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11.8.2013 Spring Programs
12.4.2013 Spring Break Programs
03.21.2014 Maymester & Summer Programs
04.18.2014 Fall Program

A 2012 UGA Costa Rica student Says:

"Costa Rica is an amazingly peaceful country with amazing culture and wildlife. The trip was not a culture shock, but a culture re-awareness. You learn about other values, customs, and at the same time learn the importance of conserving the land & its creatures."

Tropical Biology Fall Semester

SAN LUIS student union dusk from lawn SAN LUIS trails crossing bridge ECOLOGY stream measurements ruler SAN LUIS farm hills in background Mangroves kayaking away ECOLOGY stream field lecture COAST students water measurements clipboard COAST two males cliff high-angle COAST sea turtle tracks male lying down width
Undergraduate, Graduate / Fall / Odum School of Ecology

*UGA students: Please be aware that there are a number of $1,500 Foundation Incentive Scholarships available for this program, as well as five $1,000 program-specific awards issued by the Odum School of Ecology. Please note that these awards may be used in tandem with other Odum School Scholarships as well as a variety of funding opportunities administered through UGA's Office of International Education.


Program Overview


This interdisciplinary field course involves the intensive study of tropical environments, their natural history, and their people. This program's hands-on approach emphasizes student development in observation, analysis, and critical thinking skills, ultimately preparing each participant to carry out original field research. Under faculty guidance, students will design their own research projects, collect and analyze data, and present their findings in a final symposium. And with its NEW DISCIPLINARY EMPHASIS, UGA Biology majors can now fulfill 2 of 3 core requirements (Genetics and Ecology) plus required Organismal Biology and Laboratory courses, and upper-level major electives in one semester abroad!


In order to better appreciate the vast diversity of organisms and ecosystems that the tropics have to offer, coursework will be completed in both classroom and field settings, utilizing the UGA Costa Rica campus as well as field stations throughout Costa Rica, thereby exploring pristine national parks and protected areas in tropical rain forest, cloud forest, dry forest, and a variety of tropical marine habitats along the Pacific Coast. Cultural immersion, too, is a program emphasis, achieved through (optional) Spanish coursework, homestays with families in the San Luis Valley, interaction with local scientists and scholars, and participation in community activities.


Host Country: Located between Nicaragua and Panama in Central America, Costa Rica is a small country known for its pioneering role in tropical conservation, its peaceful, democratic traditions, and its commitment to education, health, and diplomacy. Only 1/3 the size of the state of Georgia, Costa Rica is home to some half a million species—about 4% of the species on the planet.


Click here to read about past program participant, Allison Koch's, life-changing experience on this program, taken from her recent feature as a UGA Amazing Student.


UGA Costa Rica Campus


Program courses are taught using both state-of-the art classrooms and through "living classroom" excursions. All in all, the 155-acre campus, located in San Luis de Monteverde, is comprised of 45,000 square feet of built space, which includes computer labs, spacious bungalows, a student union, and recreational facilities. Additionally, there are nearly 3 miles of hiking trails throughout the property, along with a working organic farm and reforestation nursery.



We've designed this program specifically for Biology and Ecology majors. (See also our Athens vs. Costa Rica cost comparison.) Please consult with your advisor on how this package of courses fits into your schedule.


April 18 2014



Program Dates

September 3 - November 22, 2014

Application Process

Enrollment is limited to 24 qualified students. Students will earn 15 - 18 credit hours.


To apply, students must submit a complete UGA Costa Rica program application and UGA transient application (if applicable). A $500 deposit will be required 10 days after the full program fee hits your UGA Student Account. This deposit will be refunded if the applicant withdraws by the program's withdrawal deadline (see below). If you are a transient student, please click here for complete application instructions.


For more information, please contact Jessica Cooper. You can also reach the UGA Costa Rica Office at (706) 542-6203.

Costs & Payments

Program fees are approximately $6,925*. These fees cover all your lodging (both on- and off-campus), three meals per day, travel insurance, program excursion entry fees, and all sponsored in-country transportation. Additional costs include UGA in-state tuition and fees†, personal items, and international airfare.

* The final program fee is subject to student enrollment.
Note: Out-of-state students pay in-state tuition. Additionally, the HOPE scholarship applies to those who are eligible.


For more information on tuition and fees, please visit the UGA Bursar's website.



The program fees will be charged to your Student Account. You may pay online with a credit card or mail a check to the Bursar's Office. Access your Student Account here.


If you receive a scholarship from either OIE or UGA Costa Rica, or financial aid, please notify the UGA Costa Rica Office if any payments will need to be submitted after the deadlines. We are willing to work with you if you have special circumstances.



An additional application and $60 processing fee is required for non-UGA students to enroll. Click here for instructions and to download the Transient Student application. Contact the UGA Costa Rica Office to confirm when you have started the application process. Non-UGA students will be charged $250 (unless a student of a USG or SEC institution), in addition to their tuition, which is assessed by the UGA Bursar's office.

Other dates / Deadlines

Application Deadline: April 18, 2014


Withdrawal deadline: May 5, 2014

After this date, students who withdraw from the program will be responsible to forfeit their initial deposit as well as any program costs that have been spent on their behalf (e.g., hotel reservations, transportation, and payments to local vendors). To withdraw a student must submit the official withdrawal form.


Final Payment Deadline: August 1, 2014

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