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  • Locations: Monteverde, Costa Rica
  • Program Terms: Spring
  • Restrictions: Drexel applicants only
  • Dates / Deadlines
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Click here for a definition of this term Language of Instruction: English Click here for a definition of this term Class Eligibility: Junior, Pre-Junior, Senior, Sophomore
Type of Program: Intensive Course Abroad Click here for a definition of this term Program Advisor: Ahaji Schreffler
Program Description:
Program Overview | Academics | Program Calendar | Program Fee | More Information

Spring Break in Costa Rica:
Tropical Field Studies

Costa Rica Forest

Program Overview

This unique field study course gives students hands-on experience in the ecology of tropical rain forests. Tropical Field Studies will explore the physical and biological factors that result in the formation of these forests, and their impressively high biodiversity. We will explore some of the key animal and plant players in these ecosystems and their complex interactions. We will also consider the effect of human impacts on these forests, and how development processes affect local communities. Teaching methods will include faculty and guest lectures by local experts, natural history introduction walks, and field research projects.

By completing this Intensive Course Abroad, students will:

  • Gain a first-hand experiential understanding of the environmental factors that contribute to the formation of tropical forests and the ecological principles that govern their function.
  • Obtain knowledge of tropical ecology through field studies in tropical forests in different life zones.
  • Develop an understanding of the challenges faced by tropical forest managers in light of modern development pressures.
  • Develop the student’s awareness of the increasing threat to the world’s biodiversity due to ongoing destruction of the tropical forests.


Credit/Registration: Students will be registered for Tropical Field Studies ENVS 323 / ENVS 523 for 3 credits as part of their spring term course load. Students must leave room for the 3 credits in their credit load when registering or will be billed for credits exceeding the 20 credit maximum. Graduate students will be billed for 3 Drexel credits at their normal rate.

Instructor: Sean O'Donnell, Professor in Drexel's Department of Biodiversity, Earth & Environmental Science

Program CalendarCosta Rica Research Group

Arrival Date: March 12, 2022
Departure Date: March 27, 2022
*Students may extend their travel independently before or after program dates.

Itinerary Overview:  Daytime and night time field trips and observation periods                                          

Date      Day                   Night spent at:

12 March Sat                  Fly to Liberia, Costa Rica; night at Playa Grande 
13 March Sun to             Playa Grande Station, Guanacaste - dry forest/beach/tidal 
15 March Tue 
16-March Wed to            La Calandria Lodge, Monteverde - montane Forest 
18-March Fri           
19-March Sat to              San Gerardo Station, near Monteverde - mid-elevation forest 
21-March Mon       
22-March Tue to              Poco Sol Station near San Carlos - wet forest 
24-March Thu        
25-March Fri                    Night in Alajuela (near airport) 
26-March Sat                   Fly home from San Jose (Alajuela) Costa Rica airport 

Program Fee - $1,535

Due November 15th: $500 Advance Payment + $25 application fee
Due January 15th: $1,035 Final Payment
*All payments are non-refundable unless declined admission or program cancels for unforeseen reasons.

Included in Program Fee:Costa Rica Tropical Bird

  • 13 nights lodging
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
  • Ground transportation, including airport pickup and drop-off
  • Park entrance fees
  • Field supplies
  • Cultural activity
  • On Call Emergency Assistance Insurance

Not Included in Program Fee:

  • R/T airfare to Costa Rica (approx $850)
  • Passport ($140)
  • Meals on arrival/departure days ($30)
  • Course materials ($200)
  • Spending money (approx $100)
  • Graduate students billed for 3 Drexel credits
ICA Financial Aid: Students may request an Adjusted Cost of Attendance by submitting the ICA program fee and estimated out of pocket expenses listed above to Drexel Central (via askdrexel). Doing so could make students eligible for additional financial aid.  Students may also be eligible to apply for Drexel's ICA Scholarships.

More Information

  • US Citizens are not required to obtain a visa for entry to Costa Rica. Students of other nationalities should confirm visa requirements on the Costa Rica Embassy website.
  • Students will be responsible for making their own flight arrangements. A suggested flight itinerary will be provided. Students should arrive as early as possible on Day 1 of the program, as the scheduled activities begin that day.
  • The currency of Costa Rica is the "colon" (plural "colones").
  • This Intensive Course Abroad being offered in March 2022 is dependent upon the viability of travel to Costa Rica as determined by Drexel University administration. Participants may be required to comply with COVID-19-related country entry requirements such as a negative PCR test, proof of the COVID-19 vaccine, etc. All participants will also be expected to follow any COVID-19 protocols as directed by local authorities and Drexel during the period abroad and upon return as appropriate.

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2022 11/15/2021 11/29/2021 03/12/2022 03/26/2022