Short-Term Program

Sustainable Development in Costa Rica

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

Immerse yourself in Costa Rican culture, contextualizing your travels within local customs and history. Collaborate with locals 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:
Winter 2023: Jan. 2 – Jan. 30
Spring 2023: Apr. 19 – May 17
Summer 2023: Jul. 5 – Aug. 2
Winter 2024: Jan. 1 – Jan. 29
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 kicks off with a brief orientation, where you'll meet your fellow travelers and learn how to make the most of your experience.

San José: Youth Education Project

7 nights San José, Costa Rica

Collaborate with a non-profit that seeks to lift up local youth through education by playing, helping 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 local foundation to assist sea turtle conservation efforts and learn about why these endangered animals are
so important.

Arenal & Monteverde: Sustainable Farming Project

9 Nights Arenal & Monteverde, Costa Rica

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

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. 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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