Office of International Programs

Hendrix-in-Costa Rica

Costa Rica '15A memorable and unique learning experience in a Latin American environment.

cr5The 6-week summer Costa Rica program is led by Hendrix professors and offered every other summer.  Students experience the natural splendor and are exposed to the exciting culture of Costa Rica, which is a stable, safe, and democratic country located in Central America.

The goal of this program is to provide students an academically vigorous study opportunity in a Latin American country.  



Each student will take two of the following three courses:

BIOL 101: Concepts in Biology: Tropical Field Botany (NS-L).  

Dr. Ann Willyard  Dr. Ann Willyard
This course will introduce students to the plant species and ecosystems of northwestern Costa Rica during the Summer Semester. We will study plant morphology, plant taxonomy, evolutionary principles, and ecological interactions using the New World pre-montane and cloud forests of the San Luis Field Station as our field sites.

This will be a theme-based course that uses hands-on exploration to lead our study of how evidence-based science is used to understand life on earth. Our four big themes will be plant structure, secondary compounds, photosynthesis, and life as an epiphyte. We will take advantage of the rich plant diversity at the San Luis Field Station to learn how to identify native plant species and how they interact with fungi, insects, birds, and mammals. For example, we will learn what purpose each floral characteristic provides – does it attract pollinators or protect seeds? A visit to a local coffee plantation will form the basis for our exploration of secondary compounds (caffeine in this example) that are desired by humans. Why do plants manufacture these compounds that are medicinal and/or toxic to humans? We will visit a local sugar refinery to lead into our study of photosynthesis. All plants create sugar via photosynthesis – why does this big grass species (sugar cane) make so much sugar? Many plant species live in the Costa Rican rainforest as epiphytes (attached to the upper branches of huge tropical trees) and their roots never reach the soil. How do they get their nitrogen and phosphorous? How do their seeds get dispersed so that their offspring can grow attached to another tree branch?

ANTH 235: Peoples and Cultures of Latin America (CW, SB)

Dr. Stacey Schwartzkopf   Dr. Schwartzkopf
An overview of culture and social life in Latin America with some historical context. Topics examined include the legacy of European colonialism, indigenous cultures, and the influence of the contemporary global economy and transnational migration. Both ethnographic representations and hands-on research are used to learn about this diverse and fascinating region.”

HIST 425: Topics in European History: Early Modern Travel Literature (HP pending)  

Dr. Sasha Pfau   Dr. Sasha Pfau 
This course will examine early modern European travel literature about the New World, considering how they drew their expectations from medieval antecedents and how they either clung to or departed from them when faced with new landscapes and peoples. We will read the journals of Christopher Columbus along with later accounts of Spanish exploration in New Spain. Students will also journal about their own experiences traveling from Arkansas to Costa Rica, and consider the ways that their own preconceptions and expectations are confirmed or challenged by their experiences living abroad.   (HP Pending)

cr3Courses are taught in English.  


As these are Hendrix courses, grades will appear on the student’s transcript and DO figure into the cumulative GPA.  Students can also receive Global Awareness (GA) Odyssey credit. 


The estimated cost for the 2017 program is $5,950, plus the cost of airfare. Program charges include meals and lodging in Costa Rica, health and travel insurance, and field trips to national parks and places of cultural interest.

Financial Aid

cr1Federal aid may apply. Students are encouraged to verify their situation through the Hendrix Financial Aid Office.


You will be housed with other students and faculty at the Ecolodge San Luis (owned and operated by the University of Georgia) in the heart of the beautiful Tilarán mountain range, minutes from the cloud forest and a few hours from the beach.  The cabins are relatively new, and include bunk-style rooms with indoor bathrooms and hot showers.  The average temperature is 70° F.

The Ecolodge has a full-serve kitchen, where local women and men prepare three hearty meals a day, much of which comes from locally grown food.  The meals are vegetarian and vegan friendly. 

The closest town, Santa Elena, is 20 minutes away, and has grocery stores, restaurants, and a pharmacy. 

Costa Rica, 2015

Academic Calendar

Dates for 2018 Summer Semester:

June 3-July 16   

For More Information