Study Abroad Program

Sustainable Development
in Costa Rica

Take advantage of your break and earn college credit in Costa Rica


Spend three weeks immersed in Costa Rica’s verdant Central Valley: you’ll gain an understanding of sustainable development theory at the United Nations-founded University for Peace in San Jose, then bring learning to life with off-campus Field Excursions. You’ll return home with three college credits, a deeper understanding of what makes our system unsustainable, and the steps it will take to create a sustainable future that we know is possible.​​

Upcoming travel dates:
January 2–January 20, 2024

Program components

Understand the systemic environmental concerns that gave rise to the concept of sustainable development while immersing fully in Costa Rica’s complex nature; return from program with an understanding of the principles and ideas behind a circular economy and how it deviates from our current linear system.

Program itinerary
Note: This itinerary is subject to change due to availability and local conditions at the time of departure.

Costa Rica 3 weeks

Arrive in San Jose

San Jose, Costa Rica

Arrive in sunny San Jose and meet your cohort at the Welcome Dinner.

Introduction to Sustainable Development

1 Day San Jose, Costa Rica

Spend the first full day at the mountaintop campus of University for Peace building a foundational understanding of sustainability and sustainable development.

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The Linear System

4 Days San Isidro & Manuel Antonio National Park

Embark on your first journey out of the capitol to understand how our world’s waste management systems work, learn how businesses can be a force for good from an innovative Certified B-Corp, and explore the rainforests and beaches of Manuel Antonio National Park; you’ll also have an opportunity to partake in a beach clean-up while unpacking the causes and impacts of plastic production on our oceans.

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The Circular Economy

8 Days San Jose, Costa Rica

Head back to the University for Peace campus to build your understanding of circularity, then explore entrepreneurs in San Jose are putting this concept into practice by building businesses that reduce waste and emissions while contributing to a growing economy.

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Creating a Sustainable Future

2 Days Rancho Margot

Venture into Costa Rica’s verdant Central Valley to Rancho Margot, a living sustainable resource management and regenerative practice laboratory. You’ll then have an opportunity to explore Costa Rica’s legendary La Fortuna waterfall on your own before heading back to San Jose to wrap up the program.

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Research Symposium

2 Days San Jose, Costa Rica

Put the finishing touches on your research presentation, present your findings, and wrap up your experience abroad at the University for Peace.

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Program fee

Tuition for this 19-day program is $6,450 and payment plans are available. Program fee includes:

  • School credit

    3 credits to be transcribed by a U.S. School of Record upon successful completion of the program.

  • Flights & transportation

    Round-trip flights and local transfers to each stop in your itinerary.

  • Room & board

    Housing and approximately half your meals are covered while on program.

  • Emergency support

    Local EF Staff, University for Peace Staff, and on-ground emergency support are here to support you every step of the way. 

  • Guided learning

    All courses, course materials, and Field Excursions.

  • EF Global Support Network

    One-on-one mentorship and travel support before and during your program.

Ready to get started?

Our Gap Year Consultants are ready to answer any questions you and your family may have, then they’ll work with you to plan an experience that expands your horizons and meets your unique goals.

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