CIEE-Monteverde: Tropical Ecology and Conservation

Program Details

Program Location Monteverde, Costa Rica
Sponsor CIEE
Program Type Co-sponsored
Course # SA 31006
Duration Semester
Upcoming Program Dates
Spring 2025 01/19/25 to 05/10/25
Fall 2024 08/18/24 to 12/07/24
Past Dates
Spring 2024 01/22/24 to 05/11/24
Page Links
Click here to apply for this program!
Please Note: Programs may be altered or adapted with little notice


CIEE-Monteverde: Tropical Ecology and Conservation

Seaside lecture - no dull days here.

The CIEE Monteverde Tropical Ecology + Conservation program is designed for students with biology-related majors who have completed at least one year of introductory biology and one elective in ecology and seek intensive, sophisticated tropical field and course work in Costa Rica from both theoretical and taxonomic perspectives.

Costa Rica, a country committed to preserving natural parks and biological reserves, is an excellent location in which to pursue tropical biology studies. As part of a land-bridge between North and South America, the geographical and climate conditions allow flora and fauna of both continents to coexist, creating uniquely diverse ecosystems.

Monteverde is a small community of 4,000 that accommodates up to 200,000 tourists each year. Its forest is located in the largest private reserve in Central America and reflects a long heritage of grassroots conservation. Monteverde’s Cloud Forest has been studied for over 25 years by both visiting and Costa Rican biologists. This widens the research opportunities available and acquaints students with practical biological problems associated with agricultural development, eco-tourism, and grassroots conservation efforts in developing countries.

For more program information, please visit the program website. This program is sponsored by:CIEE.


CIEE-Monteverde: Tropical Ecology and Conservation

Crossing a forest foot bridge.

The program is open to Purdue students in good standing who have completed at least two semesters of university study by the start of the program. Successful candidates will demonstrate academic success, maturity, and a desire to experience another culture.

This program requires:

  • 2 semesters of college-level biology
  • 1 additional semester of college-level ecology or environmental science recommended
  • Some college-level Spanish recommended

GPA Requirement: 2.5 on a 4.0 scale
Language Requirement: none

Purdue Credit

Direct Credit available from the following: [College of Agriculture] [College of Liberal Arts] [College of Science]
Specifically from: BIO (SCI)

Students interested in completing courses while abroad from Purdue colleges or departments that are not listed above should discuss this with their study abroad advisor before applying to the program.

Academic Program

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. Work on an independent research project in tropical ecology or conservation, from observation and data collection to a presentation of your findings. All courses are complemented with CIEE co-curricular activities and excursions beyond the city to enhance classroom learning and provide intercultural understanding, including two extensive field trips.

All students take 5 courses, 3 biology/ecology courses, 1 Spanish course, and 1 independent research course.

Courses are taught by biology professors from universities in Costa Rica and the United States who hold degrees in ecology and have extensive tropical experience. Guest lectures include resident and visiting biologists. Spanish is taught by instructors from Centro Panamericano de Idiomas.


Due to COVID-19, excursions are subject to change.

The program will offer several excursions, which may be day or overnight trips. Please see the CIEE website for more details.


For two months, students live next to the cloud forest at the Monteverde Biological Station where they attend classes and sleep four to a room. Rooms have bunkbeds, a private bath, and hot showers. All meals are provided – family-style.

In addition, a one-month homestay with a Spanish-speaking family in Monteverde, Cerro Plano, Santa Elena, or another nearby town, makes it easy to immerse yourself in local language and culture. During a homestay, students are provided with three meals a day.

Students camp or stay in cabins when they take field trips with instructors.

Estimated Program Costs

Students pursuing program participation accept financial responsibility. Purdue will take measures to mitigate financial risks, although will not be liable for loss.
Students should carefully note what costs need to be paid to Purdue University or to a co-sponsor or agency, and what costs need to be paid at the overseas study location.  This will vary by program.

The Program and Housing Fees include: Tuition, on-site orientation, housing, and excursions.

Please note: The housing costs listed below include meals.

Costs for this program are estimated and subject to change. The cost figures listed below are for: Fall 2024

Costs per semester to be billed by Purdue and Co-sponsor
Program Fee $16,756.00
Study Abroad Fee $914.10
Housing $3,000.00
Insurance $194.00

Approximate additional costs per semester
To be paid by the student.
Round-trip Airfare $650.00
Local Transportation $100.00
Miscellaneous Personal Expenses $0.00 - $330.00
Travel Documents (passport, photos) $175.00

Financial Aid

CIEE has scholarships available, more information can be found HERE.

Purdue University financial aid may be applied to the costs of studying abroad. Students interested in receiving financial aid should

NOTE:  Recipients of certain tuition remission and scholarship programs should pay careful attention to the regulations for using those benefits for study abroad.  Ask your financial aid advisor about any limitations.

Click here for a list of scholarships and grants available to assist with the costs of studying overseas.

Application Deadlines

For full consideration, students must submit all supporting documents (typically an essay, transcripts, 1-2 recommendations, and copy of passport) before or by the application deadline.  Popular programs fill quickly, often before the deadline. To ensure a place in a program, apply early.

As soon as a student submits an online application, a My Study Abroad account is created. Applicants should consult this page often to check on the status of the application.

Program Application Deadline
Most Fall Semester Programs Mar 1
Most Spring Semester Programs Sep 15

Returnees Information

CIEE-Monteverde: Tropical Ecology and Conservation

Hiking is par for the course.

Click below to search for Purdue students who have participated in this program and are willing to be contacted.  If you get no results, you can use the search form to find people who studied in the country you are interested in.


The websites listed below contain information about this program. The accuracy of information at external sites cannot be guaranteed.

For more information on this program, please contact the Study Abroad Office by phone (765) 494-2383 or email