Estimated cost: $2,480*  (This amount includes the $300 deposit.)

Program dates: May 9 - 31, 2017

Application deadline: January 20, 2017

This interdisciplinary field course involves the intensive study of Costa Rican environments, their natural history, and their people. This program's hands-on experiential approach emphasizes student development in observation, analysis, and critical thinking skills, providing each student with a more complete understanding of our natural world, and ultimately preparing each participant to be a more informed global citizen.

In order to better appreciate the vast diversity of organisms and ecosystems that the tropics have to offer, coursework will be completed primarily in outdoor field settings, utilizing the UGA Costa Rica campus as well as other field stations throughout Costa Rica.  Participants will be able to  explore pristine national parks and protected areas in lowland tropical rain forest, mountain cloud forest, dry forest, and a variety of tropical marine habitats along the Pacific Coast, often without the typical constraints of the indoor classroom. In addition to natural history and other ecology field activities, students will (under faculty guidance) design their own research projects, collect and analyze data, and present their findings in a final symposium.  In order to better understand concepts of sustainable ecotourism, students will also take advantage of Costa Rican led activities such as a mangrove canoe tour, a half-day river float, exploration of the continental divide by horseback, cloud forest ziplining, and a chocolate making tour.  Cultural immersion, too, is a program emphasis, achieved through homestays with families in the local San Luis Valley, interactions with 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.


Contact Information

Dr. Scott Connelly

Academic Courses

ECOL 3100 / L - Tropical Field Ecology (Maymester)
ECOL 3510 - Ecology Laboratory (Maymester)

Scholarship Information

UGA Foundation Incentive Scholarship for Study Abroad
OIE General Scholarship

UGA students: Participants of this program are eligible for the Ron Carroll and Carol Hoffman Travel Grant, which provides roundtrip airfare. This grant is awarded through the Odum School of Ecology. 

*Program Fee

Program fees cover all lodging in-country, three meals per day, travel insurance, and all sponsored in-country transportation and entry fees. They do not include UGA in-state tuition† and fees, personal purchases, 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 and Zell Miller scholarships apply to those who are eligible.

More Information

Please visit the GoAbroad Portal for full program information.