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First-Year Program

Colorado State University Global Challenge Semester

EF Study Abroad CSU semester program
A Pan-American exploration of identity, expression and our sustainable future.


Empower yourself to author the story you want told and enact the change you want made during an intercontinental journey through Colorado, Costa Rica, Panama, and Mexico. You’ll explore prominent issues alongside professors from Colorado State University (CSU) and the United Nation’s University for Peace while learning from local communities, nonprofits, and businesses. Out in the world, you’ll find that self-discovery creates purpose with staying power and new perspectives fuel life-long proficiencies.

After the program, continue to Colorado State with the opportunity to join CSU Honors Program or take your transferable college credit with you to the next step of your academic journey.

Upcoming travel dates:
Fall 2024: August 18, 2024 

Application Deadline:
May 15, 2024 (Rolling Admission - spots are filling)

Program components


Venture to regenerative communities for sustainable living insights, challenge assumptions about the agricultural industry at an organic coffee farm, and engage with local communities through community-development nonprofits in San José.

Program Itinerary

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

United States

2 Weeks

EF Study Abroad CSU semester program

Program Orientation



Your semester starts in the CSU Mountain Campus, where you will learn more about your own strengths and values in the Craft your Story course and build your toolkit for understanding the other cultures you’ll be experiencing


5 Weeks

Pool and palm trees in Costa Rica on a EF study abroad program

Building Your Foundation



Travel to the EF Campus on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica to continue your courses, Global Studies and Thinking Toward a Thriving Planet, and take survival Spanish lessons.

Local artist on a EF Study abroad semester

Arts & Expression in Costa Rica



Explore the vibrant world of Costa Rican fine and cultural arts at the Museo de Arte Costarricense in San José and trace the footsteps of ancient civilizations at the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum. Venture to regenerative communities for sustainable living insights, challenge assumptions about the agricultural industry at an organic coffee farm, and engage with local communities through community development nonprofits dedicated to empowering disadvantaged communities in San José.

EF Study abroad semester

Sustainable Development & The Circular Economy



With your foundation of global awareness and critical thinking, you’ll move into Costa Rica’s Central Valley to study at the UN-chartered University for Peace, an international institution training the leaders of tomorrow to build a sustainable, peaceful, and equitable future for all. Your course at the University for Peace will focus on Sustainable Development and the Circular Economy, and will include co-curricular field visits throughout to bring your experience to life.


2 Weeks

EF Study abroad semester in Panama

Growth & Diversity in Panama



In Panama, visit with a Panamanian government agency to uncover the inner workings of global trade and governance by interacting with government officials at the heart of this operation. Delve into biodiversity at Biomuseo, a captivating museum that illuminates Panama's natural richness. Join hands with a nonprofit nourishing the minds and bodies of school children daily across the Boquete district and immerse yourself in the folk arts of the Panamanian indigenous communities, gaining insights into their rich cultural heritage and artistic expressions.


6 Weeks

EF Study abroad semester in Mexico

Our Sustainable Future



End your semester at CSU Todos Santos in Baja California, Mexico. Along with your cohort, you’ll get to experience life in this beautiful small town, while getting to know some of the people and families who have been there for generations, making it what it is today. You’ll end the program with a greater sense of who you are, the opportunities to create a sustainable future, and the role you want to play in building it.


What's included

The program fee for this 16-week program is $24,750, and payment plans are available. For detailed budgeting information, see a full program guide available here.

Tuition includes:

  • Field Excursions

    Field Excursions and hands-on workshops with local experts.

  • Flights and transportation

    Internal flights and local transfers to each stop in your itinerary are included. Students will be responsible for arranging departure flights to Denver and return flights from Cabo San Lucas.

  • Room & board

    Shared student accommodations while on the CSU campus as well as shared hotels in Panama and Costa Rica.

  • Guided learning

    Full-time, on-the-ground support from an EF Student Life Coordinator with additional support from the EF Language Campus staff, your EF Field Director, and your EF Program Director.

  • Tuition & coursework

    Your pre-selected coursework from both Colorado State University and the University for Peace.

  • EF Global Support Network

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

Ready to get started?

Our Program 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 goals.

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