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A 2012 UGA Costa Rica student Says:
Tropical Ecology MaymesterUndergraduate / Maymester / Odum School of Ecology
*UGA students: Please be aware that participants of this program are eligible for the Ron Carroll and Carol Hoffman Travel Grant, which provides roundtrip airfare for students enrolled in this program specifically. This grant is awarded through the Odum School of Ecology. Please click here for more information, and note that these awards may be used in tandem with other Odum School Scholarships, UGA Costa Rica's Foundation Incentive Scholarship, as well as a variety of other funding opportunities administered through UGA's Office of International Education.
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.
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 homestays with families in the San Luis Valley, interaction with local scientists and scholars, and participation in community activities.
While many participants will be from Ecology, students from other disciplines are strongly encouraged to apply. In previous years, participants have represented biology, genetics, geography, Spanish, Latin American studies, education, journalism, horticulture, and international agriculture, among other fields. We encourage participants from not only the University of Georgia, but all other institutions as well.
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.
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.
You will select two of the following options, giving you a total of 7-8 credit hours.
- ECOL 3100 - Tropical Field Ecology (Maymester)
- ECOL 3510 - Ecology Laboratory (Maymester)
- ECOL 4960 - Ecology Research (Maymester)
March 18 2016
May 15 - June 6, 2016
Enrollment is limited to 20 qualified students.
To apply, students must submit all 3 of the following:
- A complete UGA Costa Rica program application
- A UGA transient application (only if a non-UGA student)
- A $300 deposit check—cash or credit cards not accepted—must be hand delivered or mailed to the Office of International Education (c/o "UGA Costa Rica"). $274 of this deposit will be refunded if the applicant withdraws by the program's withdrawal deadline (see below).
Costs & Payments
Program fees are approximately $2,400*, which covers all lodging (both on- and off-campus), three meals per day, travel insurance, and all sponsored in-country transportation and entry fees. Additional costs include UGA in-state tuition† and fees, personal items, and international airfare. For more information on tuition and fees, please visit the UGA Bursar's website.
* 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.
After your acceptance into the program, all program fees and tuition will be applied to your Student Account upon registration through Athena. Our office will communicate program and academic course registration specifics with you when your program term approaches. Access your Student Account here. You may pay online with a credit card or mail a check to the Bursar's Office. If you receive a scholarship from either OIE or UGA Costa Rica, or if you plan to utilize financial aid, please notify the UGA Costa Rica Office should any payment need to be submitted after the deadlines given the timing of disbursement. We are generally willing to work with students who have special circumstances.
An additional application and $60 processing fee is required for non-UGA students to enroll. Click here for instructions. Contact the UGA Costa Rica Office to confirm once you have started the application process. And per University of Georgia policy, all non-UGA students will be charged a $250 fee in addition to their tuition (unless a student of a USG or SEC institution), which is assessed by the UGA Bursar's office.
Other dates / Deadlines
APPLICATION DEADLINE: March 18, 2016
WITHDRAWAL DEADLINE: March 28, 2016
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 DUE: See the Bursar's Office website, select Calendar & Payment Deadlines in the side navigation, then choose the appropriate term to find final payment deadlines.
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