mountains sunset monteverde costa rica
Monteverde, Costa Rica

Climate Change Mitigation

STEM

Dates

-

3 weeks

Costs

$5,250

Extended Deadline

Enroll Now

Request Information

Dates

-

3 weeks

Costs

$5,250

Extended Deadline

Enroll Now

Request Information

Program Overview
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 Guanacaste region where you will marvel at the picture-perfect wonders of the Pacific lowland forest.  

"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

Real-World Experience

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.

Credentials for Your Future

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.

Life Skills and New Friendships

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

45

Hours of Expert Instruction

12

Hours of Service Learning in the Community

1

Life-Changing Experience

The Destination
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  • Group shot

The Destination

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. 

Cultural Awareness

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

Daily Life

Monday–Friday 

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

Weekend

  • 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

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.  

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 Guanacaste region to understand how nature and culture interact in Costa Rica. 

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

From CIEE

Reflections and Wrap-Ups: Lessons Learned from the Last Three Weeks

By Anna Lewis at CIEE

As the students wrap up their final days on campus, they’ve spent extensive time this week working on final projects, enjoying cultural activities and community service events, and hanging out... keep reading

From CIEE

Costa Rican Traditions: Cooking Lessons & Folkloric Dance Classes

By Anna Lewis at CIEE

Some of our favorite activities throughout our time on campus are the cultural experiences we get to partake in with our Center Staff and local friends. Two of these activities... keep reading

From CIEE

Tapirs and Tubing: Weekend Adventures in Bijagua, Costa Rica

By Anna Lewis at CIEE

As Week 2 comes to an end and we begin the final week of Session II’s Climate Change Mitigation program here in Monteverde, the students prepared for their overnight excursion... keep reading

Activities

Take a Tour of CIEE's Monteverde Campus

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Just Imagine All the Fun You’ll Have!

  • Tube over rapids down a gushing river in the Poderosa Adventure Park. 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

Eligibility

Eligibility

  • Participants must be 14 years old and above.
  • 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. 

For more information, refer to the detailed Program Essential Eligibility Criteria.

Dates & Fees

Dates & Fees

Application Fee

$25

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!

Program

Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Costs

Program Summer Session I 2024 3 weeks Start Date End Date Costs $5,250
Program Summer Session II 2024 3 weeks Start Date End Date Costs $5,250

What's Included

Interactive Classes

Housing

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 Local Phone and WIFI

All Cultural Activities and Excursions

Comprehensive Medical and Travel Protection

24/7 Emergency On-site Support

Our Staff

Our Staff

Pablo Allen

Center Director

Pablo is a native Costa Rican, born and raised in San José. He is an an evolutionary ecologist interested in sexual selection, animal weapons, and phenotypic plasticity. Since rejoining CIEE...

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