SFS COSTA RICA: SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT STUDIES (SEMESTER)
- Terms: Fall, Spring
- Credits: 18 semester-hour credits
- Prerequisites: One semester of college-level ecology, biology, or environmental studies/science; 18 years of age
- Application Deadline: Rolling admissions. Early applications encouraged
- Financial Aid: All accepted students can apply for need-based scholarships, grants, and loans
Costa Rica is home to lush rainforests, towering volcanoes, rushing waterfalls, and a laid-back culture embodied by the national motto: “Pura Vida.” Spend a semester in the country’s many national parks, farms, and tropical ecosystems studying conservation, development, and innovative strategies for sustainability. Design and conduct an extensive field research project, collecting data and presenting your results to your peers and key community stakeholders.
- Explore the cloud forests of Monteverde, home to 2.5 percent of the world’s biodiversity, to study tropical ecology and sustainable land management.
- Take a weeklong expedition to Panama’s Chiriquí Highlands, a lush, forested region of volcanic peaks, coffee farms, rich Ngäbe-Buglé culture, and perpetual spring-like weather.
- Go behind the scenes at a local coffee farm and sustainable permaculture homestead to learn how Costa Ricans have successfully combined agriculture and conservation.
SFS students live and study at the Center for Sustainable Development Studies. The Center is an active organic farm overlooking the vibrant Central Valley, where green is the predominant color as far as the eye can see. Dorms and classrooms intermingle with orchards and gardens, while Center dog Hera keeps watch over it all. The friendly town of Atenas is a 10-minute cab ride away, offering restaurants, shops, parks, and cultural events.
- Climate change and tropical ecosystems
- Agroforestry and conservation
- Avian behavior
- Urban ecology
- Sustainable ecotourism
- Carbon sequestration
- Biodiversity assessment
- Songbird mist-netting
- Forest soundscape survey
- Basic Spanish language
- Research design and implementation
- Data collection and analysis
- Research presentation
CONNECT WITH SFS
Visit the SFS website
Call the Admissions Hotline at 800.989.4418
Read updates from the field on the SFS Blog
Follow SFS on Instagram
Watch student videos on YouTube
Ohio State works in cooperation with the School for Field Studies, the oldest and largest educational institution in the United States exclusively dedicated to teaching and engaging undergraduates in environmental problem solving. SFS programs teach resource management, ecological, and economic concepts using an interdisciplinary, hands-on approach. Critical issues addressed by SFS teams include preserving entire ecosystems or individual species, balancing economic development and conservation and finding ways to manage and maintain wildlife, marine and agricultural resources. Faculty lectures and readings provide the theoretical information while field work and practical, interdisciplinary activities enable hands-on experience. The 30-day summer course concentrates on one general lecture-format class. The semester course covers four classes. Each program includes a field research component during which students design and conduct a field project related to a current issue in the community being studied.
All programs are held on Atenas, Costa Rica.
Students will stay at the SFS Center for Sustainable Development Studies. Please see fieldstudies.org for more specific details on the accommodations.
Ohio State Program Contact
Would you like to schedule an appointment? Click here to request one.
Courses and Credits
Each course a student takes abroad, regardless of the grade received or how course credit counts toward degree requirements, must:
- Be approved via the credit evaluation process; students are strongly encouraged to do this prior to submitting their applications.
- Transfer back to the student’s Ohio State record.
- Be completed for graded Ohio State credit. This grade will be factored into the student’s GPA.
Completion of the credit evaluation process does not guarantee the availability of the course abroad. Students are encouraged to have multiple back-up courses approved. Students who cancel their participation for failure to secure approval for desired course work will be subject to the cancellation policy
Admitted participants are required to register themselves in the temporary study abroad placeholder course, ARTSSCI 5797. Further instructions will be provided upon admission to the program.
In order to be eligible to apply for this program, students must be in good academic standing and meet OIA's General Eligibility Requirements
and Conditions for Participation
. Students are strongly recommended to have completed two years of college-level Russian prior to departure, but students with two or three completed semesters will be considered. All students will also be required to participate in on-campus pre-departure orientations organized by the Office of International Affairs.
This semester program will offer 18 semester hours.
In order to be eligible to apply for this program, students must meet the SFS program-specific eligibility requirements and meet OIA's General Eligibility Requirements and Conditions for Participation. All students will also be required to participate in on-campus pre-departure orientations organized by the Office of International Affairs.
Students may not graduate during the same term in which they are participating on a third party provider/direct enroll program.
Applicants are required to submit TWO applications:
1. OIA education abroad application (start at the "Apply Now" at the bottom or top of this page);
2. SFS application.
IMPORTANT: Both applications must be submitted by the Ohio State application deadline.
Passports are required for every Ohio State study 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 applying for a passport, go to travel.state.gov
Students will pay the SFS program fee and GeoBlue International insurance fee. A waiver of tuition for Ohio State students that participate on university-approved third party provider or direct enroll programming is in effect until June 30, 2021. The SFS program fee includes tuition, housing and on-site orientation. Airfare, books and supplies, personal expenses and independent travel are not included in the program fee.
If students withdraw or become ineligible any time 11 days after the acceptance notification from OSU, they will be held responsible for a $200 cancellation fee. Please refer to OIA's Cancellation Policy
Students should begin researching funding opportunities
before they have been accepted into a study abroad program. Grants and Scholarships
deadlines may occur before the study abroad program application deadline.
Students who receive or are eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant are encouraged to apply for the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program
. This program is Gilman eligible. Interested students should first verify their existing award package and make an appointment with Student Financial Aid as needed. After researching the scholarship, students wishing to apply for the Gilman International Scholarship should be in touch with the listed education abroad coordinator to begin working on a competitive application.
Please review this information about the Zika Virus
and other pre-travel health considerations.
U.S. Department of State: travel.state.gov
(travel advisories/country specific safety information)
Centers for Disease Control: cdc.gov/travel
(pre-travel health guidance)
Ohio State reserves the right to change without notice any statement contained herein, concerning but not limited to rules, policies, tuition, fees, curricula and courses. In the event of a change to an existing U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory, CDC Travel Health Notice or other risk designated criteria
, the Office of International Affairs reserves the right to cancel any program prior to departure or while in progress. Discrimination against any individual based upon protected status, which is defined as age, ancestry, color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, HIV/AIDS status, military status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status, is prohibited.