• Costa Rica
    • Monteverde
Fall, J-Term, Spring, Summer
Subject Areas
Agriculture Biology Chemistry Conservation and Preservation Ecology Engineering Environmental Studies Language Studies Life Sciences Natural Sciences Political Science Sustainable Development +2
Need-based funding, Merit-based funding, General grants/scholarships

Program Details

Program Type
Degree Level


Price Details
You get more for every dollar when you study abroad with CIEE! Our high-quality programs include tuition, housing, on-site airport pick-up, field trips and cultural activities, 24/7 on-site professional staff, and automatic iNext insurance. There are no hidden charges or surprises when you arrive, and scholarships opportunities are available!
What's Included
Accommodation Some Activities Classes Meals Travel Insurance
Jul 14, 2022
Dec 06, 2023
7 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Monteverde is a small, international community, nestled along the edge of the cloud forest in the Tilarán Mountains. Drawn to the area’s spectacular beauty and opportunity to see quetzals and monkeys, tourists now contribute the principal revenues to the zone, although coffee plantations and dairy farms still dot the landscape.

Monteverde plays host to Costa Rica’s treasured rainforest, where a staggering number of species – including pumas, monkeys, quetzal, and the endangered three-wattled bellbird – are readily on display, proving the perfect location for studies in biology, biodiversity, sustainability, and conservation.

The campus includes forest and farms against a backdrop of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Facilities include classrooms, residence halls, and recreational areas in a natural setting.

Courses are available in English and Spanish.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • CIEE Monteverde is located on an extensive 153-acre campus that includes forest and farms against a backdrop of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.

Popular Programs

CIEE Monteverde Summer Programs

Discover many treasures during your summer abroad in this special country as you explore the world famous Monteverde cloud forest. You’ll be rewarded with unique and life-changing experiences, new knowledge and skills, and inspiration to carry the sustainability movement forward.

CIEE Monteverde Semester Programs

Explore the biodiversity in Monteverde’s Cloud Forest Reserve, beaches, waterfalls, coral reefs, and more – all while building on your Spanish language skills. Take courses on tropical ecology, and a Spanish language course appropriate to your skills at CIEE Global Institute – Monteverde.

CIEE Monteverde January Program

Put on your hiking boots and spend January in the progressive mountain community of Monteverde studying Sustainable Development for the Tropics, surrounded by the region’s breathtaking natural scenery.

monteverde landmark

With CIEE's Open Campus Block Programs, you can design your very own study abroad program to include up to three different locations for 6, 12 or 18 weeks.

Stay in one city the entire time or spend other blocks at our other Open Campus Block locations in Berlin, Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Copenhagen, Dublin, Kyoto, London, Madrid, Monteverde, Paris, Rome, Shanghai, Singapore, or Sydney.

First Year Abroad in Monteverde

Nestled in the lush cloud forests of Costa Rica, Monteverde invites students into a world of stunning biodiversity and serene landscapes. This eco-friendly city offers a unique blend of adventure and conservation, making Monteverde an ideal destination for students seeking a close encounter with nature's wonders in the heart of Central America.



CIEE Scholarships and Grants

CIEE’s need-based grants offer support to students who face financial barriers to studying abroad. CIEE awards need-based grants based on students’ EFCs and program selection. The Gilman Go Global Grant offers students $750-$2,000 toward airfare, plus $2,500 toward semester program costs, or $1,000 toward summer program costs.

$500 - $2,500

Program Reviews

4.95 Rating
based on 42 reviews
  • 5 rating 95.24%
  • 4 rating 4.76%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Academics 4.4
  • Support 5
  • Fun 4.8
  • Housing 4.8
  • Safety 4.9
Showing 1 - 8 of 42 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

A great way to culturally immerse

My experience in Monteverde with CIEE was amazing. I had no idea what to expect going into the program and it definitely succeeded my expectations. I got to learn a new language, be apart of such a unique culture and community, and make long lasting friends. After staying here for almost three months, I was so comfortable here that I didn’t want to go back to the states, to reality. This really was such a surreal experience for me and I will definitely never forget. I am definitely coming out of this experience as a new person.

What was your funniest moment?
This trip has so many funny moments that I shared with all the other students. Every day we had something to laugh about or experience something that would never happen anywhere else beside in Monteverde
  • Nature
  • Adventure
  • Culture
  • Bugs
  • Snakes
  • Rain
14 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

CIEE Monteverde Summer Study Abroad: Student Review

CIEE Monteverde was a fantastic study abroad experience. Costa Rica is one of the best places to study sustainability and the environment, which is what my program was focused on. Throughout my six weeks, I was able to learn about current environmental problems on a global and local scale and spend time on field trips learning from Costa Ricans who run local sustainable farms, wastewater treatment facilities, and more. The CIEE Monteverde campus is beautiful and spacious with great food and housing, located in the Monteverde Cloud Forest region, and fostered community between the other college students in my program, as well as the staff. The program paid for many excursions, like trips to El Tigre Waterfalls and Herradura Beach, and there was still plenty of opportunity for us to take our own trips as students. Monteverde is also home to plenty of amazing zip lines, protected rainforests for hiking, night tours, a butterfly garden, a sloth sanctuary, and more.

  • Experiencing the rich biodiversity of Costa Rica and learning about conservation efforts
  • Free trips to beautiful locations in Costa Rica
  • Connecting with other college students from around the world
  • Remote location (can sometimes feel isolating, but not always!)
  • Repetitive food options (you might get tired of rice and beans)
27 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

CIEE Monteverde Summer Sustainability + the Environment :)

Loved this study abroad and would definitely recommend to future students! The campus is 30 minutes from town with short hiking trails and an on-campus environmentally-conscious farm. The local town is super cute with lots to do, including ziplining, hiking, swimming, butterfly garden, night hikes, etc. The CIEE Staff are super helpful in helping you plan all of these activities, as well as weekend trips away to Tamarindo(the beach) and Arenal(the volcano). The temperature is lovely at 75 degrees F. The nature locally is SO cool with a wide variety of animals, plants, microclimates, and weather conditions. There's also a farm nearby with a river for swimming and pizza, which was so clutch. CIEE also plans outings to local waterfalls and beaches which is fun. the people are awesome.

  • Beautiful rainforests, waterfalls, and hikes
  • Nice dorms, dining hall, campus, etc.
  • Very interesting, kind people(staff and students)
  • The classes were interesting but not super in-depth
32 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program


I took Sustainable Development of the Tropics while at CIEE for January. I think it was possibly my favorite class I have ever taken. The professor was awesome. He was super interested and well versed in the subject, which made him super engaging. The format of the class was awesome, we had lectures and then would go to various locations that illustrated what we had learned (about sustainable agriculture and energy sources). We also got to experience some of the different kinds of tourism, which was one of our units in class.

  • New friends from across the US
  • Experiential learning
  • Hiking
  • Stomach - adjustment to food/location
47 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Sustainability in the Tropics - January term in Monteverde, Costa Rica

I cannot stress how much fun the January term in Monteverde was! The community of CIEE Monteverde was incredible and all of the staff were helpful and nice. They learn every single student's name and by the end of it, your class, along with the instructor and TA, become a group of your closest friends. I am leaving this program with so many new friends from around the country and with so many memories of fun adventures and excursions that we took. This was the most interesting class I've taken!

  • Creating friendships with students from other universities
  • Exploring the local areas and meeting locals your age
  • Escaping the cold back home during winter months
  • Weather can be unpredictable
  • January term is very compact and academic-intensive
45 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing views

Costa Rica is a great place to be, especially when it is not raining. There are a lot of things to do and most of them take advantage of the amazing scenery. Academics weren't too hard or too easy, and professors were understanding when needed. You will get close to the people here since you will interact with them frequently. The cafeteria food was great, even better than some restaurants. Nightlife depends on the occasion, but overall, I would recommend you try a block here, it is a most relaxed experience.

  • Views
  • Culture
  • Extra curricular activities
  • Medium privacy
  • Often rains
53 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

CIEE Monteverde- Tropical Community Ecology

I absolutely loved this program and I would highly recommend it to anyone. The sheer amount of biological diversity that you get to witness and learn about firsthand is unprecedented. The first two weeks you get to go on a field trip all along the pacific coast of Costa Rica and learn about every type of ecosystem that exists. In Corcovado, you wake up to the calls of howler monkeys and Scarlet Macaws out in search of breakfast. The campsite is absolutely beautiful- I would call is glamping because there is a private beach and bar at the place we stay (its called Jungla de Jaguar if you wanna check it out). Here we saw lizards, sloths, toucans, spiders, and someone even had a very up close encounter with a tapir! In Santa Rosa- my personal favorite place, we saw three different species of monkeys on the walk to breakfast alone. We also frequently saw Tamanduas, agoutis, parrots, snakes, frogs, etc. Definitely bring your camera. The teaching staff and TAs are the best people I have ever met in my life, and they will become your best friends. They know the answer to any question you could have, and are the friendliest people in the world. If you love the outdoors, and waking up in paradise, and making amazing friends, 100% do this program!

What was your funniest moment?
The first night camping out in Santa Rosa I was going to the bathroom and a frog jumped on the back of my leg and scared the crap out me (I screamed), but then we all had a good laugh about it. To be fair, I genuinely thought it was a snake, which was why I was so scared.
94 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program


You don't have to be the most knowledgeable in the environmental field. This program really gives you more than what you put in, as long as you are present and engaged at the moment. The campus is beautiful and the staff are the friendliest out there. Even the locals! Although it is quite embarrassing to not know even just a bit of Spanish, so please learn! Afternoons spent on-campus, you'd still have time to tour the place and its surrounding areas(there are trails everywhere or go downtown), have some coffee(a must-try) or tea by the porch, or pull some mejenga on the field! Most important thing is have fun while learning; Pura Vida!

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
For sure the Tarzan Swing!! Hello? Whole Costa Rica heard me scream my lungs out. I was literally shaking when I got to the ground. But it was worth it. I'm glad I got to release some of that adrenaline out. Sometimes you just gotta jump out of your comfort zone, you know? Even literally.
91 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers

The program is very academically intensive and structured which means that personal travel/free time is limited. If you want to make independent travel plans please plan to do so once the program has ended.

There is a shorter summer option than condenses the semester program! A coworker has done it and had a similar experience to my semester program.