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.

Program length:
4 weeks
Summer 2023 dates:
Jul. 5 – Aug. 2
Program highlights

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

Orientation 1 Day


1 day San Jose

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

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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