About the Location
Costa Rica is known worldwide for its conservation efforts, which have attracted millions of tourists to the country and especially to its natural protected areas and sustainable coffee farms. Accelerated economic growth and urban development are taking place in the absence of coordinated land-use planning, consideration of water and energy sustainability, and waste management systems. These oversights, in combination with climate change impacts, constantly challenge the sustainable development goals of the country and threaten its biodiversity. This course provides students with the opportunity to explore key aspects of the sustainable development strategies and challenges in Costa Rica.
In Session I: Sustaining Tropical Ecosystems: Biodiversity, Conservation, and Development, students will explore and address key aspects of sustainable development strategies in Costa Rica and the most pressing challenges at the intersection between conservation and economic development.
In Session II: Applied Research Techniques and Strategies Toward Sustainability in Costa Rica, students learn about the ecological, resource management, and socioeconomic factors impacting protected areas and surrounding regions in Costa Rica, and apply the scientific process in a field research project that addresses a local environmental issue.
To see course listings for this program, visit the program website.
Things to note about taking courses abroad:
General Program Dates
Summer – early June to early August
Costs for study abroad vary program to program and will not be exactly the same as on-campus costs of attendance at Elon.
For cost information for this program, please view the Summer Budget Sheet.
GEC Access Scholarships are designed to help provide access for all undergraduate students to participate in an Elon-approved Global Engagement (study abroad or Study USA) program. The application for a GEC Access Scholarship is a questionnaire embedded in the outgoing program application--there is no external application. Please see the GEC Access Scholarship brochure for information on eligibility, conditions, and notification.
For additional information on scholarships or other funding for global engagement, see the Financial Planning for Global Study page.
Students can apply for summer financial aid through Elon University in person in the Office of Financial Planning in the spring semester. Summer financial aid applications are due May 1.
If you qualify for a travel grant through any of the fellows or scholars programs, see the appropriate program director for more information on how to apply the grant to your global engagement program. Visit the Deadlines and Events Calendar for travel grant deadlines.
School for Field Studies (SFS) awards scholarships for students in their programs. For more information on SFS funding, visit the SFS website.
Students live in a field station in a small, local community. Students share living quarters and have access to a kitchen/dining area, library, computer room, and classrooms.
Students must complete the online Elon University Study Abroad Application by the published deadline. See the Deadline and Events Calendar for the most up-to-date deadline information. Applications are generally accepted one semester in advance.
Initial approval is granted by Elon, and final acceptance is granted by the School for Field Studies.
Note: This program has limited capacity. Applications for a given term will no longer be accepted once capacity has been reached.
A successful semester and summer abroad is dependent upon adequate preparation. Students will participate in a series of mandatory orientations during the semester prior to studying abroad. These orientations will address issues of academic, cultural, logistical, financial, and personal preparation, as well as health and safety. Failure to participate in the required orientations will result in dismissal from the program. Any financial losses incurred by this dismissal, including program fees and international airfare, are the student's full responsibility.
View the pre-departure orientation schedule for the summer and semester programs.
Additional Information and Links
Connect with the GEC, global engagement alumni, and prospective students on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. And keep in touch with us using #ElonGlobal!
Contact Global Ambassadors to learn more from global engagement alumni. Global Ambassadors are GEC student representatives that have participated in one or more study abroad or Study USA programs and have been trained to help you prepare for your own global engagement. They are looking forward to hearing from you!