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SFS-Costa Rica: Sustainable Development Studies


Program Location Atenas, Costa Rica
Sponsor School for Field Studies
Program Type Co-sponsored
Course # SA 35003
Duration Summer
Upcoming Program Dates
To Be Announced
Past Dates
Summer 2022 07/11/22 to 08/10/22
Summer 2022 06/06/22 to 08/10/22
Summer 2022 06/06/22 to 07/06/22

Page Links
Overview Purdue Credit
Eligibility Academics
Housing Program Costs
Financial Aid Deadline
Returnee Info Resources


Due to COVID-19, programs may be altered or adapted with little notice

Overview
SFS-Costa Rica: Sustainable Development Studies
Solitude Waterfall

Costa Rica is known worldwide for its conservation efforts, which have attracted millions of tourists to the country, its parks, and its reserves. However, the ongoing transition from an agriculture-based to a service-based economy, from climate change, and from accelerated infrastructural development threaten Costa Rica's biodiversity and society. As rural areas give way to urban developments, already scarce resources, including fresh water and energy sources, are stretched to their limit. A reorganization of resource use and waste management practices is urgently needed to maintain healthy and functioning ecosystems in Costa Rica.

You’ll never look at a cup of coffee the same way again. Using coffee and chocolate as case studies, explore the relationships between food systems, ecology, conservation, and sustainability. Learn how different agricultural techniques have the potential to restore biodiversity and combat climate change. Study the sociocultural history of coffee and cacao, from Indigenous histories to modern production and exports.

For more program information, please visit the program website. This program is sponsored by:School for Field Studies.

Eligibility

SFS-Costa Rica: Sustainable Development Studies
Volcano

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.

GPA Requirement: 2.6 on a 4.0 scale
Language Requirement: none

Purdue Credit
Direct Credit available from the following: [College of Agriculture][College of Liberal Arts]
Specifically from: All (AG) and Liberal Arts majors fulfilling their science requirement

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

You will take one 4-credit course, taught in English. This course is participatory in nature and is designed to foster inquiry and active learning combining lectures, field exercises, assignments, and tests. This academically rigorous program follows a six-day/week schedule. The interdisciplinary curriculum is designed to help students actively discover and understand the complexities of environmental, social, and economic issues in Costa Rica.

Major academic themes include:

  • Climate change adaptation
  • Agriculture and agroforestry
  • Ecological impacts of coffee and cacao production
  • Ecotourism and culinary tourism
  • Social justice issues surrounding sustainable food systems
  • Organic and mono-crop farming methods

For more information on the course, please see the SFS website.

Attention liberal arts majors! Although credit is awarded by the College of Agriculture, the College of Liberal Arts will count this summer program as fulfilling your four-credit lab science requirement.  Please speak to your study abroad advisor for more information!

Non-liberal arts majors should check with their academic advisor to see if this might fulfill their science requirement.

Excursions
You will visit different ecosystems and communities which may include coffee farms, cacao plantations, other agroecosystems and farms, agrotourism businesses, and the forests and rainforest ecosystems around agricultural areas. Some examples include:
  • Visit La Iguana Chocolate Farm, where you’ll harvest cacao by hand and learn about permaculture, sustainable living, and local methods of chocolate processing
  • Visit El Toledo Coffee farm and learn about organic methods of coffee production. Discuss the history and impacts of chocolate and coffee production in Latin America
Excursions are subject to availability and may change.

Housing

The SFS field station in Atenas is on a hillside with spectacular views overlooking the Rio Grande River in the fertile Central Valley. The field station includes a large house, an outdoor classroom, a moderately sized organic garden, a patio and pool, as well as banana, mango, and orange groves, a chicken coop, and untouched forest areas with trails.

Students live in a dormitory (up to four to a room) with bathrooms. There is a classroom, small laboratory, and a computer room with internet access. The field station is part of the small neighborhood of La Presa/Los Angeles. The friendly town of Atenas is a short walk from the field station, while Costa Rica's tropical forests, beaches, mountains, and volcanoes are within a day's travel.

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 cover: room and board for one four-week session, program-related ground transportation and park entrance fees, field equipment, supplies, orientation and pre- and post-program advisory services. Total Program Cost does not include transportation to and from the program location.

The fees below are for the one 4-week summer session with SFS. Please speak to your study abroad advisor for the program costs for participation in two summer sessions with SFS.

Costs for this program are estimated and subject to change. The cost figures listed below are for: Summer 2022

Costs per term to be billed by Purdue and Co-sponsor
Program Fee$4,525.00
Study Abroad Fee$609.40
Housing$1,450.00
Purdue International Insurance (per month)$32.00

Approximate additional costs per term
To be paid by the student.
Round-trip Airfare$600.00
Miscellaneous Personal Expenses $0.00 -$1,100.00
Travel Documents (passport, photos)$175.00

Financial Aid

In order to qualify for financial aid (incl. loans), students need to register for at least six credits during the summer. Participating in this program in Costa Rica will only result in four credits, therefore students planning to use summer aid will need to enroll in at least two more credits during the summer at Purdue or combine this program with another 4-week session at a different SFS location.

SFS offers many scholarships and/or 0% interest loans (no FAFSA form required). Please see the SFS website for more details.


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 before or by the application deadline.  Popular programs fill quickly, often before the deadline.  To insure 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 Summer Programs Mar 1


Returnees Information
SFS-Costa Rica: Sustainable Development Studies
Field Lecture

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.

Resources

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 studyabroad@purdue.edu.

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

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