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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Mercedes, Costa Rica; San Jose, Costa Rica
  • Program Terms: Spring
  • Budget Sheets: Spring
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Program Description:

Photo Gallery

Photo slideshow coming soon!

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Program Overview

“Costa Rica: The Great Green Experiment” examines the history and current application of sustainable development in both theoretical and practical terms in Costa Rica. Students will be introduced in on-campus sessions to the history and policies which shaped Costa Rica’s transition from conventional extraction industry model of development to one that has become a model of sustainability. The 9-day experience in Costa Rica as part of Earth University will focus on the practical and often difficult application of sustainable polices. Our host in Coast Rica, Earth University, is renowned as a location of higher learning with an emphasis on rural sustainable and equitable development. Students will be both in the classroom on campus at Earth U. and also frequently in the field in mostly rural Costa Rica looking at the implementation of polices reviewed in the classroom both at WMU and at Earth University. 

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Location & Related Considerations

Earth University, Guicimo, Limon, Costa Rica

Given the rural nature of this trip, students should be able to comfortably walk a mile with luggage.

Accommodation for Disabilities/Special Needs:
Any student with a documented disability (e.g., physical, learning, psychiatric, vision, hearing, etc.) who needs to arrange reasonable accommodations must contact Disability Services for Students at (269) 387-2116 ahead of their term abroad. A disability determination must be made by this office before any accommodations are provided by the study abroad course's instructor. For more information, visit WMU Disability Services for Students.

Safety and Security:

Students are expected to research their country of destination to learn more about issues related to safety, security, and physical and mental health. For general information about Costa Rica, consult The CIA's World Factbook and the U.S. State DepartmentIf the state department has designated any travel destination as level 3 or higher, or if the travel destination(s) contain regions designated level 3 or higher, participants must sign a WMU travel waiver prior to travel. For specific information related to safety and security, consult OSAC (United States Department of State Bureau of Diplomatic Security). For advice concerning health issues and related concerns, consult Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Finally, once students receive a message that they have been enrolled, they can also use resources provided by WMU's International Health and Emergency Insurance provider, GeoBlue
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Academic Eligibility
Good academic standing. Minimum 2.0 GPA. Applications are evaluated on a variety of factors including GPA, area of study, statement of purpose, and time to graduation.

Academic Credit
Three credit hours of GIST (Global and International Studies) 3500.

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Cost & Financial Aid

To access the complete program budget published at the top of this page, click here. Students should bring a copy of the program budget when they meet with their financial aid advisor to discuss funding for study abroad.

Financial Aid
Students eligible for federal or state financial aid may use their awards for studying abroad.  After a student has been accepted to the program, they must complete required paperwork with WMU Financial Aid to apply financial aid to the program costs.  It is the student's responsibility to complete the paperwork prior to departure and to maintain compliance with financial aid regulations while studying abroad (i.e., remain enrolled full-time).  Non-WMU students must apply for financial aid through their home university.

Please note: Disbursement of financial aid may not coincide with the start date of the program abroad so plan ahead.  Some out-of-pocket costs may occur prior to financial aid disbursement for the semester, such as the commitment fee, passport, airfare, immunizations, visa or residence permit fees (if applicable).  These costs vary by program and WMU Study Abroad Specialists are available to answer questions about the program budget.

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Dormitories at Earth University and homestays associated with Earth University

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Day 1) Earth University pick up at Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose. Denner and lodging at Earth University along with an introduction to Costa Rica, Earth University, and the coming days itinerary, as well as a safety orientation

Day 2-4) Breakfast at Earth U. cafeteria followed by Earth U. workshops focused on urban sustainable farming, waste management, and local/national sustainability programs. Introductions and socializing with Earth U. students representing some 35 plus countries. English will the language of instruction and communication with Spanish translators available as needed.

Day 5-7) Breakfast at Earth U. cafeteria with fellow Earth U. students. Earth U. bus to the rural community of La Argentina de Pocara for homestays with Earth U. associated farming families as part of the greater rural tourism project in the Caribbean area of Costa Rica. Emphasis will be on experiencing local culture and sustainable economic practices in this rural setting.

Day 8) Earth U. transport from rural homestay to Poas Volcano, one of the biggest craters in the world, followed by lunch and a city tour of the capital, San Jose. Dinner at Mirador restaurant in San Jose. Overnight at Earth U. urban campus in San Jose

Day 9) Goodbyes and Earth U. send-off at Juan Santamaria Airport in San Jose. Return to U.S.

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Additional Resources

Program faculty director:
Professor Thomas Kostrzewa     
Phone: 269-598-5698

Program Co-Director
Lauren Carney   

WMU Study Abroad
Ryan Rounds
Study Abroad Specialist
Phone: (269) 387-5890
Location: 3306 Faunce

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This program is currently not accepting applications.