Costa Rica: Biodiversity, Ecology & Sustainability

Video and Photos


Begin in San José, where you learn about Costa Rican culture with visits to museums and markets. You will visit national parks, kayak in the Golfo Dulce or along the Osa Peninsula, and take in the splendor of Costa Rica’s coastline. A remote biological station in the rain forest will be your classroom as you learn about Costa Rica’s efforts to protect rare tropical birds, indigenous animals, and plants. After ziplining and hiking your way through the rain forest’s dense canopy, visit a cacao farm engaged in sustainable agriculture practices and learn about chocolate production.

Learn more about Costa Rica’s culture during a homestay with a local family. There, you will take Spanish language classes, enjoy nature hikes, eat gallo pinto, and partake in a community service project that focuses on rural development and ecological sustainability. Following your homestay, you will visit the Ostional Turtle Lodge to learn about sea turtle conservation efforts and sail on a catamaran.

  • Sustainability
  • Community Service
  • Outdoor Activity
  • Wildlife
  • Homestay

Questions & Answers


based on 5 reviews
  • Growth 9.4
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.6
  • Housing 9.4
  • Safety 9.4
Showing 1 - 5 of 5
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One of the Best Experiences of my Life

I am so grateful to have experienced something as incredible as 'The Experiment in International Living". During this month abroad, I was able to step out of my comfort zone, meet new people, experience and discover things I'd never thought of! I was able to become immersed in the Costa Rican culture and felt like I was apart of their community as well. In Costa Rica I made very strong connections and bonds with several people, not only in my group, but those who call Costa Rica their home. For example, I truly feel like my homestay family is my real family. They took care of me like I was one of their own and I could not be more thankful and grateful. We also learned a lot about ecology, sustainability and the way Costa Rica operates. I was also able to give back and help the community, which is something that I really believe in. This has definitely opened my eyes in several ways and allowed me to expand my knowledge about the world, globally. I would recommend this program to every high school student planning to go abroad! The program is very well put together and creates the program in a way that is meaningful to all. If you do plan on going abroad, make sure to help local companies out, instead of big chains! Don't be afraid to really get to know the culture!

Yes, I recommend
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Incredible Experience

Traveling to Costa Rica through the Experiment was by far the best choice that I can recall ever making. Between the numerous friendships and relationships that I built with my group members, leaders, host family, and all of the amazing things that we did over the four weeks abroad, I'd 100% recommend embarking on a trip through this program. Even if you don't go to Costa Rica, there is an incredibly diverse amount of places that you can travel to through the Experiment.

How can this program be improved?
During the program, I'd recommend a longer stay at Campanario.
Yes, I recommend
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Costa Rica Review

My trip to Costa Rica was unforgettable. During the four week program, I have tried many things in Costa Rica. Some highlights would include zip lining and kayaking for the first time. These two highlights but there were many more. Living with my host family for two weeks was an amazing experience because I felt like I had a second family. They were so caring that it made me feel like I was at home. I've learned a lot about the Costa Rican culture through my family and through our trips around the coast. Overall, I would recommend this trip to anyone that is looking to expand their comfort zone and knowledge about Costa Rica.

How can this program be improved?
I would like to have a three week homestay program besides a two.
Yes, I recommend
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The Best Summer Ever

The title says it all. It truly was one of the best summers ever. I was able to experience a whole new culture and made some really great friends too. My leaders were compassionate and caring and they went out of there way to do what was best for us. From getting bug bites to playing soccer with locals to hiking and nearly touching wildlife, Costa Rica is a place you'll never forget, especially if you go with the Experiment Study Abroad program. Everyday is fun and enlightening and sometimes there's surprises too. I don't know anybody who didn't like the trip because everything, every place, and everyone were so welcoming and not afraid to make mistakes. Through these type of programs and groups, you are able to really get out of your comfort zone and immerse yourself into the culture. Having had to use my broken Spanish skills was hard but it taught me to dig deep down to find in me and try. That's what the whole trip is about: trying and experiencing new things. Take it from me, a girl who ate termites straight from the nest and even went back for seconds. It was weird but now I can say I did it in Costa Rica. You want to have those moments where no one else has ever done it before and going to Costa Rica with EIL program will allow you to make memories of you own. Every second is a second I'd like to relive. No matter the time or day, no matter how tired I was, I found it in me to explore something I'd only have that one chance to do it. My group may have had ups and downs but we became one of the closest people ever; we became part of a new family.

How can this program be improved?
More days and recommended places to shop and compare prices so that we get the cheapest prices.
Yes, I recommend
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Alumni Review of Costa Rica: Biodiversity, Sustainability, and Ecology

As a student who has never ventured outside of the United States, I can say that without a doubt Experiment in International Living's overseas programs have provided me with one of the most inspirational and educational experiences of my life. Each of the different programs focuses on a theme that is well integrated throughout the program alongside exciting activities, informational tours, and life changing home stays. From the moment I arrived at the airport, the group leaders and members all worked to create a safe community among themselves and allowed the other high school students and me to connect not only with each other but with people of different languages and cultures. The trips are detailed so that in everything you do you are enlightened about the world you are in and the ways of living of other people. Whether you are doing a home stay or simply participating in a tour, you are constantly learning something new while also having fun experiencing the adventure with other students around your age. Though most people come having fears about going overseas, most end up having more fear about having to leave the overseas communities that they have grown accustomed to after experiencing their way of life and learning so much. After returning from my own trip, I have worked to raise awareness of the programs in my high school and even helped some students apply because I believe without a shadow of a doubt that the lessons that I learned from participating were life changing and not things that can be learned in a classroom. I strongly recommend Experiment in International Living's programs to any high school student looking to widen their knowledge of the world outside of the United States and truly come to understand just how similar they are to young adults their age in other countries.
Omar Hargrove

Yes, I recommend

About The Experiment in International Living

The Experiment in International Living provides 3-, 4-, and 5-week summer programs for high school students who want to connect deeply and engage meaningfully with the richness and complexities of another country.

Programs equip students not only...