July 22 - August 5, 2019
(Depart from U.S.A. - Depart from host country)
This program studies Costa Rica’s high biological diversity as well as important natural resource management issues. Costa Rica is a world leader in conservation, having established a network of national parks and bio-reserves in response to past deforestation. In-depth visits to a number of such reserves will allow students to explore many facets of tropical biology-- learning species, documenting diversity, exploring ecological interactions and understanding the basic principles of conservation biology. Participants will travel through a diverse mix of land uses, relating these to the country’s varied soils and climate. Other topics include sustainable agriculture, ecotourism, climate change, and energy policy. Emphasis throughout the program will be on experiential learning in the field, group discussion, lectures from local experts, and journal-writing. This course is offered by the interdisciplinary Natural Resource and Environmental Science major in the College of Agriculture, Food & Environment.
For a sample of the day-by-day itinerary, click here!
- Visit four national parks and three bio-reserves to experience a variety of ecosystems, including coastal wetlands, lowland tropical rainforests, cloud forests, dry tropical forests, and active volcanoes.
- Visit a coffee cooperative to explore sustainable agricultural practices.
- Tour a banana plantation to understand large-scale export commodity agriculture.
- Explore a geothermal energy plant to see an increasingly important component of Costa Rica's renewable power generation.
This program is open to undergraduate students from all academic disciplines, however if space is limited, preference will be given to students in the Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences major.
For more information on how to apply to the University of Kentucky as a visiting student, go to UK Admissions. Non-UK students should consult with the program director prior to applying to ensure that they have the proper academic background for the course.
UK Faculty-Directed programs are conducted by University of Kentucky faculty and staff. UK GPA credits and grades will be awarded by the program director for the successful and timely completion of all required program activities and assignments, including any required on-campus meetings before or after the program's international travel.
- Undergraduates will enroll in NRE 320: section 720: Natural Resource and Environmental Analysis (3 credit hours)
- NRE 320 will fulfill a major requirement for all Natural Resource and Environmental Science (NRES) students
- If a student has already earned credit for NRE 320, alternate credit may be arranged by the faculty directors.
- This course is offered during summer II. NRES also offers a Kentucky-based NRE 320: section 010 which does not require international travel during summer I. If you apply and are accepted into this program, please be sure to register for the summer II course listed above (NRE 320: section 720)
- All students will be enrolled in EAP 599: Study Abroad (1 credit hour)
Housing & Meals
Students will reside in shared rooms in hotels or lodges while in Costa Rica. Breakfast will be provided each day. In addition, all meals will be provided while in Tortuguero, La Selva and Monteverde. A welcome and farewell meal will also be provided. Students will be responsible for the cost of all other meals on their own.
Costs and cancellation policies vary by program. Please see the "Program Costs and Budget" information page. Be sure to consider the associated UK costs, program specifications, and related travel expenses.
This program runs in collaboration with the University of Kentucky and WorldStrides ISA Custom Programs (ISA). Students will complete an application with UK Education Abroad (online, this website) and supplemental materials with ISA. The supplemental application materials are for administrative purposes and will be provided to all accepted students AFTER the UK application deadline.