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Costa Rica: Ecotourism Destinations

costa rica ecotour Hiking Stop 700 x 315

The Patton School of Education's Department of Recreation and  Sport Pedagogy department at Ohio University are sponsoring this exciting winter study abroad experience to the adventure and eco-tourism capital of Latin America, Costa Rica.

This unique opportunity will allow students to develop leadership skills and greater self-efficacy by exploring the diverse ecosystems of Costa Rica through adventure based activities. Students will problem solve by navigating through the rainforest and pristine jungle rivers of central Costa Rica. Participants will rappel off of waterfalls, wander through hidden caves and get a better understanding of environmental responsibility by listening to local residents share their knowledge of Costa Rican flora and fauna.

Students will learn the basics of whitewater rafting on the Savegre River, camping and hiking in the pristine rainforest ecosystems, and surfing at Manuel Antonio National Park. In addition to gaining technical outdoor skills, students will get the chance to relax on sandy white beaches, travel amongst monkeys, iguanas, sloths and tropical birds, and practice their Spanish as they stay with local families, immersing themselves in Costa Rican culture and daily life.

Students will learn about the seven principles of ecotourism according to Martha Honey's book "Ecotourism and Sustainable Development: Who Owns Paradise?" Students will also engage in reflective reading and writing about the ecotourism industry in Costa Rica.

To learn more about this program, check out this presentation.


Program dates

2019 Program dates: 1/1/2020 - 1/11/2020


Application Deadline: October 1, 2019

Eligibility and selection process

This program is open to all OHIO undergraduate students with a minimum 2.5 GPA.

Students who will be on probation at any point during the program for a conduct offense that took place less than a calendar year from the program start date may not study abroad.  Click here to read the entire conduct policy.

All applicants will be required to sign this waiver as a condition of their acceptance into the program.

Applicants must be matriculated OHIO students. Non-OHIO applicants must have successfully completed high school or its equivalent.

Living arrangements

Participants will live in homestays with Costa Rican families. Students will be provided with breakfast and dinner each day in the homestay. These meals will be traditional Costa Rican cuisine where students will have the opportunity to help with the meal preparation.

Courses and credits

Students will receive 3 OHIO credit hours for REC 4560: Ecotourism Destinations.


OHIO Undergraduate Student Budget Worksheet 19-20

OHIO Graduate Student Budget Worksheet 19-20

Find out about scholarships, using your financial aid and more for this program.

Non-resident surcharge waived for this program.

Additional Information on Costa Rica

To learn more about this study abroad destination, please visit the CIA World Factbook.

Health and safety

Ohio University Office of Global Opportunities suggests you follow the recommendations  of the Centers for Disease Control for healthy travel to your destination.

Please familiarize yourself with these recommendations and requirements prior to applying to a program.

Refer to the State Department site  for information related to safety and security at this destination.

Also refer to  International SOS  for information related to safety and security at this destination. To log in to the International SOS website, please use the OHIO membership IS: 11BCAS000010.

Requesting accessibility accommodations

If you plan to participate in an Ohio University-sponsored study abroad program and wish to request accommodation, you should contact the  Office of Student Accessibility Services  to schedule an appointment to complete an  Global Opportunities Disability Accommodation Request Form. We recommend you do this as early as possible to allow sufficient time to determine what accommodations may be made for this program.

Entry and exit requirements

U.S. citizens are required to have a valid U.S. passport when traveling outside of the United States. If you plan to study or travel abroad in the next year, apply for your passport now

Some countries also require a visa to legally enter and reside in the country.  Entry and exit requirements for this country can be found here

US citizens  may need  a visa or other special documents to enter the country for the length of this program. You may need to show sufficient funds to support yourself while in-country. Please also note that visa requirements may vary if you plan to stay in the country longer than the program dates or travel to other countries during or after the program. Please familiarize yourself with these recommendations and requirements prior to applying to a program.

For more specific visa related information please visit OGO's  Visa Information Page .

Information for NON-US citizens can be found  here.

For more information on this program contact:

Danny Twilley
Program Director
Tel: (740) 597-3109

Emily Englehart  
Global Programs Coordinator | Office of Global Opportunities  
Email:  eengleha@ohio.edu






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