Monteverde, Costa Rica

Women in STEM for Environmental Action

Summer '23 applications open!
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Information for term Women in STEM for Environmental Action

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

January 18, 2023

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

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

Application Deadline

January 18, 2023

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Deadline: January 18, 2023
  • Dates: Jul 9 – 29, 2023 (3 weeks)


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Ready to put science into action? Here’s your chance to collaborate with like-minded young women on some of today’s most critical challenges: food security, protection of water resources, and conservation of biodiversity. With female scientists and experts as your mentors and guides, you’ll learn first-hand how women in STEM can make a difference, for the better.

Plan to participate in a research or engineering project, picking from topics such as: mapping and cataloging biodiversity for conservation; farm technologies for sustainability; and engineered solutions for water resource management. Get ready to put your analytical problem-solving skills to the test, either in the lab, in the forest, or even in the farm. You’ll be amazed that STEM is alive and thriving even in the most rural corners of the tropical forest!

It’s easy to find inspiration when immersed in one of the most biodiverse places on Earth — especially when living in a comfortable 4-person bungalow at the edge of the cloud forest! In addition to cool living spaces, the new CIEE eco-campus provides a perfect outdoor laboratory for STEM, field studies and experiential learning. Spanning 150 acres and complete with classroom space, wet and dry laboratories, a library, organic gardens and a fully functioning farm, your new home has everything you need — and all a short distance from the famous Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve!

After three weeks you’ll return home with a STEM project for your resume or portfolio, plus the skills and confidence to take your experience to the next level. Who knows? You may also be inspired to mentor younger girl scientists yourself!

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement

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

The Take-Aways


    Join forces with female students and professionals to conduct research, monitor biodiversity, or survey the local flora and fauna in a range of microhabitats. Learn relevant foundational science content and gain engineering, math, or tech skills as you design or build STEM projects focused on sustainability. Prior projects have covered topics like environmental engineering, renewable energies, biodiversity protection, or technology for conservation.


    Topics for your college essays, experience to inform your future career, a portfolio of work to showcase your program and 12 hours of community service.


    After just 3 weeks away, you'll build self-confidence, gain a broader world view, improve your interpersonal communication skills and make lifelong friends from all across the U.S.

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 2050. 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.

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

Every day brings new discoveries and fun, but you can always count on a perfect balance between interactive instruction, excursions and free time! Here's what to expect on a typical day:

  • 7:00 am: Get up and have breakfast at your dorm/hotel
  • 8:00 am: Walk or take public transportation to CIEE for morning instruction
  • 9:00 am - 12:00 pm: Interactive class with a local teacher. Format may change to workshops or guest lectures, depending on the day.
  • 12:00 pm - 1:00pm: Find a fun spot to grab lunch with your friends (your program tuition includes a stipend for lunches).
  • 1:00 pm - 1:30 pm: Gather back at CIEE to go on today's cultural activity or excursion.
  • 1:30 pm - 5:00 pm: Each activity or excursion is designed to echo what you learned in class that morning.
  • 5:00 pm - 7:00pm: Free time! Hang out with your friends and shop. Commute back to your hotel/dorm.
  • 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm: Dinner
  • 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm: Wrap up any homework. Usually just readings or personal research for your project.
  • 10:00 pm: Lights out!


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


    CIEE Student Dorms


    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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Take a Tour of CIEE's Monteverde Campus

Activities & Excursions

Sample Activities

  • Tour local farms (coffee, hydroponic, permaculture) known for their innovative and inspiring solutions to everyday challenges.
  • Hike through the misty understory of the Monteverde Cloud Forest.
  • Go on a biodiversity scavenger hunt, a night hike, and a rural town tour!
  • Milk cows, gather eggs, feed pigs, and make compost on our eco-farm
  • Learn to cook typical Tico dishes, practice Spanish, and bask in sunsets over the Gulf of Nicoya.​
  • Hear inspiring women leaders speak on topics of international importance.

Sample Excursions

  • Visit El Tigre Waterfalls, a stunning setting for a series of sparking cascades.
  • Zipline over the forest and through the clouds of Monteverde.
  • Explore the Children’s Eternal Rain Forest, Costa Rica’s largest private protected area, brimming with wildlife in the mossy forest canopies
  • Hike to the lookouts along the Sendero Pacífico, for a panorama spanning mountains, mangroves, and sea.

Please note this list of activities is based on past programs and subject to change at CIEE's discretion to both adapt to local circumstances and participant feedback. Our goal when revising itineraries is always to enhance your experience. Every activity is designed to provide you with a deep immersion in your topic, local culture and sights. Get ready for maximum fun!

Dates & Fees

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Dates & Fees


  • Program open to current high school Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors. 
  • Program not open to male-identifying students.
  • 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.



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.


Application Due

Start Date

End Date


Summer Session I 2023 3 weeks Jan 18, 2023 Jun 18, 2023 Jul 8, 2023


Summer Session II 2023 3 weeks Jan 18, 2023 Jul 9, 2023 Jul 29, 2023


Looking for funding?

Ready to change your life?