• Costa Rica
Subject Areas
Animal Science Biochemistry Biology Botany Conservation and Preservation Earth Sciences Ecology Environmental Studies Field Studies Health Sciences Life Sciences Natural Sciences Pre-Med Sustainable Development Wildlife Sciences +5

Program Details

Program Type
Degree Level


Price Details
See website for tuition details, (discounts for students from OTS Member Institutions)
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Classes Meals Transportation Wifi
What's Not Included
Airfare Airport Transfers SIM cards Travel Insurance Visa
Feb 09, 2022
Jan 20, 2021
4 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

During this 4-week field course, you will visit all three OTS field stations, as well as other unique ecosystems throughout Costa Rica. Integrating classroom and field instruction introduces students to some of the most critical issues facing tropical biodiversity and threatened ecosystems, as well as the fundamental principles of tropical biology, ecology, and natural history of local plants and animals. The ecological complexity of the tropics, the patterns of species diversity, and the types of species interactions that characterize these systems are a major theme. You will complete the course by engaging in independent research and then present your results with the support of program faculty.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Visit all three world famous OTS field stations, giving you a perfect representation of Costa Rican ecosystems (Tropical Dry Forests, High-Altitude Forests, & Caribbean Tropical Forests)
  • Live, study and conduct research in one of the world's biodiversity hotspots
  • Understand how human activities impact tropical ecosystems
  • Access highly threatened and unique tropical forests
  • Study and learn about field research methods

Program Reviews

4.67 Rating
based on 3 reviews
  • 5 rating 66.67%
  • 4 rating 33.33%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Academics 4.35
  • Support 5
  • Fun 4.7
  • Housing 4.35
  • Safety 5
Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

An Adventurous Summer in Costa Rica

This course was terrific! We had learning experiences both outside and inside the classroom. During our stay in Costa Rica, we visited four biological stations. We went on multiple hikes, during which our professor gave us mini-lectures based on the interesting plants and animals we saw. We also attended lectures given by other scientists working at the biological stations and learned about their research. For faculty-led projects, we had the opportunity to work closely with experienced researchers. We also practiced writing scientific papers and giving presentations. Besides, there were plenty of fun activities—watching alligators, catching bats with mist nets, observing quetzal birds, to name a few. Words can never do justice to the wonders I saw in Costa Rica. I would highly recommend this program to anyone interested in nature and science!

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
We saw a termite nest during one of the hikes, and our professor persuaded us to eat termites. Surprisingly, they tasted like peanut butter!
33 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Tropical Biology Field Course in Costa Rica (Organization for Tropical Studies)

Excellent course , full of wonderful experiences, learning, nature and great people. I think this is a vey good opportunity to learn a lot of basic and very important ecological aspects of tropical environments and put your hands in the ground, I mean, having the opportunity to practice what you learn inmediatelly in a natural environment. Costa Rica is a beautiful country and the natural reserves of the Organization for Tropical Studies are just amazing.
Teachers are great and I think that having the chance to meet people very passionate about nature from all over the world and is wonderful. I think it could be nice to have one day per week as free time for resting a little because sometimes the activities performed were physically exhausting.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
For me, it was amazinf to have the opportunity to watch Quetzal birds and very beautiful and full of color venemous frogs!!!
34 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

OTS Costa Rica Summer Biology

This was a really fun program. Only six students and two leaders were in the program, which was a little intimidating at first, but ultimately it made us all rather close. The course was somewhat loose, with us doing different activities every day, but was anchored in three research projects at each of the main research stations. I liked this approach, because it allowed for a lot of exploration and asking questions.

Overall, I feel like I learned a lot. I think I would have preferred having a few more people on the trip, but otherwise, I really enjoyed it.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
We saw two scorpions mating! It was really incredible.
31 people found this review helpful.

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