Study abroad with Penn State—in Costa Rica
Penn State Abington's degree programs in Biology and Recreation, Park and Tourism Management introduce you to foundational concepts in these discovery-based disciplines beginning inside the classroom.
This course, Conserving Biodiversity and Cultural Diversity Utilizing Ecotourism and Other Recreational Strategies, seeks to explore the ties between cultural diversity, biodiversity, and sustainable tourism management in a global context. Through tangible field experiences and exposure to global innovative practices at diverse outdoor recreation, cultural heritage, and biodiversity sites, you will gain new perspectives that can help prepare you for challenges in your career.
During your journey, you will juxtapose and reflect on cultural variances beyond American borders that can transform you through invaluable insights unattainable at a local level. Costa Rica, with its myriad natural resources, outdoor amenities, and tourism attractions, provides the perfect backdrop. Its tropical rainforests, volcanoes, national parks, and commercial recreation sites offer safe avenues for you to contextualize course concepts in real-world settings. Furthermore, you will gain a deeper understanding of sustainability in natural resource management by scrutinizing local policies, interacting with park managers, and observing on-ground practices.
Travel Itinerary (subject to change)
- Day 1 Flights arrive in San Jose
- Walking tour of city, group dinner
- Day 2 Morning in Cartago with university partners at University of San Jose
- Afternoon exploring San Jose urban parks and trails including La Sabana and Metropolitan Park
- Visit San Jose Central Market
- Day 3 & Day 4 Arenal Volcano National Park
- Meeting with managers and recreation partners at national parks.
- Day 5 & Day 6 Day trip to Monteverde Cloud Forest from Arenal
- Day 7 Drive to Quepos
- Explore Quepos and tour a resort
- Meeting with resort managers
- Day 8 Day trip from Quepos to Manuel Antonio National Park
- Meeting with national park leadership
- Explore beach towns
- Day 9 Visit La Selva Biological station
- Day 10 Return to San Jose and fly home
International program costs, estimated at $2,500–$3,500 (subject to change), will be applied to your bursar account upon enrollment in the course, and are charged in addition to tuition paid. Grants and scholarship monies may be retroactively available through Penn State. Underwriting for each program is provided by Penn State Abington to maximize opportunities for our students to study abroad. Program costs include round-trip airfare, local ground transportation, all lodging, and some meals.
Non-U.S. citizens may require a visa in addition to their passport. Non-U.S. citizens should consult their embassy for information and may ask the Office of Global Programs for guidance.
About Embedded Courses
Traditionally, “study abroad” meant that students spent a semester in another country and attended classes at an accredited university. Short-term, faculty-led courses with an international travel component are viable alternatives as they offer solid academic international experiences at a reasonable cost with a reduced time commitment.
Students who are enrolled in a course within a faculty-led embedded course are taking an internationally focused class that includes a ten-day travel component. These study abroad programs are anchored on Penn State Abington’s campus with travel occurring over fall or spring break. Course material and lectures prepare students both academically and culturally for the short international excursion to the country of focus in the program.
Penn State Abington is committed to providing meaningful opportunities to study abroad. Exposure to other cultures is a vital step toward becoming a global citizen.
The goal of the courses with an international travel component is to embed the students into the life and culture of the university and the country they visit. Therefore, including international faculty and students at the host institution in academic and cultural activities is a highly regarded and critical component of all of Abington’s faculty-led programs.