The goal of this program is to help students develop cultural awareness and problem solving skills as well as provide students the opportunity to conduct international sustainable service leaning projects. We achieve these goals through a variety of course work, including regular guided discussions of the assigned study topics, student’s experience and thoughts about the field trips, and guided tours to the cultural and historical sites, as well as conducting service learning projects and staying with local families (homestay).
The start of this program begins in San Jose, but the group will move on to the world-famous EARTH University soon after. A major benefit of staying at EARTH University is the interaction between the OSU and EARTH students who are from various tropical countries around the world as well as access to their many educational farms (cacao, coffee, banana, and livestock). While at EARTH, students will be able to witness the education that takes place at and prepare for their service-learning projects. The projects take place in a partner community that EARTH is assisting through development efforts and includes a 2-3 day home stay with a local family. Examples of past projects include building a bio-digester, creating urban gardens, constructing mobile chicken coups, assisting with school renovations, or writing project manuals in English for other English-speaking groups that visit EARTH University. Students will eat in the cafeteria with the EARTH students and have ample opportunity to make new friends from around the world.
It isn’t all work and no play, the program will also visit Cahuita National Park, a 2,711 acre national park with hiking trails and a beach on the Caribbean coast. The plant and animal diversity in Cahuita is one of the highlights of the program. At this and other locations students will have the opportunity to hike and enjoy the beauty of Costa Rican ecosystems. Other past tours have included Arenal Volcano, the Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica, home of celebrity sloth “Buttercup”, various marketplaces and historic sites throughout the country.
Upon completion of the education abroad in Costa Rica and the campus based course, students will be able to identify and analyze the impact of sustainable technology on a developing country, study practical and sustainable solutions that involve service partnerships with the local entity or community (EARTH University, Costa Rica), and synthesize the theory and practice of service-learning within a community and/or global context.
This program is offered annually.
Students will land in capital city of San Jose and travel to Limon where they will be hosted by EARTH University (Escuela Agricultura Region Tropical Humeda). They will then move into a rural community to live with a family and provide services and visit other locations throughout Costa Rica. The program typically ends in a coastal area to allow for enjoyment of the natural beauty and beaches.
Students will stay in modest hotels in shared rooms for most of the program, but will also spent two nights with a host family specifically trained by EARTH University to receive guests and teach them about sustainable development in rural Costa Rica.
Education Abroad Coordinator
Courses and Credit
Admitted participants are required to register in 3 hours of FAES 3797 for spring 2018 for both the pre-departure portion of the course and the Costa Rica portion of the course. The course will meet on Fridays from 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. leading up to the program and once or twice after spring break.
In order to be eligible to apply to this program, students must have a 2.0 Cumulative GPA, and must meet OIA's General Eligibility Requirements and Conditions for Participation. Students also must participate in an individual or group interview after the program application deadline, and details about the interview will be sent to students by the program coordinator after the program application deadline.
Please note that upon application, a $150 application fee will be assessed. The application fee will be refunded only if the applicant is not accepted or a written request to withdraw the application is submitted prior to the application deadline.
Passports are required for every Ohio State education abroad program. For many study abroad destinations, passport information is required to apply for an entry visa (as early as 6 months prior to departure). For information about apply for a passport, go to travel.state.gov.
Students are responsible for paying The Ohio State University tuition plus a $3,174 program fee. The program fee will include international airfare, all meals in country during the program, in country transportation and lodging, and all program related field trips. It will not cover any personal expenses related to this program (e.g. passport, etc.), or baggage fees.
If a students withdraw or become ineligible any time 11 days after the acceptance notification, they will be held responsible for a cancellation fee. Please refer to OIA's Cancellation Policy.
Student should begin researching funding opportunities before they have been accepted into a study abroad program. Grants and Scholarship deadlines may occur before the study abroad program application deadline.