Costa Rica

Alisa Misevich - Costa Rica Study Abroad 2012
By Alisa Misevich - Costa Rica Study Abroad 2012 - click to see larger image.


Program Brochure

Contact the Program Director

Dr. Dennis Wilson

Life Science Department
P:  480-654-7731
Office: RDM S - 264


A valid passport is required to travel abroad.  Passport Info Here

2019 Dates Coming Soon!

This program is typically offered every other year.

Spend your summer in Costa Rica and wake up every day to the chorus of parrots, toucans, howler monkeys and poison dart frogs as we explore the spectacular wildlife of Costa Rica’s jungles, cloud forests and coast.  The Costa Rica study abroad program offers an incredibly diverse experience, from zip-lining though the cloud forest canopy*, watching giant sea turtles lay eggs on their ancestral beaches, kayaking jungle rivers, riding river taxis, and salsa dancing with the locals.  Our focus will be on the wildlife and photography with tours, excursions and field trips into different ecosystems to learn about and photograph everything from army ants to orchids and sleepy market towns to hummingbirds .   The photography course is for novices and beginners, but by the end of the program you’ll be a well seasoned travel photographer.  Includes excursions to Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve, Tortuguero Turtle Preserve, and cultural excursions into some of the small towns to get a taste of life in Costa Rica.

* additional cost for optional zip-lining activity

Costa Rica Program Itinerary

Did You Know?

  • More than 25 percent of Costa Rica is reserved as protected areas.
  • Costa Ricans call themselves ticos and are known by that name throughout Central America.
  • During an earthquake in 1991, the Costa Rican city of Puerto Limón rose 3 feet and never returned to its original elevation.
  • Costa Rica is one of the largest banana producers in the world.

Costa rica (2017). CultureGrams Online Edition. ProQuest.

Costa Rica Program Excursions

Courses Offered (5 credit program)

  • Hybrid classes prior to departure at MCC Red Mountain between TBA
  • ART142: Digital Photography (3 cr); requires $35 lab fee
  • BIO149AI:  Field Biology: Tropical Biology/Costa Rica (2 cr)

Program Location

La Selva, situated at the confluence of two major rivers in the Caribbean lowlands of northern Costa Rica, comprises 3,900 acres of tropical wet forests and disturbed lands.

It averages over 13 feet of rainfall that is spread rather evenly throughout the year. The Station is bordered on the south by Braulio Carrillo National Park extending down to La Selva through a descending forest corridor from 2,906 meters at Volcán Barva to 35 meters above sea level at La Selva.

Estimated Program Costs

Expense Type Estimated Cost Deadline

Program Fee
Includes lodging, academic facilities, cultural excursions, in-country ground transportation, and secondary medical insurance.

$ TBA Program Fee Due:

Registration Fee

Tuition: TBA credits
In-state: $85 per credit hour
Out-of-state: $205 per credit hour

$   15


Tuition Due: 35 days prior to course start date Registration begins in March.
Course Fee
$ 35 ART142
Airfare (estimated cost)
Costa Rica airport exit fee (may be included in airfare ticket)
$  29

Your program director will provide you with instructions on purchasing airfare for your program. Only after you have received these instructions should you purchase airfare.


Meals are NOT included in program fee

$ TBA Not needed until you land in Costa Rica!
TOTAL Estimated Costs $ TBA  (program fee, tuition, airfare and meals)
Dependent upon chosen courses
$ 45 Prior to start of class
Your passport must be valid at least 6 months beyond the date of your return to the USA.
$ 145/110
Be sure to allow at least 6 weeks of processing time for first time applicants and renewals.
Visit the U.S. Department of State Students Abroad website for current fees and processing times.

Passport Information Available Here

Costa Rica Program Details

  • The reserve consists of both La Selva's protected environs and the Park which has four major tropical life zones and includes more than 5,000 species of vascular plants, of which more than 700 species are trees.
  • The fauna is similarly diverse with large predators including jaguars, pumas, and bushmasters. Thousands of arthropod species are being currently recorded at La Selva, and more than 400 species of resident and migratory birds have been sighted in the reserve, representing almost half of Costa Rica's bird species. See a map.
  • Read detailed cultural information on Costa Rica provided by CultureGrams™.

Dates to Remember

Title Date(s) More Information

General Information Sessions

Enrollment Center EC115A
(Building 39)

TUESDAYS: 1:30-2:15 pm
September 11, 2018
October 9 & 23, 2018
November 6, 2018
January 29, 2019
February 12, 2019

WEDNESDAYS: 12-12:45 pm
September 12 & 26, 2018
October 10 & 24, 2018
November 7, 2018
January 30, 2019
February 13, 2019

Financial Aid Workshops
2:15-3:15 pm following Tuesday Info Sessions
12:45-1:45 pm following Wednesday Info Sessions

For study abroad financial aid information, contact Juan Carlos Sanchez at 480.461.7312.

Fast Tracking the Dream to College Completion

In order to qualify for the Fast Tracking the Dream IDA accounts for the 2019 study abroad programs, you must be enrolled by October 31, 2018. For infomation, contact A New Leaf at 480.833.9200 and ask to speak with an IDA representative.  Space is limited so apply early!

General Information Sessions

Student Life Conference Room M214
(Mesquite Building)

MONDAYS 11-11:45 am
September 10 & 24, 2018
October 8 & 22, 2018
November 5, 2018
January 28, 2019
February 11, 2019

THURSDAYS 12:30-1:15 pm
September 13 & 27, 2018
October 11 & 25, 2018
November 8, 2018
January 31, 2019
February 14, 2019

Financial Aid Workshops at Red Mountain
11:45 am-12:30 pm following Monday Info Sessions
1:15 pm-2 pm following Thursday Info Sessions

For study abroad financial aid information at Red Mountain, contact Tori Stanton at 480.654.7760.

Fast Tracking the Dream to College Completion
In order to qualify for the Fast Tracking the Dream IDA accounts for the 2019 study abroad programs, you must be enrolled by October 31, 2018. For infomation, contact A New Leaf at 480.833.9200 and ask to speak with an IDA representative.  Space is limited so apply early!

Scholarship Deadline

Friday, February 15, 2019
11:59 pm MST

Get information on financial aid, grants, and scholarships for study abroad here.

Student must be accepted into a program PRIOR to applying for a scholarship.

Costa Rica Study Abroad Scholarship Application

Program Application Deadline

Friday, March 1, 2019

Late applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Complete online application.

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.

Apply early to reserve your place! 

Payment Deadlines Friday, March 22, 2019

Program Fee Deadline:

Tuition Deadline: 35 days prior to course start date
(Registration begins in March.)

Cashier Services

Mandatory Orientation

Saturday, April 6, 2019
9 am - 2 pm
Room LB145 in the Elsner Library at the Southern & Dobson campus.

You must attend the mandatory study abroad orientation! There may be additional required meetings for your specific program. Contact the Program Director for details.