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SFS: Costa Rica, Sustainable Development Studies (Third Party)

The Program

The School for Field Studies (SFS) is working to develop sustainable management models that protect the biodiversity of the country’s ecosystems while promoting socio-economic benefits for its people. Students may study such topics as organic agriculture and protected area management strategies, with the importance of conservation evident in the splendor of the surrounding cloud forests, rainforests, volcanoes and beaches. Researchers may wish to collaborate with our faculty on topics pertaining to tropical ecology, sustainable development and resource management.

The Academics

Semester students are registered in four academic courses accredited through Boston University: Tropical Ecology and Sustainable Development (4 credits), Economic and Ethical Issues in Sustainable Development (4 credits), Principles of Resource Management (4 credits), Directed Research (4 credits), and Language, Culture and Society of Costa Rica.

In order to earn credit at UConn for courses completed on this program, individual courses must be approved by a designated UConn course evaluator and assigned a UConn course number. Complete instructions for this process can be found under Academics.

This list of course equivalents indicates courses that other students have taken in the past. It does not guarantee that they will be available when you participate in the program. If you want to take a course that is not on the list below, go to the horizontal navigation bar on the Education Abroad homepage; click on “Academics” to access information on the course accreditation process.General Education course substitution: your school or college will decide if specific study abroad courses can be used to fulfill General Education Requirements. You will need to individually petition your school for the substitution.  For exact information, go to “Academics” and “Gen Ed Substitution”.

 Note: All study abroad courses have to be assigned a UConn course department number by faculty departmental evaluators before they can be posted and later considered for any minor, major, gen ed, or elective credit.

UConn Dept. and # University Course Title Foreign # Foreign Course Credits Accreditation Expiration Date
EEB 3893 Foreign Study 3520 Sustaining Tropical Ecosystems: Biodiversity, Conservation, and Development 4 12/31/2021
EEB 3893 Foreign Study 4930 Applied Research Techniques and Strategies Toward Sustainability in Costa Rica 4 12/31/2021

The Experience

Our field station is a small farm on a hillside with spectacular views overlooking the Rio Grande River in the fertile Central Valley. The property includes a large house surrounded by small faculty cabins, an outdoor classroom, an organic garden, orchard, a patio and pool. Students live in a brand new dormitory (up to 4 to a room) with bathrooms. There is a classroom, small laboratory and a library/computer room. We look out over green hillsides dotted with farms growing coffee, mangoes, bananas and citrus. The field station is part of the small neighborhood of La Presa/Los Angeles. The friendly town of Atenas is a short walk from the field station while Costa Rica’s tropical forests, beaches, mountains and volcanoes are within a day’s travel.


Dr. Paul B. Goodwin, Jr. endowed Study Abroad Scholarship
One of the first UConn majors in Latin American Studies, Mr. Bruce Lane remembers how traveling in Argentina impacted and transformed his life. To assist new students in having similar opportunities, Mr. Lane has generously established the Dr. Paul B. Goodwin, Jr. Endowed Study Abroad Scholarship in honor of his mentor, Emeritus Professor of History, Paul Goodwin, Jr. The purpose of the Fund is to support University students participating in Study Abroad programs to Latin American and the Caribbean. For more information contact Anne Gebelein: If a student withdraws from his/her study abroad program after being awarded the scholarship, UConn Education Abroad reserves the right to revoke the scholarship award.

Certain fees associated with this program will appear on your UConn fee bill. These fees are required in addition to the costs billed to you directly by the third party program provider. For exact information on these additional costs, please visit this program’s budget sheet by clicking the link below.

This program charges program fees and not tuition. This affects the types of financial aid that can be applied to defray the cost. Contact the UConn Office of Financial Aid Services for information regarding your individual financial aid package.

You may apply the following types of financial aid to the cost of this program: CT Aid for Public College Students Grant, Federal Title IV Funds including Pell Grant, SEOG, Stafford Loans, Perkins Loans, Parent Loans, and private scholarships.

You may not apply the following types of financial aid to the cost of this program: Federal Work Study, Tuition Remission Grant, University Grant, Tuition Waiver, and academic scholarships (such as Day of Pride, Nutmeg, Presidential, Leadership and Academic Excellence Scholarship).

Budget Sheets: Fall, Spring
The Details

  • Location: Atenas, Costa Rica
  • Terms: Fall, Spring
  • Homepage: Click to visit

Dates / Deadlines:

Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2018 10/02/2017 10/09/2017 TBD TBD
Fall 2018 03/08/2018 03/15/2018 TBD TBD

Fact Sheet:

Class status: 3rd Year, 4th+ Year Academic area: Sciences
Language of instruction: English Prior language study required: 1 semester
Open to non-UConn students: No Required GPA: 2.8