Sustainable Development in Costa Rica

4 weeks of making an impact and becoming a leader in the world's eco-tourism capital.

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Program Info
  • Program Length:
    4 weeks

  • Program Fee:
    $7,200, flights included

  • Program Dates:
    Summer 2022: 6/30 – 7/29

Immerse yourself in Costa Rican culture and learn how to make a sustainable impact within a community. Collaborate with local organizations as they tackle these issues on the ground, and learn how you can apply these lessons to your own life as a leader in your community.

  • Confidence and independence

    Get out of your comfort zone and discover what you're capable of.

  • Global skills

    Gain environmental skills, experience a new culture, and expand your horizons.

  • Self-discovery

    Understand how to leverage your strengths and begin to define your life path.

  • Life readiness

    Learn how to live and travel on your own and build skills that will help you later in life.

Set out on a month of pura vida

Your program begins with orientation and tour of San José. From there, your EF Tour Director will give you an insider's perspective on each place you visit and help you contextualize your travels within local history, culture, and beyond. Then you'll dive into your service projects and wrap up with Leadership Academy at the UN's University for Peace.

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

Orientation 1 Day


1 day Virtual

Your program kicks off with a brief orientation, where you'll meet your fellow travelers and learn how to make the most of your experience.

Service Learning 3 Weeks

Youth Education Project

7 nights San José

Collaborate with a non-profit that seeks to lift up local youth through education by playing, helping with homework, and teaching English.

Reforestation Project

3 nights Pacific Coast

Contribute to seashore conservation by supporting the marine biologists in their research and assisting with mangrove restoration efforts.

Sea Turtle Conservation Project

4 nights Corcovado

Partner with a local foundation to assist sea turtle conservation efforts and learn about why these endangered animals are so important.

Sustainable Farming Project

9 nights Arenal and Monteverde

Work with a community-based project that leverages sustainable tourism for ecological restoration and community outreach efforts.

Leadership Academy 5 Days

Leadership Academy

5 nights University for Peace, San José

Reflect on your experiences and how you can apply what you’ve learned to your future. Hone your global leadership skills through speaker-led workshops. Sessions will focus on self- and global-awareness, influencing others, and executing on your personal goals.

What service learning means to us

EF Gap Year's service learning philosophy combines educational objectives with hands-on experience as a vehicle to help you become a better global citizen.

  • Making an impact abroad and at home

    Engage with local communities and NGOs to get a comprehensive understanding of structural issues and collaborate alongside them to follow through on community needs. Take these learnings with you and apply them to your own life.

What you’ll experience

How you'll grow

Through a combination of hands-on service projects and structured reflection, you’ll find your strengths, learn more about the world, and chart your own path forward.

Cultural immersion
Experience Costa Rican culture by working directly with locals and NGOs, visiting several key regions, and getting the inside scoop from your Tour Director.

Discover your unique strengths and how to leverage them for personal and professional success. Reflect and define your own life goals.

Skills for the real world
Build the foundations of your career or volunteer life by learning the foundations of sustainable development, reforestation, and conservation.

Program Fee

Tuition for this 4-week program is $7,200, and payment plans are available. Tuition includes:

  • Flights and transportation

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

  • Room and board

    Your accommodations and some of your meals on the trip

  • Activities and service projects

    Guided excursions and service opportunities with partner organizations

  • 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 have and to help find the perfect program for your family.

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EF Impact Report

Through our business and the work we do every day, EF strives to positively impact people, communities, and the planet.

Read the full report