CIEE Summer Tropical Ecology + Conservation in Costa Rica

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Spend the summer exploring Costa Rica’s diverse and imitable ecosystems and gain comprehensive insight into its conservation through theory, hands-on exposure, and direct experimentation.

Through rigorous coursework, Spanish language instruction, extensive travel throughout Costa Rica, and an independent research project, study abroad in Monteverde, acquaints you with practical biological problems associated with agricultural development, eco-tourism, and grassroots conservation efforts in developing countries.

Study abroad in Costa Rica and you will:

- Camp and hike in some of Costa Rica’s most amazing protected areas, including a rain and dry forest, mangroves, beaches, and more

- Live in Monteverde, an internationally recognized area of research and natural beauty, and home to a world famous c oud forest

- Gain research experience conducting your own independent project

- Experience rural Costa Rica through a homestay with a local family

Questions & Answers


based on 2 reviews
  • Academics 8
  • Support 10
  • Fun 8
  • Housing 8.5
  • Safety 8.5
Showing 1 - 2 of 2
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My amazing time in Costa Rica

Studying tropical ecology and conservation abroad in Costa Rica was without a doubt the best summer of my life and one of my most meaningful experiences. From my highly knowledgeable, supportive, and engaging teachers, to the beautiful native ecology of Costa Rica, to the delicious food we ate and cultural awareness we came away with, this was an incredible experience. I could not think of a better study abroad program than this one--it's focus on learning in the field, rather in the classroom, made this is a truly once in a lifetime experience that I learned so much from.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Best Experience of my Life

Going to Costa Rica with CIEE was one of the best and most challenging things I have ever done. From the moment I arrived, everybody on the trip felt like close friends and we all had so much fun together. The teachers were amazing and aren't afraid to have fun with the students. The first two weeks you travel around the country and go to some of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. You also won't recognize your body because of all the bug bites and blisters you'll get, but it's worth it! The hikes are hard but not impossible, just be prepared for wet feet and long days.

Each trip Alan, the main instructor, has a concert at the local bar and that is the most fun I have ever had at a bar. Two students didn't go my year and said it was one thing they regretted about the trip. Monteverde is a really cute town with hiking easily accessible. There's only two main bars though, so if you're looking to party while you study abroad, this might not be the trip for you. However, the teachers do provide beer and rum at all of our hangouts and we definitely made our own parties at the research station where we stay.

The coursework was hard and felt stressful at times, they're cramming a semesters worth of information into 10 weeks, but it all got done and now I know how many scientific names I can memorize in a week. The research project we design was challenging but one of the most rewarding projects to ever come out of my college career, and now I have something to show people at job interviews.

Overall, this was the most fun summers of my life, and I highly recommend this trip to everybody!

How can this program be improved?
More time travelling around the country, less time at the research station.
Yes, I recommend this program

About CIEE

A nonprofit, non-governmental organization, CIEE is the world leader in international study and exchange programs. For 65 years, CIEE has helped thousands of students, professionals, and educators gain the knowledge and skills necessary to live and...