Short-Term Program

Sustainable Development in Costa Rica

Set out on a month of pura vida: spend four weeks developing leadership skills and making an impact in the ecotourism capital of the world.

Immerse yourself in Costa Rican culture, contextualizing your travels within local customs and history. Collaborate with community members and NGOs to complete service projects that will benefit the community, working towards conservation, reforestation, and sustainable development. Wrap up your experience with time for reflection at Leadership Academy at the UN’s University for Peace.

Upcoming travel dates:
Summer 2023: Jul. 5 – Aug. 2
Fall 2023: Oct. 4 – Nov. 1
Spring 2024: Feb. 28 – Mar. 27
Summer 2024: Jul. 5 – Aug. 2

How you'll grow

Program itinerary
Click here to download this itinerary as a PDF.
Note: This itinerary is subject to change due to availability and local conditions at the time of departure.

Costa Rica 4 Weeks

San José: Orientation

1 day San José, Costa Rica

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

San José: Youth Education Project

7 nights San José, Costa Rica

Collaborate with an educational nonprofit in San Jose that seeks to lift up local youth through education, engagement, help with homework, and teaching English.

Pacific Coast: Reforestation Project

3 Days Pacific Coast, Costa Rica

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

Corcovado: Sea Turtle Conservation Project

4 Nights Corcovado, Costa Rica

Partner with a regional foundation to aid sea turtle conservation efforts and learn why these endangered animals' survival is so import to the success of their ecosystem.

Arenal & Monteverde: Sustainable Farming Project

9 Nights Arenal & Monteverde, Costa Rica

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

San José: Leadership Academy

4 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.

Program fee

Tuition for this 4-week program is $6,950, and payment plans are available. A detailed budgeting guide for this program can be found here.

Your program 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.

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