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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Alajuela, Costa Rica; Altamira, Costa Rica; Barrigones, Costa Rica; Monteverde, Costa Rica; Tarcoles, Costa Rica
  • Program Terms: Winter
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Minimum GPA: 2.5 Language of Instruction: English
Areas of Study: Physical or Life Sciences, Environmental Studies, Recreation Program Type: Ithaca College Short-Term
Domestic or Abroad: Study Abroad Program
Program Description:
Sustainable Tourism in Costa Rica
Photo Collage 9-6-23
This course fulfills the ICC Social Sciences (SO) perspective for all students. 

What is sustainable tourism? 
… a way of traveling that protects and maintains balance with nature while contributing to the well-being, economy, and culture of local communities 
Travel for 15 days to learn why Costa Rica has won international awards for their sustainability efforts. We will focus on the country’s natural beauty and how sustainable tourism has helped remote local communities develop economic self-sufficiency. We will visit five different areas of Costa Rica, staying in lodges run by local Costa Ricans that use sustainable methods to operate (organic farming, alternative energies, community involvement) while participating in fun, educational outdoor activities such as kayaking, hiking, beach time, and touring a coffee plantation and organic chocolate farm. Our naturalist guide is trained in tropical wildlife biology and will interpret the natural environment for us and the cultural aspects of Costa Rica. Be prepared to see monkeys, coatis, exotic birds, and, if we are lucky, a sloth or two! 

Academic Requirements: Two class sessions will be arranged during the second half of the Fall 2024 semester so everyone can meet each other, learn about the course, and prepare for the trip to Costa Rica in January 2025. Prior to the trip, students will complete readings on Costa Rica and sustainability, write reflections on them, and develop a short presentation on an aspect of Costa Rica to share with the other students. On the trip, students will maintain a journal as well as document sustainable practices used by the ecolodges we visit. The final project is a creative endeavor of the student's choosing inspired by their time in Costa Rica. The projects will be shared with the class at an informal potluck reunion at the beginning of the Spring 2025 semester. (Grades will be submitted upon completion of the final project.)

Important Dates
Trip Dates: January 3 - 17, 2025 
Application deadline: October 2024 (TBD) ($35 application fee)
Deposit deadline: October 2024 (TBD)  ($500 deposit)
Final payment: November 2024 (TBD)

Estimated Costs:
Trip:  $3,025 (includes all lodging, some meals, guides, transport, park admissions, and travel insurance - estimate based on 10 students enrolled)
Winter Session Tuition: $625/credit x 3 credits = $1,875
Airfare: $800-$1,000 (estimate - students purchase their own flights) 

This study abroad experience is offered through the course, RLS 27700 Sustainable Tourism (3 cr.). Upon completing your application and final payment, the Office of International Programs will register you for the course.

Program Brochure
Program Itinerary

For more information, please contact the instructor Dr. Linda Heyne at