Monteverde, Costa Rica

Climate Change Mitigation

Summer '23 applications open!
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Information for term Climate Change Mitigation

Application deadline, and cost information.

Extended Deadline

May 1, 2023

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Deadline: May 1, 2023
  • Dates: Jun 18 – Jul 8, 2023 (3 weeks)

Extended Deadline

May 15, 2023

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Deadline: May 15, 2023
  • Dates: Jul 9 – 29, 2023 (3 weeks)


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Unleash your creativity to help mitigate climate change in one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet. 

Delve into the science of climate change surrounded by Costa Rica’s lush rainforest. Discover its impact on tropical ecosystems as you explore the world-famous Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and meet with local farmers, scientists, and activists. Quantify tropical tree growth, estimate carbon stocks, and measure environmental effects of greenhouse gases in the living laboratory that is the CIEE Monteverde eco-campus. Join forces with other Global Navigators to propose creative solutions for climate change mitigation. 

Immerse yourself, too, in the simplicity of farm life. Milk cows, gather eggs, feed pigs, and make compost. Care for seedlings and saplings in our native tree nursery. Eat typical Tico dishes, practice Spanish, and learn folkloric dancing with local teens.  

Trips away from campus bring you even more of the natural beauty of Costa Rica. Hike through the deep forest to El Tigre waterfalls, climb an overlook of the Pacific slopes to bask in the sunset, and spend a weekend in the Río Celeste area where you will marvel at the picture-perfect Tenorio volcano and magical turquoise river.  

"We showed that we are united and that we, young people, are unstoppable."
– Greta Thunberg, UN Youth Climate Summit, New York City, 21 September 2019

The Take-Aways


    Document climate-related changes on ecology and society, investigate climate mitigation and adaptation strategies, and propose solutions to local and global climate change challenges. Come home ready to start carbon-smart initiatives in your community.


    Topics for your college essays, experience to inform your future career, a portfolio of work to showcase your ideas to mitigate climate change, and service-learning hours documenting your engagement with the community.


    Return with greater self-confidence, independence, and improved communication skills. Enjoy a broader worldview and friends of different backgrounds from across the U.S.





Location & Culture

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Welcome to Costa Rica, renowned for its biodiversity and leadership in environmental sustainability. 

Costa Rica is a small Central American country (roughly the size of West Virginia), but it has lofty ambitions: It wants to become the world’s first carbon-neutral country. And why not? In 1990, it became the first tropical nation to reverse deforestation and since last year, its electric grid runs on 100% renewable energy. People around the world hold this tiny country in admiration, as an example of what can be accomplished when people unite behind climate change mitigation. 

Another remarkable fact about Costa Rica is that it covers only 0.03% of the planet’s surface but it contains over 5% of the world’s total species. Plants and animals are literally crammed in this beautiful country, making it one of the most biologically intense places on Earth. In Monteverde, which is nestled in Costa Rica’s northwestern mountains, monkeys, quetzals, sloths, and orchids are readily on display. This misty cloud forest, which will be your home for 3 weeks, is the perfect place for biodiversity, sustainability, and scientific discovery. 


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. 

Daily Life

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Daily Life


Each day offers a balance between interactive instruction and cultural activities with time on your own, too. Morning classes and afternoon activities may swap places. 

  • Hearty breakfast at the dining hall 
  • Hands-on classes with local scientists and climate activists 
  • Hot lunch at the dining hall 
  • Outdoor activities, community service, or cultural workshops 
  • Dinner at the dining hall


  • Overnight or day excursions to top natural attractions 
  • Quality time with friends 

Check out the blog posts to discover more about daily life and excursions on program.     

  • Housing

    Residencies on the CIEE Monteverde Campus, shared rooms with other Global Navigators

  • 24/7 SUPPORT

    1 Program Leader for every 12 students and support from local staff

Weekly Learning Goals

Week 1

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Settle into your new community and begin to explore climate change. Reflect on your own carbon footprint and the options for mitigating its impact. Visit a climate-friendly farm to get inspiration for your final Project in which you address a Climate Change Challenge.  

Week 2

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Investigate how the regulation of atmospheric carbon works by analyzing tree growth and observing different types of soil. Learn about youth activism in conservation efforts, identify sources of renewable energy, and explore the area of Río Celeste to understand how nature and culture interact in Costa Rica. 

Week 3

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Work in small groups to highlight an important impact of climate change, identifying its likely source, describing its impact on society and culture, and proposing your own ideas for solutions. Present your Project. 

Program Blogs

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Program Blogs


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Take a Tour of CIEE's Monteverde Campus

Just imagine all the fun you’ll have!

  • Tube over rapids down the gushing Río Celeste lined by the loveliest rainforest you’ll ever see. Exhilarating and 100% carefree! 
  • Stay silent on night hikes around the eco-campus to spot frogs and insects—the creepy crawlies and the fantastic flyers that come alive once it gets dark. 
  • Get your hands dirty prepping beds and collecting scraps for composting in the community garden.  
  • Trek through narrow paths and across suspension bridges to El Tigre waterfalls. Take a cold swim, if you dare, and ride home on horseback. 
  • Fly above the forest canopy on a zipline and see breathtaking views. You might catch a glimpse of sloths, howler monkeys, toucanets, and more!  

Please note activities are based on past programs and subject to change at CIEE's discretion to adapt to local circumstances and participant feedback. Our goal when arranging activities is always to enhance your experience. 

What Students Are Saying

  • “I enjoyed seeing all the cool and rare animals you don’t get a chance to see in the States.” 

    Sofy P., Global Navigator Alum
  • “I love that the classes expose us to the subject firsthand, going on a hike and interacting with the locals. It's an amazing program that changes you in a good way. You leave with eye-opening knowledge and a second family.” 

    Melissa H., Global Navigator Alum
  • “I enjoyed bonding with my friends and being surrounded by another culture during a soccer game with the local Tico kids.” 

    Hailey H., Global Navigator Alum
  • “It’s fun and educational at the same time. I loved learning about conservation projects.” 

    Brianna R., Global Navigator Alum

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 Insurance, but do not cover the cost of flights. Find additional details about what’s included with your tuition.  

More questions? Find answers, get application support, sign up for virtual presentations or contact us!


Application Due

Start Date

End Date


Summer Session I 2023 3 weeks May 1, 2023 Jun 18, 2023 Jul 8, 2023


Summer Session II 2023 3 weeks May 15, 2023 Jul 9, 2023 Jul 29, 2023


Looking for funding?

What's Included

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What's Included

Interactive Classes
3 Meals/Day
(Dietary Needs Accommodated)
All Ground Transportation
(Once In-country)
Optional Flight Chaperone
(Flight Cost Not Included)
Pre-departure Advice and Orientation
Access to WIFI
All Cultural Activities and Excursions
Comprehensive Medical and Travel Protection
24/7 Emergency On-site Support

Ready to change your life?