CIEE Open Campus Block in Monteverde, Costa Rica

COVID-19 Program Updates

Due to global health & safety concerns and travel restrictions related to the coronavirus, CIEE has decided to offer flexible booking options for some of their upcoming programs. Learn more about COVID-19 updates to stay tuned regarding program information.

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Monteverde has been at the forefront of field study in environmental protection since the 1960s, when it began attracting scientists to marvel at its biodiversity. As a result, Monteverde is the ideal place to study ecology, conservation, sustainability, and agriculture, and explore ways to protect its future, live more sustainably, and educate others to do the same. And CIEE’s campus on the edge of cloud forest offers unparalleled opportunities for students to take full advantage of all that Monteverde offers. The 150-acre campus includes tropical forests and gardens full of wildlife, an organic vegetable garden, animal stables, plus modern classrooms, laboratories, and cozy accommodations. Classrooms are tucked in the forest, and the lessons are in the experience!

  • LEARN FROM COSTA RICAN FARMERS who maintain crops, improve their soils, and have high productivity with natural and climate-smart practices
  • LIVE IN A RURAL MOUNTAIN COMMUNITY surrounded by a tropical cloud forest and friendly Costa Ricans
  • SEE CLOSE UP how alternative energy makes Costa Rica largely independent of fossil fuels

Updated refund & cancellation policy for flexible, secure booking due to COVID-19

In the unusual event CIEE has to cancel your summer ’20, fall '20, January '21, or spring '21 study abroad or internship program due to a health, safety, or security concern, you’re covered with Program Assurance Advantage.


CIEE Scholarships
CIEE Offers More Than $8 Million in Scholarships Every Year!

We know cost is one of the biggest barriers to studying abroad. At CIEE, we dedicate real resources to help break down the cost barriers so every student who wants to study abroad, can do so.

$500 - $2,500

Questions & Answers


10 Rating
based on 3 reviews
  • Academics 8
  • Support 10
  • Fun 10
  • Housing 9.7
  • Safety 10
Showing 1 - 3 of 3
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Welcoming Community and Family

This was my first time traveling outside of the United States, and I think I got really lucky having this experience be my first. I was in Monteverde, Costa Rica, for 6 weeks, and I loved being so secluded in the mountains and Cloud Forest. Also, those 6 weeks were filled with grand experiences, like traveling to Manuel Antonio and hiking through the Cloud Forest, but they were also filled with little special moments on campus, such as eating every meal together and weekly dance lessons in the rec room. The staff was extremely supportive, and any questions or concerns I had were answered and addressed. My roommates became some of my best friends, and many of us students have made commitments to visit each other in the States once we return! I also felt spoiled from having delicious meals 3 times a day with fresh, organic ingredients. Additionally, I made long-lasting connections and gathered valuable knowledge through working on the campus farm, helping the kitchen staff clean after meals, meeting local coffee producers and soap makers, and eating pizza at Zelmi’s! This study abroad experience has felt more than just a study abroad — I truly felt integrated into the community. Though I was sad to leave, I know I can still maintain these connections after my travels.

What would you improve about this program?
The only criticism I have for this program is that the academic structure was not as clear, cohesive, and organized as I would have liked. My class called, “Plants & People,” felt like a poor use of my time due to the contents and objectives being unclear and inefficient lecture time. However, I still succeeded in the class, but it did not meet the expectations I had. I wish we spent more time on actual Costa Rican/indigenous accounts of plant use. I wish it was more anthropological/ethnographical rather than the first 3 weeks that were biological.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Exploring the Rainforest

CIEE has been an educational experience I will remember and cherish forever. The campus, located in the isolated mountains of Monteverde, became my home for six weeks. I made some life long friends, who seemed to love the experience as much as I did. Only a 30 minute bus ride from the town Santa Elena, our weekends were fun-filled; the town is a hub for tourists interested in exploratory and thrill-seeking adventurists. My group interacted with kind locals who showed us their farms and lifestyles, while we also got to participate in tourist activities like rock climbing, zip-lining, and more. The weather was extreme at times, but this just acted as a reminder that I was far from my home town. I would recommend this program to anyone who is willing to get out of their comfort zone and explore the landscape of beautiful Monteverde.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
The weather in Monteverde fluctuates daily, so adequate clothing is a necessity. Rain boots or waterproof hiking boots would be highly recommended. I would recommend bringing active wear as well, as the elevated terrain and mountains are very intriguing to climbers and experienced hikers.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Call the Tropical Rainforest Home

CIEE Monteverde is an amazing experience for students looking to be adventurous and study the natural environment. Located in tropical rainforest and nearby the cloud forest, there is so much life and biodiversity to see, along with lots of opportunities for adventure-tourism and agri-tourism. Sustainability is a major component of the daily lifestyle and the class offerings at CIEE are very interesting and current-event based. Depending on what you’re interests are, the Monteverde area has plenty of opportunities for you to get outside and try something new! The area surrounding Monteverde also has lots of great opportunities to experience authentic Costa Rican culture and get a taste of what life is like in Costa Rica. If you like being up-close with nature and learning about a different culture, this is a great program to look into!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Bring a rain jacket and some warm clothes! It rains very frequently here and the weather can be surprisingly chilly at night.