Summer Semester in Costa Rica

students in the rainforest three toed sloth poison dart frog 2

Dates for the 2015 Summer Semester in Costa Rica will be announced in fall semester, 2014.

Students will experience the natural splendor and be exposed to the exciting culture of Costa Rica in Central America.

The Summer Semester in Costa Rica will provide a superb opportunity for students to be immersed in a Latin American environment and promises to be a memorable and unique learning experience.

Course Description

The goal of this program is to provide students an academically vigorous study opportunity in a Latin American country. The three courses that will make up this program are:

SOCI 235 (SB) - Nature, Culture, and Ecotourism
This course focuses on how understandings of nature are shaped by culture, and takes advantage of the location in Costa Rica to explore how “natural” and “cultural” features are brought together in Costa Rican society. Some highlighted topics include ecotourism and sustainable development, food and culture, art and community, local and global understandings of landscape and nature, and dilemmas of social change connected with globalization. Students learn by engaging with theoretical and ethnographic texts, developing a comparative perspective, and participating in many opportunities for on-site research projects. Using a sociological framework and research skills, they explore how local and global patterns intersect in complex ways in specific settings. They are also invited to reflect on transformations in their own “culturally filtered” experience of nature, and on their role as global travelers.

BIOL 106 - Neotropical Biology (NS-L)
An introduction to the diversity, structure, function, and history of tropical ecosystems.  Course is taught during the summer semester in Costa Rica.  Students who take this course cannot also receive credit for BIOL 102 Natural History.

SPAN 200 - Legends of the Hispanic World (CS, SB)
This course is designed to move you away from "knowledge" of the language and expertise in using isolated skills into a practical and fluid use of the language where you synthesize your skills. The highlight of this learning will be the summaries of the six legends that we will be reading in oral and written form as well as the creation of your own legend based on your experience in Costa Rica. Prerequisites: Spanish 120 or equivalent level.

Students will choose 2 of the 3 courses.


San Luiscabin viewview from the porch

Students and faculty will live and study at Ecolodge San Luis, a field station located in north-central Costa Rica. The station is located near the Quaker community of Monteverde and the famed rainforest preserves of the area. The Ecolodge is part of the San Luis valley community and is closely involved with the local people in regulating farming, ecotourism, and development activities. It provides an excellent opportunity for students to become immersed in a Spanish-speaking culture. Day trips are possible to other areas of the country including the capital, San Jose, nearby volcanoes, and the historical site of Santa Rosa. The people occupying the valley are mostly engaged in farming, growing coffee and sugar, and raising milk cattle for the local dairy. Some residents supplement their income with ecotourism activities. The field station and local residents work together to promote development activities that do not adversely affect life in San Luis. The community living here provides students with frequent and significant interaction in a Spanish-speaking culture. Surrounding much of San Luis valley are many natural reserves including the Monteverde Cloud Forestand the Children’s Rain Forest which allow for detailed study of tropical environments.

The Program


The semester is open to students at any level and from any discipline and is coded for Odyssey Global Awareness (GA) and Service to the World (SW) credit.

The Cost

Tuition and fees for the 2014 Summer Semester in Costa Rica will be $5500 plus the cost of airfare.

  • Deposit of $800 will be due on (to be announced) and should be paid at the business office.
  • Balance of course fees is due (to be announced).
  • Air fare is (pending).

Program charges include:

    *all transportation, all meals and lodging in Costa Rica,
    *health & travel insurance, and field trips to national parks and places of cultural interest

     Personal spending money is the responsibility of the student.
     Homestays are available with local families, at an additional cost of $13.00 per night.


Course Schedule

June 1, 2014

Flight to San Jose transfer to San Luis

June 1 - July 11, 2014


July 12, 2014

Final exams

July 13, 2014

Flight home

All Hendrix policies regarding student conduct apply during the Summer Semester in Costa Rica.


Dr. Matthew D. Moran
DW Reynolds Center for Life Science
Room 215
501-450-3814 Fax 501-450-4547