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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 Semester
Upcoming Program Dates
Spring 2023 01/27/23 to 05/09/23
Fall 2022 09/02/22 to 12/13/22
Past Dates
Spring 2022 01/31/22 to 05/13/22

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
Go off the beaten path and experience sustainability in action. Spend a semester in Costa Rica, home to rainforests, volcanoes, rushing waterfalls, and a laid-back culture that reflects the national motto: “Pura Vida.” Immerse yourself in the country’s many national parks, farms, and tropical ecosystems full of incredible biodiversity. Design and conduct a rigorous field research project and learn how Costa Ricans are creatively addressing conservation and development issues.
  • Explore the cloud forests of Monteverde, home to 2.5% of the world’s biodiversity, to study tropical ecology and sustainable land management
  • Take a week-long expedition to Panama’s Chiriquí Highlands, a lush, forested region of volcanic peaks, integrated coffee farms, rich Nbäge-Buglé culture, and perpetual spring-like weather
  • Go behind the scenes at a local coffee farm and sustainable permaculture homestead to learn how Costa Ricans have successfully combined agriculture and conservation
  • Conduct a comprehensive field research project: Develop a research question, collect and analyze data, write a paper, and present your findings.
You will gain practical skills in the field such as: GIS use and applications, species identification, habitat and biodiversity assessment, forest soundscape techniques, songbird mist-netting, tourism impact assessment methods, basic Spanish language skills, research design and implementation, quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis, and research presentation.

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
The program is open to Purdue students who have completed at least two semesters of university study, one semester of college-level ecology or biology, and one college-level Spanish course by the start of the program. Successful candidates will demonstrate academic success, maturity and a desire to experience another culture. GPA Requirement: 2.8 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

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 and tropical ecosystems
  • Agroforestry and conservation
  • Permaculture
  • Bird communication
  • Urban ecology
  • Sustainable ecotourism
  • Carbon sequestration
  • National park management

On the Sustainable Development Studies program, you will take three 4-credit disciplinary courses, one 2-credit language and culture course, and a 4-credit capstone Directed Research course. Courses are participatory in nature and are designed to foster inquiry and active learning. Each course combines lectures, field exercises, assignments, tests, and research. All courses are taught in English.

Please see SFS website for full course details.

Excursions
You will visit different ecosystems and communities which may include lowland tropical rainforest, tropical cloud forest, Pacific coastal rainforest, dry forests of the Guanacaste province, national parks, agroecosystems, fishing villages, farms, volcanoes, mangroves, coastal ecosystems, and the highlands of northern Panama.

Housing
The Center is an active organic farm overlooking the vibrant Central Valley, where green is the predominant color as far as the eye can see. Dorms and classrooms intermingle with orchards and gardens, while Center dog Hera keeps watch over it all. The friendly town of Atenas is a 10-minute cab ride away, offering restaurants, shops, parks, and cultural events.
  • Dorm living with 4-person bunkrooms
  • Classroom, library, computer lab, and laundry room
  • Open-air porch with hammocks and chairs
  • Dining hall with scenic valley views, and on-site cooking staff
  • Swimming pool, soccer field, basketball court, and pizza oven
  • Outdoor classroom and hiking trails

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 fee includes tuition, all meals at the center, program-related ground transportation and park entrance fees, field equipment, supplies, and on-site orientation.

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

Costs per semester to be billed by Purdue and Co-sponsor
Program Fee$17,350.00
Study Abroad Fee$914.00
Housing$4,180.00
Purdue International Insurance (per month)$32.00

Approximate additional costs per semester
To be paid by the student.
Round-trip Airfare$600.00
Books and Supplies$65.00
Miscellaneous Personal Expenses $0.00 -$2,100.00
Travel Documents (passport, photos)$175.00

Financial Aid

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 Fall Semester Programs Mar 1
Most Spring Semester Programs Sep 15


Returnees Information
SFS-Costa Rica: Sustainable Development Studies

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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