• 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

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
Apr 28, 2020
3 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.



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

4.97 Rating
based on 36 reviews
  • 5 rating 97.22%
  • 4 rating 2.78%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Academics 4.5
  • Support 5
  • Fun 4.85
  • Housing 4.85
  • Safety 4.9
Showing 1 - 8 of 36 reviews
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.
35 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.
25 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

The Experience Was Amazing

This was my first study abroad experience and it was amazing. The staff and campus employees were nice and friendly. All the meals were included in the study abroad program and the food was good, but be prepared to eat a lot of beans. It was a great place to make friends. And if you enjoy nature there is a lot of it. The cloud forest is beautiful, and if you keep your eye peeled you can see monkeys, sloths, animals endemic to Costa Rica, and beautiful birds such as the quetzals and toucans. If you are looking for a study abroad experience that lets you get in touch with nature, this is the one.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
The stars at night. It gets pretty dark at night there and the sky is beautiful.
26 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

J-term Costa Rica

Even though my time in Costa Rica was only three weeks, I was able to explore and learn about Monteverde and the rest of Costa Rica. The campus is BEAUTIFUL!! You will be able to see lots of wild life and experience incredible sites. The staff was incredible. They were extremely friendly and always there for anyone that needed help. The class was interesting, we were able to have many hands on experiences. I was able to meet a wide range of people, some of them have become my very close friends in such a short amount of time. I highly recommend this program.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Be pretend for challenges. Being in the rainforest there will be animals, insects, weather changes, food changes, etc. You have to be easy going and try your best to adjust because it will be an amazing experience, and help you grow.
36 people found this review helpful.
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.
40 people found this review helpful.
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.
36 people found this review helpful.
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.
37 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

CIEE TEC Program Review

The tropical ecology and conservation program with CIEE left a significant impact on my life. It challenged me physically, mentally, and emotionally in the best way possible, and I have grown a great deal because of it. The field trips to national parks opened my eyes to the natural wonders of Costa Rica and the independent project in the natural setting allowed me to exercise scientific critical thinking skills in a fully immersed tropical classroom. This all-encompassing program exposes students in the tropics while enriching our knowledge of another culture and helping us polish our Spanish skills. The staff members go above and beyond and truly make the group feel like family in a short two months. This was an experience I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

What would you improve about this program?
The organization of academics could have been better, as most of the course work seemed rushed into the second half of the program. It would have been wonderful to end the experience with a short 2-3 day field trip after completing all the courses.
39 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.