Monteverde, Costa Rica

Tropical Ecology + Conservation

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Information for term Tropical Ecology + Conservation

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

May 1, 2022
weeks
days
hours

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Tentative Dates: Aug 15 – Nov 19, 2022 (14 weeks)*
  • Credit: 17 semester hours / 25.5 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA

Application Deadline

November 1, 2021
weeks
days
hours

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Tentative Dates: Feb 7 – May 14, 2022 (14 weeks)*
  • Credit: 17 semester hours / 25.5 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA

Overview

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Explore the biodiversity in Monteverde’s Cloud Forest Reserve, beaches, waterfalls, and more – all while building on your Spanish language skills.  Take courses on tropical ecology, and a Spanish language course appropriate to your skills at CIEE– Monteverde.  Work on an independent research project in tropical ecology or conservation, from observation and data collection to a presentation of your findings.  All courses are complemented with CIEE co-curricular activities and excursion to enhance classroom learning and provide intercultural understanding.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement

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

Unique Experiences

  • EXPLORE BEYOND MONTEVERDE

    when you visit Costa Rica’s mangroves, lowland rainforest, dry forest, and other fascinating natural habitats.

  • PUT NEW SKILLS INTO PRACTICE

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

  • BE ENCHANTED AND INSPIRED

    when you hike under the dripping boughs of the cloud forest and observe colorful plants and animals.

  • species of plants and trees in Monteverde Preserve

    3,021
  • national parks in Costa Rica

    26
  • species of frogs and toads

    146

Location & Culture

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Monteverde is a small, international community, nestled along the edge of the cloud forest in the Tilarán Mountains.  Drawn to the area’s spectacular beauty and opportunities to see quetzals and monkeys, tourists now contribute the principal revenues to the zone, although coffee plantations and dairy farms still dot the landscape.  This area is famous as an epicenter for grassroots conservation and private reserves, and the community is emerging as the vanguard of innovation for Costa Rica’s carbon neutrality program.

The Culture

EXCURSIONS & ACTIVITIES

  • Immerse yourself in the steamy jungle of Lowland Rainforest
  • Explore a dry forest recognized for its study of regeneration in Santa Rosa National Park
  • See how local coffee farms, livestock, 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 will 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

Program Blogs

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Program Blogs

Daily Life

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  • Housing

    Students stay in shared rooms with bunkbeds and en suite bathrooms.  There are indoor and outdoor areas for recreation and study with access to forest trails and gardens.

  • Meals

    Three simple, but hearty meals are provided daily.  

  • monteverde, costa rica, camping, tents

    Field lodging

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

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.

Academics

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Academics

This demanding program is designed for energetic, outdoorsy students who are committed to fully immersing in academics, nature, and local culture.  Tropical Ecology and Conservation is 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. 

Courses are taught by biology professors from universities in Costa Rica and the United States who hold degrees in ecology and have extensive tropical experience.  Guest lectures include resident and visiting biologists.

There is a wet laboratory, an 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.

GPA

2.5

Language Prerequisites

There are no specific language requirements for this program.

Additional Requirements

Two semesters of college-level biology.

Recommendations

One semester of college-level ecology or environmental science is recommended. 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.

Program Requirements

All students on the program take 5 required courses.

  • 3 CIEE biology and ecology courses
  • 1 Spanish language course at the appropriate level
  • 1 Independent Research course

Program Credit

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

Course Credit

  • CIEE Biology and Ecology courses: 4 U.S. semester/6 quarter credits and 60 contact hours per course, unless otherwise noted
  • CIEE Spanish language courses: 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 45 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

With a full schedule every day, students have little or no opportunity for independent travel or activities. The program is demanding – and highly rewarding.  Fall Schedule: mid-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. Spanish language learning begins online and fills the first 2 weeks of the program.  In-person Spanish instruction continues once on-site for a short period.  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.

Grading

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

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

Spanish and English

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

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Course Information

Spanish Language classes
All students take a Spanish Language class, at an appropriate level (as determined by a placement evaluation) from the list below.  For Fall 2021 and Spring 2022, Spanish language classes will be taught in an intensive online format during the first 2 weeks of the program, prior to arrival in Costa Rica.  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.

Spring 2022 CIEE Courses

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Biological and Physical Sciences

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

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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:

  • 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 & 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.

Program

Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Fees & Housing

Spring 2022 14 weeks Nov 1, 2021 Feb 7, 2022* May 14, 2022*
$18,850
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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 = $15,963 **

Housing = $2,420 ***

Insurance = $167

Total Fees = $18,850

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.

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 all meals

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

†† Covid test fees for entry to the US

Fall 2022 14 weeks May 1, 2022 Aug 15, 2022* Nov 19, 2022*
$18,850
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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 = $15,936 **

Housing = $2,420 ***

Insurance = $194

Total Fees = $18,850

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.

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 all meals

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

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

*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

Tuition
Housing
Meals
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 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

    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 Us

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