Search within:

Costa Rica: Ecotourism Destinations

On This Page:

Program Type

  • OHIO Credit

Academic Focus

  • Hospitality, Tourism, and Recreation

Program Feature

  • Field Work


  • Costa Rica

Program Term

  • Winter Break

Application Deadline:

Extended till Monday, October 9 at 11:59 PM!

For more information on this program contact:

Andrew Szolosi
Program Director

Joseph Crowley
Program Director

Emily Englehart
Program Coordinator, Office of Global Opportunities

Apply for this OHIO Credit Program


This education abroad program is designed to provide students with opportunities to examine the principles and practices of ecotourism in action through a 10-day ecotourism experience in the world-renowned ecotourism destination of Costa Rica. Emphasis is placed on the role of sustainable tourism development strategies in minimizing environmental and cultural impacts of tourism, while also promoting the economic development of host communities in these tourism destinations. In this course, students will engage in reflective reading, writing, and discussion about the ecotourism industry in Costa Rica, while exploring the diverse ecosystems of Costa Rica through a series of homestays and adventure-based activities throughout the education abroad experience. 

Students will backpack through the cloud forest of Los Quetzales National Park and along the headwaters of the Savagre River valley, whitewater raft on the pristine rivers of Costa Rica, and surf on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast. Students will also learn about sustainable agriculture and practice their Spanish while immersing themselves in Costa Rican culture and daily life through a series of homestays during the experience. In addition, students will have opportunities to view flora and fauna unique to the climate of Costa Rica and Central America, including monkeys, iguanas, sloths, tropical birds, and more. 

Good to Know

Participants will be highly engaged in physical activities throughout the program, including long hikes and whitewater rafting. Participants will need to sign an additional waiver acknowledging the risks associate with the strenuous nature of this course.

Living Arrangements 

Participants will live in homestays with Costa Rican families. Students will be provided with breakfast and dinner each day in the homestay. These meals will be traditional Costa Rican cuisine where students will have the opportunity to help with the meal preparation. 

Program Dates 

Tentative: December 28, 2024 – January 6, 2025


Students will earn a total of 3 credit hours. 

  • REC 4560: Ecotourism Destinations (3 cr. hours) 


The program fee for this program includes: Student accommodations, meals, excursions, transportation to all program related activities, welcome and farewell dinner, and international health insurance.

In addition to the program fee, students should plan for 3 credit hours of tuition*, administrative fee, and out-of-pocket costs. Below is the student budget worksheet for this program, which outlines these costs.  

Student Budget Worksheet - Winter Break 2023-24

Items that are not related to the program (ie. additional entertainment, souvenirs, extra travel, contingency funds) are not included in the cost estimates provided and should be budgeted for separately.  


  • If you are nominated to this program, you will be required to pay a deposit to confirm your participation. The deposit is a down payment on the total costs to be billed by OHIO and is determined by the total cost of the program. 
  • For programs completed over winter-break and spring break, the credit-hours associated with the program are part of the spring semester. Students taking between 12 to 20 Athens campus hours, including those associated with the program, will not incur additional tuition costs for the spring semester. Students taking less than 12 or more than 20 Athens campus credits for the spring term will see their tuition charge adjusted accordingly.  

Looking for Funding Opportunities? 

More information on financial aid and scholarships can be found on our funding pages.

Eligibility and Requirements 

This program is open to all OHIO undergraduate students with a minimum 2.5 GPA. 

Students who will be on probation at any point during the program for a conduct offense that took place less than a calendar year from the program start date may not study abroad. Read the entire conduct policy 

This program accepts NON-OHIO students. For more information about this process visit the Non-OHIO student page.   

Participants must have a at least a high school diploma or the equivalent (e.g. GED) by the start date of the program to be considered for eligibility.  Students enrolled in College Credit Plus (CC+) are not eligible for study away programs.

Application Requirements 

As part of the application, interested individuals will need to submit: 

  • 1 Personal Statement: A 1 - 2 page typed essay describing your interest in this program, why you want to participate, and any other overseas experiences.
  • Contact information (name, email, phone) for 1 Reference 
  • 1 DARs

Entry and Exit Requirements 

U.S. citizens are required to have a valid U.S. passport when traveling outside of the United States. If you plan to study or travel abroad in the next year,  apply for your passport  now. Some countries also require a visa to legally enter or reside in the country. 

U.S. citizens  will not  need a visa or other special document to enter the country for the length of this program. Please also note that visa requirements may vary if you plan to stay in the country longer than the program dates or travel to other countries during or after the program. Please familiarize yourself with these recommendations and requirements prior to applying to this program. 

For more specific visa related information, please visit OGO’s  Visa Information Page 

Information for  Non-U.S. citizens