immerse yourself in local language and culture. During homestay, students are provided with three meals a day. Field lodging - Students camp or stay in cabins when they take field trips with instructors.

Monteverde, Costa Rica

Where You'll Study

  • A

    CIEE MONTEVERDE

    Monteverde

  • B

    CENTRO PANAMERICANO DE IDIOMAS

    A Spanish-language school

  • C

    Getting Around

    Students either walk or pay for transport by taxi.

Like what you're seeing so far?

request more information

What you need to know

The program details

This demanding program began as a summer program and grew into a full-semester program, geared for students who are studying biology and related fields. Students learn about tropical ecology and conservation through rigorous work in the classroom and field, including two extensive trips and an independent research project. Work is complimented with a homestay and Spanish language study of relevant biological vocabulary.  

Courses are taught by biology professors from universities in Costa Rica, Europe, and the United States who hold degrees in ecology and have extensive neotropic experience. Guest lectures include resident and visiting biologists. Spanish is taught by instructors from Centro Panamericano de Idiomas.

Academics

Click to Open

Academics

  • CLASS FORMAT

    Classes in this rigorous program run from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. The schedule for fall runs from late August to mid-December. The schedule for spring runs from early February to mid-May.

  • GRADING

    Students are graded with standard A-F letter grades based on midterm and final exams, quizzes, field practical’s, written reports from field experiments, and participation. Independent study grades are based upon a proposal, manuscript, and symposium presentation.

  • ACADEMIC CULTURE

    Students learn with other CIEE participants in small, dynamic groups. Learning happens primarily through experience, with plenty of field work, excursions, and small group work.

Eligibility

  • OVERALL GPA

    Students need to have a GPA of at least 2.5.

  • PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

    Two semesters of college-level biology. One semester of college-level ecology or environmental science is recommended. Some college-level Spanish is recommended.

Curriculum

Program Credit

  • Total credit, semester: 17 semester/25.5 quarter hours
  • Contact hours: biology course: 60 hours; credit – 4 semester/6 quarter hours per course, unless otherwise noted
  • Spanish language course: 45 hours; credit – 3 semester/4.5 quarter hours

Students take the following courses:

  • Humans in the Tropics
  • Tropical Community  Ecology
  • Tropical Diversity
  • A Spanish language course at one of nine levels
  • Independent Study in Biology/Ecology

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.

Spring 2019 Courses

Click to Open

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.

CIEE Monteverde Syllabi

To view the most recent syllabi for courses taught by CIEE at our locations, visit our syllabi site.

REQUIRED CIEE COURSES

All courses outlined below, including Spanish, are required. The final syllabi for courses are given to students upon arrival in Monteverde. Because requirements vary between schools, contact your study abroad office for course equivalents and credits awarded toward your degree.

The curriculum is specifically geared to CIEE students, with vocabulary focusing on ecology and conservation. Students are also involved in experiences under the guidance of the course instructor, researching and reporting on particular topics. Classroom instruction is in Spanish. There are multiple individualized levels offered with no more than four students per instructor. Students are tested during orientation to ensure appropriate placement in language classes.

SPANISH LANGUAGE COURSES

Fall 2018 Courses

Click to Open

CIEE STUDY CENTER SYLLABI

To view the most recent syllabi for courses taught by CIEE at our site visit our syllabi site.

REQUIRED CIEE COURSES

All courses outlined below, including Spanish, are required. The final syllabi for courses are given to students upon arrival in Monteverde. Because requirements vary between schools, contact your study abroad office for course equivalents and credits awarded toward your degree.

The curriculum is specifically geared to CIEE students, with vocabulary focusing on ecology and conservation. Students are also involved in experiences under the guidance of the course instructor, researching and reporting on particular topics. Classroom instruction is in Spanish. There are multiple individualized levels offered with no more than four students per instructor. Students are tested during orientation to ensure appropriate placement in language classes.

SPANISH LANGUAGE COURSES

Scholarships

Click to Open

Scholarships & Grants

Last year, we awarded more than 1,000 scholarships per term for a total of $5 million, helping more students get on planes and live their dreams in faraway places than any other organization.

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
  • Stohl International Undergraduate Research Scholarships
  • 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, Deadlines & Fees

Click to Open

Dates, Deadlines & 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.

YOUR FEE INCLUDES:

  • Tuition
  • Housing
  • Meals
  • Advising before you depart to set goals and answer questions
  • Optional on-site airport meet-and-greet
  • A two-day orientation in San José to introduce students to Spanish culture, the academic program, and surroundings, plus practical information about living in Costa Rica
  • Full-time program leadership and support in your host country
  • Field trips and cultural activities
  • Overnight excursions
  • Insurance and other travel benefits, with CIEE iNext
  • 24/7 emergency on-site support

No Hidden Fees

Program

Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Fees & Housing

Fall 2018 14 weeks Aug 22, 2018 Nov 30, 2018
$15,850
Click to Close

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 = $12,963 **

Housing = $2,420 ***

Insurance = $167

Total Fees = $15,850

Estimated Costs

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

International Airfare = $600

Books & Supplies = $500

Personal expenses = $500

Total Estimated Costs = $1,600

Financial Aid

CIEE offers the most grants and scholarships of any study abroad organization, including $5 million/year in travel grants, merit-based scholarships, MSI grants, Gilman matching grants, and Pell matching 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 to study on CIEE programs through a 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

Spring 2019 14 weeks Nov 1, 2018 Feb 7, 2019* May 18, 2019*
$17,450
Click to Close

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 = $14,563 **

Housing = $2,420 ***

Insurance = $167

Total Fees = $17,450

Estimated Costs

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

International Airfare = $600

Books & Supplies = $500

Personal expenses = $500

Total Estimated Costs = $1,600

Financial Aid

CIEE offers the most grants and scholarships of any study abroad organization, including $5 million/year in travel grants, merit-based scholarships, MSI grants, Gilman matching grants, and Pell matching 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 to study on CIEE programs through a 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

Fall 2019 14 weeks May 1, 2019 Aug 22, 2019* Nov 30, 2019*

*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, ask your college or university study abroad advisor if your school charges additional fees for study abroad.

Looking for funding?

Our Staff

Click to Open

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! 

    Apply Now
  • 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 an Advisor

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