Monteverde, Costa Rica

Building a Sustainable Planet

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Information for term Building a Sustainable Planet

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

Rolling Admissions

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Dates: Jun 9 – 29, 2019 (3 weeks)

Application Deadline

Rolling Admissions

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Dates: Jul 7 – 27, 2019 (3 weeks)


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Learn what it takes to build a more sustainable planet. 

Explore life in a Central American city vs. a small rural village. Tour coffee, banana, sugar cane and rice plantations. Visit wind, water, geothermal, and solar power plants. Visit coastal ecosystems to see water and fish management. Travel the wilds of Costa Rica to see its many progressive sustainability projects, and learn firsthand about practical trends in eco-farming, forestry and renewable energy. Trek, swim, canoe, and zip line through the treetops along the way. No two days are the same! 

Live on the edge of the Cloud Forest. Teach and learn something new every day. Brush up on your Spanish, cook authentic recipes, and live the Pura Vida life of a Costa Rican. Construct wind turbine models and teach local kids how to calculate their ecological footprints. Together as a team, learn how we can work to lower our environmental impact.

Long at the vanguard of environmental protection, Costa Rica is a living, breathing case study for sustainability. On this program you’ll see leading-edge science in action with visits to sustainable farms, alternative energy projects, tree plantations, and share ideas in the field with locals dedicated to a sustainable future. From your “traveling laboratories” along the beaches, or high up in the cloud forest, you’ll examine the interaction of science, culture, and society, and learn firsthand how to lead the way to a greener future.

Eager to explore even more? Enroll in both Costa Rica programs in either order to get a big-picture view of ecological problems and solutions. Take sessions 1 and 2 to learn how biodiversity is central to building a sustainable planet.               

The Take-Aways

  • Education

    How do humans impact the planet? Connect the dots while charting your own ecological footprint. See how people are working to lower their impact and build a sustainable future.

  • Field Work

    Build model wind turbines, explore renewable energy resources, plant trees, assess stream health and current recycling efforts, fish sustainably, and learn how to lessen environmental footprints on a personal and international level.

  • Certification

    A Certificate of Learning in Sustainability

Location & Culture

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Go green: Be on the forefront of sustainability.

Did you know? Costa Rica is a leader in sustainable living and nearly all of its energy is renewable. What’s more, it is the only country to set the goal to be carbon neutral by 2025. Over the past 25 years, Costa Rica has doubled its forest cover – while still building a healthy economy. The country continues to innovate with sustainable agriculture, energy production, reforestation efforts, biodiversity and ocean resources protection. Ecotourism is a major economic driver and a win-win for all involved. 

Costa Rica has a wealth of geographical features, from rugged mountains and volcanoes to both dry and lush forests with different microclimates. Along the Caribbean and Pacific coastlines there are 300 beaches alone. During your three-week adventure you’ll travel to all corners to see what makes this diverse region a true tropical paradise.

Monteverde, your final destination, is a mountaintop town renowned for its commitment to sustainability. Here you can explore small dairy farms, mixed agroforestry projects, and shade coffee plantations.

Nearby, help a local woodworker turn tropical hardwoods into bowls for sale, visit a traditional sugar mill, and talk to Monteverde’s townspeople to learn how this village went from several farms to an international tourist destination with over 250,000 visitors a year.  


Daily Life

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Daily Life

"What better way to start our time in Monteverde than with a hike into the famous, beautiful cloud forest?"...

Learn more about daily life on a high school study abroad program by reading our blog posts above.

  • Housing

    Hotel rooms and dorms at biological stations

  • Local Support

    24/7 Support from your CIEE program leader and in-country CIEE staff members

Program Blogs

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Program Blogs


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Sample Activities 


  • Visit volcanoes and soak in hot springs.
  • Tour the country’s acclaimed wind, water, geothermal, and solar power plants.
  • Study urbanization on a tour of the capital city of San José.
  • Try a folkloric dance class or play soccer with kids.
  • Learn to fish like a local.
  • Take a cooking class and learn to make authentic Costa Rican dishes.
  • Explore mangroves, beaches and other coastal ecosystems.


Dates & Fees

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Dates & Fees


  • Program open to all current high school students: Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors. 
  • For scholarship eligibility requirements, please check our Scholarship page.
  • This program involves engaging in moderate to high intensity physical activities such as hiking, and extended observational time outdoors.

Application Fee


Program scholarships and tuition include iNext Travel Insureance, but do not cover the cost of flights. More details about tuition inclusions can be found here.


Application Due

Start Date

End Date


Summer Session I 2019 3 weeks Rolling Admissions Jun 9, 2019 Jun 29, 2019


Summer Session II 2019 3 weeks Rolling Admissions Jul 7, 2019 Jul 27, 2019


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Our Staff

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Ready to change your life?