This unique study abroad opportunity in Costa Rica is the result of a partnership between EARTH University and other premier US universities, which form the “Consortium for Sustainability”. Program participants join students, researchers and professors from around the world for a short-term, intensive summer course on the following critical global issues:

Course 1:
Tropical Forest Carbon Management: Tools for Protecting Rain Forests and Mitigating Climate ChangeProgram dates: May 14th – May 27th, 2017

Course 2:
Making Agriculture Sustainable: Understanding Challenges and Finding SolutionsProgram dates: May 28th – June 10th, 2017

Course 3:
Engaging Rural Communities: Tools and Methodologies for Sustainable DevelopmentProgram dates: June 18th – July 1st, 2017

Course 4:
Tackling Environmental Issues: How to Measure, Manage and Mitigate Our Impact Program dates: July 2nd – July 15th, 2017

Program fees:

The cost for each course (i.e., 2 week-long session) is USD $2,425 and it includes tuition, room and board, access to campus facilities, student services, field trips throughout the region, and administrative fees. Airplane ticket, international health and travel insurance, personal expenses, and any additional study abroad fees from your home institution are not included.

Language of instruction:

Courses are taught in English, but an optional intensive Spanish course is offered.
Please note that you may enrol in one or all of the four courses, but we do recommend combining adjoining courses for logistical reasons.
This program takes place at EARTH each summer and consists of four courses. Apply by April 1, 2017.

pdf | Consortium course information summary1200 Downloads

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Preparing for your Trip

About Costa Rica

General Information

  • Official Name: Republic of Costa Rica
  • Government: Democratic Republic
  • Independence: September 15, 1821
  • Capital: San José
  • Major cities: Alajuela, Cartago, Puntarenas, Heredia, Limón, Liberia
  • Official Language: Spanish
  • Monetary unit: Colón
  • Official religion: Catholic
  • Area: 51,100 km2

A natural paradise


Although Costa Rica is a small country that covers only 0.03% of the world’s surface, it is home to 6% of the biodiversity in the world; 25.58% of its territory is protected by various conservation programs.

Costa Rica is also one of oldest democratic societies in America and the only country in the world that does not have an army.

Costa Rica has a territory of only 51,000 km2 (19,730 square miles) and is limited by both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans on the West and East coasts respectively.

With charming beaches, majestic volcanoes, and extensive system of national parks and biological reserves that cover over 25% of the national territory, Costa Rica is a tropical country with varied climatic areas.

Geography and Climate

Costa Rica has two seasons: the dry season from December to March and the rainy season, also called the “green” season, from April to November. The average temperature in the Central Valley is approximately 72°F (22°C), while on the coasts and beaches it can range from 70° to 90°F (21° to 32°C).

Costa Rica has a tropical climate that is characterized, in general, by high temperatures and abundant rainfall throughout the year.


The most important annual variation in weather patterns is due to the rain which develops from the interaction of different wind systems that affect the people and its topography.

To obtain more information about the climatic conditions in Costa Rica, please visit the web site of the Costa Rican Meteorological Institute at