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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Monteverde, Costa Rica
  • Program Terms:  
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Minimum GPA: 2.5 Class Eligibility: Junior, Senior, Sophomore
Academic Area/Focus: Biology, Environmental Studies, Latin American Studies Language Courses Offered: Spanish
Language Prerequisite: Spanish 1 semester Language of Instruction: English, Spanish
Program Description:

Costa Rica
Monteverde, Costa Rica

Monteverde is a small community of 4,000 that attracts up to 200,000 tourists each year, drawn by the incredible natural setting and unparalleled biodiversity. Its forest is located in the largest private reserve in Central America and reflects a long heritage of grassroots conservation. The reserve encompasses not only cloud forest but everything from dry forest to rain forest habitats. Monteverde’s forests house over 2,500 species of plants, including over 500 species of orchids. In addition, Monteverde has over 60 species of amphibians, 100 species of mammals and over 450 bird species, including the famed Resplendent Quetzal.

About the Program
Courses & Academic Focus
Money Matters
Application Information
Program Handbook


About the Program

HWS has an established partnership with CIEE, who will deliver the academic program and will oversee all logistical arrangements, including orientation, excursions, accommodations, and cultural programming. The CIEE Study Center in Monteverde is located at the edge of the forest in a small, bilingual community surrounded by a cloud forest.  Monteverde’s cloud forest has been studied for more than 25 years by both Costa Rican and visiting researchers. This widens the research opportunities available and acquaints students with practical issues associated with agricultural development, eco-tourism, and grassroots conservation efforts in developing countries.

Courses & Academic Focus

SPRING 2021 Courses

1. Choose TWO of the following THREE courses:

BIDS 232:  Diversity and Adaptation
In this course students will examine biological and cultural diversity in Costa Rica, past and present.  The focus of the course will be the importance of the physical and economic environments in influencing the adaptation and evolution of species and cultures. Readings for this class include Rival’s Trekking Through History, Kane’s Savages, Darwin’s The Voyage of the Beagle and Weiner’s The Beak of the Finch. 
PSY 244:  Latin American Psychology
Students will study psychology based on the perspectives, theories, and research of Latin American psychologists. Topics will include liberation psychology, the impact of colonialism and post-colonialism on Latin American psychology, Latin American indigenous psychology and ways of knowing, cultural identity in Latin America, and local psychological interventions. 
ANTH 354:  Food, Meaning and Voice
In this course we will use anthropological tools to study sociocultural meanings, practices, histories, politics, and economics of the foods Costa Ricans eat, cook, produce, and sell. We will seek to understand how the foods people eat (and those they do not) provide more than simply nourishment—they help to constitute social identities and group formation. Worldwide, we use the social “taste” of food to define and enforce class, race, and gender parameters. A central component of this course will be to cook and eat Costa Rican foods. We will also experience and assess food markets with an emphasis on labor and trade.

2. Spanish Language and Conversation
Students will be tested and placed at an appropriate level of instruction at the beginning of the program.

3. CIEE Elective
Students will be able to choose ONE course from either Open Campus Block II or Block III. You will find course offerings and descriptions on CIEE's own website here:

This program would be of particular interest to students of Latin American studies, anthropology, psychology, IR, environmental studies, food studies, and Spanish language and culture. 


This program is open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors in good academic and social standing with a minimum GPA of 2.50. Students must successfully complete at least 1 semester of college-level Spanish before departing for Costa Rica, or demonstrate equivalent competency. Due to the challenging nature of study abroad, student academic and disciplinary records will be carefully screened.


Students stay in the “bungalows” of the CIEE Global Institute campus in shared rooms with en suite bathrooms. Three simple, but hardy meals are served in the dining hall. The campus includes indoor and outdoor common areas for recreation and study and allows exclusive access to forest trails and gardens.
CR Volcano


Spring 2021 Costa Rica excursion specifics are still to be determined as COVID has required us to rethink what will be possible. But we anticipate that excursion activities might include hikes up volcanoes or to National Parks, archaeological sites, jungle canopy tours, and/or visits to Costa Rica’s pristine Pacific beaches.

Money Matters

Students will be charged standard HWS tuition and fees, room and board fees, and a $600 administrative fee. This will cover tuition for a five-course semester, housing, all meals, and program-related activities and excursions. Additional expenses not covered include airfare, books, visa, immunizations, and personal expenses (laundry, entertainment, and independent travel). We estimate airfare for this program at $700-$900 from the East Coast, books at $200, and visa/immunizations at $250. It is difficult to give an accurate estimate of personal expenses because student spending habits differ considerably. We would suggest a minimum of $1,250. However, students on a tight budget should be able to manage with less. If you are concerned about finances, we strongly encourage you to talk to the CGE staff who can offer information and advice based on your specific situation.

CIEE has supplemental scholarships available to students who have been accepted to the Monteverde program. Please see Amy Teel at the CGE for information on how to apply for these scholarships. 

Application Information

HWS students must complete all components of the Global Education application in order to be considered for admission to this program.

  • This program is offered Spring semester.
  • All components of the application must be submitted online by the published deadline. Specific deadline dates are set each semester and typically will be in October (for Fall programs) and March (for Spring programs).

Program Handbook

IMPORTANT: The handbook(s) below is/are the most recent handbook(s) published for this program. A new version, with updated information, will be made available each semester. Program participants will receive their updated handbook approximately 2-3 months prior to their program’s start date.


Please DO NOT MAKE TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS until you have received final confirmation of the program start/finish dates for the specific semester you are attending. Dates included in versions of the program handbook intended for previous semesters do not necessarily apply to future programs.

NOTE: The information above is subject to change. Please see the CGE for more information.                  

Resources for Smart Travelers 

Rick Steve's Packing Tips!

Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.