Monteverde, Costa Rica

Tropical Biodiversity & Sustainability

Summer '20 applications are now open!
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Information for term Tropical Biodiversity & Sustainability

Application deadline, and cost information.

Extended Deadline

February 14, 2020
weeks
days
hours

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Deadline: February 14, 2020
  • Dates: Jun 14 – Jul 4, 2020 (3 weeks)
$4,750

Extended Deadline

February 14, 2020
weeks
days
hours

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Deadline: February 14, 2020
  • Dates: Jul 12 – Aug 1, 2020 (3 weeks)
$4,750

Overview

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From cloud forest canopies to sustainable farms and fishing villages below, study vital ecosystems up-close and learn first-hand how policies and action make an impact.

Experience

Hike in tropical forests, trek through the high-altitude paramo, kayak through mangroves and snorkel in coral reefs, learning key species and their conservation challenges along the way. From San Jose, the most populated city in the country, to Corcovado, one of the most biodiverse places on Earth, you’ll travel to a range of unique ecosystems, each with its own set of complex issues — from urbanization to overfishing to ecotourism.

On Chira Island you’ll learn to fish from locals who use low-impact practices and regulate fishing to preserve biodiversity. In the Monteverde Cloud Forest, you’ll be dazzled by brilliant birds and butterflies, and visit interactive attractions that promote conservation to 200,000 tourists a year. Throughout the program, you’ll examine the three “legs” of sustainability — the economy, the environment and society — and see why that balance is so crucial.

You’ll spend your last week at the CIEE Global Institute, a 160-acre campus with forest, farms, and residence halls near the cloud-forested mountains. Here you’ll help with farm chores, prepare meals with farm products, and learn about climate-smart agriculture, agroforestry, hydroponics, and other low-impact alternatives from working farmers. After a long day you’ll still have time to play some soccer before joining your classmates for some games, music and downtime around the campfire.

After three weeks of life in the wild, you’ll return home with a wealth of knowledge and the skills and inspiration to tackle challenges in your community and incorporate sustainability into your own daily life.

The Take-Aways

  • Education

    How are biodiversity conservation and sustainability related? Study 6 tropical ecosystems to connect the dots. Learn how to measure and quantify biodiversity. Gain knowledge of conservation practices and the principles of sustainable development. Create a video showing your vision of a sustainable future!

  • Field Work

    Learn sustainable fishing and farming practices. Learn how to lessen environmental footprints on a personal and international level. Learn about key species, explore different ecosystems, collect and record data, and observe conservation in action.

  • Certification

    A Certificate of Learning in Biodiversity Conservation & Sustainability

Location & Culture

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Be on the forefront of sustainability in the greenest place on Earth.

Why do biologists from around the globe come to this tiny Central American country? Because it’s one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet. Covering just 0.03% of the world's surface, it’s teeming with over 10,000 different types of tropical plants and animals – representing roughly 5% of the total species worldwide.

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.

This small country —roughly the size of West Virginia — has a wealth of geographical features, from rugged mountains and volcanoes to both dry and lush forests with different microclimates. Along the warm Pacific coastline, you will see some of the most spectacular sunsets in your life.

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

    Dorms, hotels, and 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

Activities

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Sample Activities

  • Snorkel and swim around Caño Island in Costa Rica’s South Pacific
  • Boat through mangroves and go fishing with the locals
  • Visit national parks and private reserves to experience conservation on a vast scale.
  • Do chores on sustainable farms and tour coffee, vegetable, and agroforestry farms.
  • Play soccer with local kids on Chira Island
  • Interview local officials and native entrepreneurs about innovative green initiatives.
  • Take a cooking class and learn authentic Tico recipes
  • Go on a biodiversity scavenger hunt, a night hike, and a city tour!
  • Carry out an investigation to quantify rain forest biodiversity

Dates & Fees

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Dates & Fees

Eligibility

  • 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

$25

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

Program

Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Costs

Summer Session I 2020 3 weeks Feb 14, 2020 Jun 14, 2020 Jul 4, 2020

$4,750

Summer Session II 2020 3 weeks Feb 14, 2020 Jul 12, 2020 Aug 1, 2020

$4,750

Looking for funding?

Our Staff

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Ready to change your life?