Learning Abroad Center
close up of an iguana in Costa Rica

School for Field Studies Costa Rica

Americas

Experience Costa Rica, home to rainforests, volcanoes, rushing waterfalls, and a laid-back culture that reflects the national motto: “Pura Vida.” Explore the country’s many diverse parks, farms, and reserves to learn how Costa Ricans have balanced conservation and development issues.

Program Details

Location
Atenas, Costa Rica
Term
Fall Semester
Spring Semester
Summer Session
Housing
Dormitory
Credit Type
Resident Credit
Sponsor
School for Field Studies

Program Eligibility

GPA
2.8 for semester, 2.6 for summer
Student Type
UofM Students
Student Year
Freshmen
Sophomores
Juniors
Seniors
Language Prerequisite
No Language Prerequisite

Program Structure

This is an affiliate program. You receive resident credit for the courses you take. Your grades factor into your University of Minnesota GPA and each course appears on your transcript with an A/F grade. Consult the Learning Abroad Center's Academic Policies for more information.

The School for Field Studies creates transformative study abroad experiences through field-based learning and research. Their educational programs explore the human and ecological dimensions of the complex environmental problems faced by local partners, contributing to sustainable solutions in the places where students live and work.

Affiliate organizations and partner universities will not accept applications from UMTC students without the endorsement of the Learning Abroad Center. Students must participate in affiliate organization and partner university programs through the standard Learning Abroad Center application process.

Visit the School for Field Studies' website for specific program features and eligibility requirements.

Coursework

Course descriptions and full syllabi are available on the program page of SFS' website.

Semester Coursework

Sustainable Development Studies: Explore Costa Rica's many diverse parks, farms, and reserves to learn how Costa Ricans have balanced conservation and development issues. Wrap up the semester in the field, collecting data for a research project that will help inform future sustainability efforts.

You will enroll in five courses for a total of 18 credits:

  • SFS 2050: Language, Culture and Society of Costa Rica (2 credits)
  • SFS 3740: Principles of Resource Management (4 credits)
  • SFS 3770: Tropical Ecology and Sustainable Development (4 credits)
  • SFS 3820: Environmental Ethics and Development (4 credits)
  • SFS 4910: Directed Research (4 credits)

Summer Program & Coursework

Biodiversity and Sustainable Food Systems: Using coffee and chocolate as case studies, explore the relationships between food systems, ecology, conservation, and sustainability. Learn how different agricultural techniques have the potential to restore biodiversity and combat climate change. (SFS 3141: Coffee, Chocolate and Sustainable Development, 4 credits)

 

Dates Details

Visit your affiliate's website for program dates and application deadlines.

SFS grants admission to programs on a rolling basis as long as space is available, so there is no application deadline. You are welcome to apply for programs up to one year in advance of the program start date. Early submissions are strongly encouraged as some programs fill to capacity.

Orientation Dates & Locations

Orientation will be conducted in 2 parts: an online orientation, which is mandatory for all students, and an in-person session. You will receive more information about the online orientation via email. Failure to complete the online orientation will impact your ability to go abroad.

The date for the in-person Fall semester 2020 & Academic Year 2020-2021 orientation session is as follows:

Term Abroad Date/Time Location
Spring 2022 TBD TBD

Fees

University of Minnesota participants pay the program fee instead of on-campus tuition and fees for the term they are abroad.

How to Calculate the Total Program Fee

Affiliate Program Fee plus APAAC plus International Health Insurance minus Affiliate Fee Reduction equals Total program fee

To calculate your total program fee

Find your Affiliate program fee

For more specific information about fees, visit the School for Field Studies website.

UofM students on SFS programs receive an automatic fee reduction of $3,000 for semester, $600 for summer sessions 6 or more weeks in length and/or sequential summer programs, and $300 for summer sessions 4 weeks in length. UofM students can also take advantage of SFS's financial aid, in the form of scholarships, grants, and zero- or low-interest loans.

Add APAAC

Refer to the Affiliate Program Fees. Follow instructions on that page to determine your APAAC.

Add International Health Insurance

Multiply the number of months you will be away by $45.

Subtract Affiliate Fee Reduction

Visit the Affiliate Program Fees to determine the fee reduction you receive for being a University of Minnesota student.

What Is the APAAC?

Students participating on affiliated programs are charged a program fee that is inclusive of the affiliate's program fee, University of Minnesota Advising, Placement, Academic, and Administrative Costs (APAAC) and international health insurance.The APAAC covers:

  • application processing
  • advising services, orientation
  • course registration
  • grade transfer and posting for resident credit
  • program billing and assistance with financial aid (when applicable)

Based on these additional services and benefits, the total program fee may be higher than the affiliate's published program fee.

Billing & Payments

Visit Billing for information about the billing process for application fees, deposits, and program fees.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Visit Financial Information for information on using financial aid and scholarships for study abroad.

Each of our affiliated programs awards its own array of scholarships. While many are need-based, others are based on merit, location, academic area, or diversity criteria. Explore your options within specific affiliates' scholarship pages.

Cancellation Policy

Before you apply to or confirm your participation on this program, review the Learning Abroad Center's Cancellation Policy to inform yourself of the timeline and financial obligations for canceling

Prepare

Complete pre-application advising.

Apply

Submit to Learning Abroad Center:

  • School for Field Studies (SFS) Participation Approval

Submit to School for Field Studies:

  • School for Field Studies Online Application

Detailed descriptions and instructions for submitting each checklist item are included on the application checklist assigned to you.

The COVID-19 vaccine is now approved by the FDA and has been added to the list of required vaccinations for study abroad. We encourage you to complete your COVID-19 vaccine immediately.

You will be charged a $50 application fee for each application you submit.

Apply Now

Complete

After you submit your application, you will receive an email notification confirming that your application was received. Submitted applications are assigned an application checklist, which will include the following items:

Submit to Learning Abroad Center:

  • School for Field Studies (SFS) Participation Approval

Submit to School for Field Studies:

  • School for Field Studies Online Application

Detailed descriptions and instructions for submitting each checklist item are included on the application checklist assigned to you.

Next Steps

  1. Upon submitting the online application, you will receive an automated email message indicating your application was received.
  2. Follow the instructions on your application checklist to submit all of the items. Your application is not considered complete until all items on your application checklist are either received or waived.
  3. Complete the affiliate program's application requirements as applicable.
  4. Your completed application is reviewed by our program team. If nominated for participation, the Learning Abroad Center contacts the affiliate's staff to notify them of your status.
  5. You will be notified of an acceptance decision by email. If accepted, you will be assigned a confirmation checklist. Log in to the online application to review the confirmation checklist and submit the required items.
  6. Do not pay the affiliate’s confirmation deposit. The affiliate accepts the Learning Abroad Center’s deposit as indication of confirmation. The Learning Abroad Center deposit is submitted by completing the Confirmation and Payment Agreement found on the confirmation checklist assigned to you.
  7. If you decide not to continue with the application process, log in to the online application and submit a Cancel Request. You must also notify your affiliate of your cancellation.