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  • Locations: Atenas, Costa Rica; Javillos, Costa Rica; Sarapiqui, Costa Rica
  • Program Terms: Spring Break
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Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction: English Minimum GPA: 2.00
Field of Study: Education, Energy Studies, Liberal Studies Housing Options: Homestay, Hostel or Hotel
Credit Type: Resident Credit Program Type: CES Faculty-Led Program
SDSU Office: 2-Extended Studies
Program Description:
Liberal Studies in Costa Rica

Spring Break 2019: Add your name to the Inquiry List below
Dates Abroad: TBA
Course Dates: TBA
Price: TBA


Spring Break 2018: Application Closed
Dates Abroad: March 24-April 1, 2018
Course Dates: March 24-April 1, 2018
Price: $2,120
NOTE: Program information listed below is for Spring Break 2018. Subject to change for 2019. Updates coming soon. 


This is a unique opportunity for Liberal Studies students to learn about the Costa Rican education system, the Costa Rican people, and the flora and fauna of Costa Rica. Students will interact with local educators and students. They will experience the rainforest, volunteer with rescued animals at the Asis Wildlife Center, go river tubing, interact with bats and butterflies, hike in a waterfall, and much more!


Costa Rica is home to a rich variety of plants and animals. While the country has only about 0.1% of the world's landmass, it contains 5% of the world's biodiversity. Approximately 25% of the country's land area is in protected national parks and protected areas. Students will visit and/or stay in the cities of Atenas, Sarapiqui, Arenal, and Javillos. 


All participants are required to register for the following SDSU College of Extended Studies (CES) “Special Sessions” course.  After you apply and are officially enrolled in the program, you will receive instructions on how to register for the course from the College of Extended Studies. 
  • ED 450: Liberal Studies in Costa Rica (1 unit SDSU resident credit)
    • This course meets the Liberal Studies undergraduate international experience requirement.
HINT for SDSU students: Log in to your WebPortal account and check your Degree Evaluation to see if the course fulfills your graduation requirementsOtherwise, meet with an academic advisor to discuss your options; click HERE for more information.


Students will be housed with other program participants in doubles, triples, or quads. Accommodations will include both homestays and cabins/hostels (as per the official itinerary). With the exception of lunch on March 28, all other meals are included (as per the official itinerary).


The following activities are all included in this program:
  • River tubing & Tirimbina bat program in Sarapiqui
  • Interactions with educators in Sarapiqui, including a program presented by local students
  • Butterfly farm tour
  • Hiking to Fortuna Waterfall and hot springs
  • Mistico Hanging Bridges in Arenal
  • Vida Campesina Cultural activity – tortilla-making and sugarcane grinding
  • Close encounters with animals at Asis Wildlife Rescue Center
  • Kayaking on Lake Arenal
NOTE: If you are interested in this program and are a student with a disability, please contact Dr. Loh-Hagan (see 'For More Information' below) to discuss any barriers in Belize that may impact your ability to participate.


  • For course content, requirements, and specific information about the program contact Dr. Virginia Loh-Hagan, Director of the Liberal Studies Program, at 


Payment Schedule: 
$1,755   deposit due with application, paid to the College of Extended Studies (CES)
   $365    tuition due with course registration to CES between Feb. 20 and March 2
$2,120   Total Program Fee 2018

Included in the Fee:
  • One unit of SDSU resident credit
  • Travel Medical & Repatriation insurance through SDSU
  • Airport pick-up and transfers by private and public transportation
  • Ground transportation within Costa Rica
  • Local naturalist guide
  • Accommodations (see "Housing and Meals") 
  • All meals as per the official itinerary, unless otherwise noted
  • Purified water on bus
  • Excursions, visits, and tours  
  • All taxes and gratuities
Not included in the Fee:
  • Round-trip airfare to Costa Rica - Students will book their own round-trip flights. 
    • Please book your flight in February after receiving notification that the trip has been confirmed, meaning there are enough participants to confirm the trip. 
  • Passport and visa fees (visit Students Abroad for more information)
  • Vaccinations, if necessary (visit CDC website for more information) 
  • Individual transportation arrangements
  • Meals, extra drinks, and snacks not listed as included on the official itinerary
  • Airport exit taxes
  • Personal expenses

Refund Policy:
Program Costs Refund:
  • The withdrawal is effective on the date that the CES Faculty-Led Program staff receives written notification of withdrawal from you, the student. Email notification is acceptable.
  • For this program, the following cancellation and refund policy applies: 
    • Before November 24, 2017: A $400 cancellation fee plus any nonrefundable deposits or payments made by EcoTeach on behalf of the participant will be imposed.
    • November 25, 2017, to January 23, 2018: A $600 cancellation fee plus any nonrefundable deposits or payments made by EcoTeach on behalf of the participant will be imposed.
    • After January 23, 2108: no refund is available. 

Course Tuition Refund: 
Refunds for course tuition follow the College of Extended Studies (CES) standard refund policy

Funding & Scholarship Information:
Visit the CES Study Abroad website for more information about financial aid, scholarships, military and veterans benefits, and other funding sources. 

  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0
  • This program is open to Liberal Studies students at SDSU until 5:00 pm on Friday, January 19, 2018. Beginning after 5:00 pm on Friday, January 19--provided the program did not reach its maximum capacity--the application opens to all majors and minors.  Please note: Seniors and juniors will be prioritized so that they can fulfill their International Education requirements. 
    • All applications prior to 5:00 pm on January 19 will be reviewed first by Dr. Virginia Loh-Hagan, Director of the Liberal Studies program at SDSU, and she must grant approval and issue a unique add code for each applicant to apply.
  • SDSU students cannot be on academic probation (less than 2.0 GPA) or disciplinary probation (expulsion, judicial, or suspension) at the time of application and/or at the time of course registration. The standard CES refund policy for study abroad applies if you are found to be on probation after applying to the program.
  • Minimum age to participate is 18.
  • After applying and being accepted into the program, all participants must complete BOTH a mandatory pre-departure orientation sponsored by the College of Extended Studies (CES) as well as a program-specific orientation(s) with their faculty leader(s) prior to departure. Details about both will be sent after acceptance into the program.


Spring Break 2018 - APPLICATION CLOSED
If you are interested in attending this program during Spring Break 2019, add your name to the Inquiry List, below, and you will receive email updates when available.


  • Click HERE for a list of Frequently Asked Questions about College of Extended Studies (CES) study abroad programs.
  • For course content, requirements, and specific information about the program contact Dr. Virginia Loh-Hagan, Director of the Liberal Studies Program, at
  • If you would like more information about the application and registration process or have general questions, please contact Mr. Phil Hoog, Study Abroad Advisor, in the College of Extended Studies, Faculty-Led Study Abroad office:,  (619) 594-0638.

Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.