Welcome to UGA Costa Rica!

Our Vision

The vision that guides the UGA Costa Rica campus is a world in which human and environmental systems are not seen as separate and operate in harmony with one another; where humans appreciate, protect and use nature in a sustainable way; and where people seek to understand and appreciate other cultures.
Click here to download the 2011-2020 Strategic Plan.


Our Mission

The mission of UGA Costa Rica is to advance our understanding―through instruction, research and outreach―of the interconnected nature between human and environmental systems, particularly the concepts of socio-cultural, ecological, and economic sustainability.

Specific goals are:

  1. To become a leading educational center for integrative study of natural resources management and conservation, visual and performance arts, and Spanish language and culture by providing a broad offering of high-quality academic programs taught by world class faculty throughout the year.
  2. To become a global center for research on themes related to natural resources management and conservation with an emphasis on biological corridors.
  3. To become an international model for educational, nature-based tourism that advances public understanding of human and environmental interactions.  This includes building a campus that is a demonstration model for ecologically sustainable operations.


Core Principles

UGA Costa Rica programs are built on the theme of integrative conservation. An integrative conservation approach respects the integrity of many disciplines and fields of practice, and seeks to bring together academics and practitioners to craft collaborative research agendas that can be applied to pressing problems and expose students to real-life conservation scenarios. An integrative perspective accepts and embraces the value that accrues from considering a diversity of ways of perceiving and analyzing complex conservation issues, and seeks out ways to work across that diversity.

The programs at UGA Costa Rica are therefore characterized by the following principles:

(i)     They are built on the notion of interdisciplinarity;

(ii)    They weave together teaching, research, and service; and

(iii)   They are responsive to the unique characteristics of the campus’s site and situation within Costa Rica.

The way in which the campus conducts its own operations and engages community and conservation initiatives reflects these principles and supports programmatic goals and objectives by providing a living laboratory.



UGA Costa Rica Office - Athens, GA

In Fall 2005, UGA opened the Costa Rica Office within the Office of International Education on the University of Georgia’s main campus in Athens, Georgia. Our Athens Office develops and administers UGA's study abroad programs in Costa Rica, works with faculty to identify and develop research opportunities, oversees student internships, creates alumni and continuing education tours, and hosts alumni events for students and faculty who have participated in UGA Costa Rica study abroad programs.


UGA Costa Rica Campus - San Luis de Monteverde, Costa Rica

In 2001 the UGA Foundation purchased a 155-acre working farm and ecotourism facility in the upper San Luis Valley of the Monteverde region in Costa Rica. While it remains a working farm and we continue to welcome tourists to stay with us, a fully operational campus has been developed on this site.

An administrative staff oversees daily campus operations, provides in-country logistical support for UGA and external study abroad programs, researchers and tourists, coordinates on-site and off-site activities, and facilitates the integration of UGA Costa Rica within the broader community. UGA Costa Rica is proud of the fact that our campus staff of approximately 30, is comprised of all local residents, and nearly all have family roots in San Luis.


The Ecolodge San Luis at the UGA Costa Rica Campus

Also referred to on-site as "the cabinas," the Ecolodge San Luis is comprised of 12 private rooms nestled into the forest edge. Wake up to the sunrise or sit back at sunset on your balcony at the Ecolodge San Luis and enjoy magnificent views of the Monteverde Cloudforest Reserve and the San Luis River Valley. The Ecolodge San Luis serves as faculty housing for UGA study abroad programs and as the primary lodging facility for tourists visiting the UGA Costa Rica Campus.s and service-learning programs.