Application Deadline & Fee

*The $75 application fee is non-refundable

Program Dates

July 6  - July 22, 2020
2 weeks

Program Details

Delight in the beautiful, diverse flora and fauna of tropical rain forests, the awesome power and impact of plate tectonics, and the warm and friendly culture of Costa Rica as two UVU professors (biology and geology), working with a fun and knowledgeable Costa Rican guide and naturalist, lead you on an educational experience of a lifetime. Learn about the natural history of Costa Rica while you visit the various ecological zones and the geological features of this active volcanic arc system.

Some of our exciting activities include: hiking around volcanoes and lava flows in the famous Arenal region; whitewater rafting on the world-renowned Pacuare River; trekking to gorgeous secluded waterfalls, exhilarating zip lines through the rain forest canopy, and water slides under howler monkeys at Rincon de la Vieja; swimming in the Pacific Ocean and snorkeling over coral reefs in the Caribbean Sea; studying the incredible night insects and reptiles of the forest; observing huge crocodiles in the Tarcoles River; glimpsing the lovely and secretive Quetzal in its native high mountain habitat; and having the rare opportunity to witness sea turtle s nesting on the beach. All this, and more! Spectacular flora and fauna will amaze you as you traverse Costa Rica from coast to coast.

This trip is intellectually rigorous and physically demanding - and very likely the most fun you will ever have in a college course.

Program Sites:

  • San Jose, Costa Rica
  • Various locations in Costa Rica

Anticipated Curriculum

*Students are expected to enroll in one course for this study abroad.

GEO 204R or BIOL 204 - Natural History Excursion
Prerequisite(s): None Listed

BIOL 490R - "Neotropical Biology and Geology" Special Topics in Geology
Prerequisite(s): BIOL 1620 and University Advanced Standing*

GEO 495R - Independent Study
Prerequisite(s): GEO 1010, GEO 1015, and University Advanced Standing*

*University Advanced Standing - 24 credits completed, GPA 2.0 or higher MAT 1030 and ENGL 2010 or equivalent.

Program Requirements*

Must be 18 years of age at the time of departure

Minimum G.P.A.: 2.0

Physical requirements: Significant amount (up to multiple kilometers) of daily hiking on very uneven surfaces, not wheelchair accessible. Riding in a mini -bus is required. Riding in a small motorized boat is required. Rafting and snorkeling will likely also be required, contingent partly on availability and conditions. Zip lining is an OPTIONAL activity -- in other words, it is NOT required. Refrigerators not always available. Facilities in some locations will be basic but still safe.

*Accessibility services vary from country to country. Contact the Office of Global Engagement if you require such services.

Estimated Program Fee*

The program fee covers housing, most meals, course instruction, in-country transportation, international health insurance.


*This cost is tentative and based on the current exchange rate and program plans. This cost may be updated due to exchange-rate fluctuations or program changes. Fee may drop depending on the number of students that enroll.

Additional Estimated Costs

The student is responsible for these additional costs
UVU tuition ($465 for 3 credits at $165 per credit hour)
Airfare (approx $800)
Country Exit Fee (approx $29)
Discretionary spending (approx $50)
Optional Activity (approx $60 for zipline)
Passport (approx $135)
All students are required to pay a $75 non-refundable application fee.


There are some scholarship opportunities that are available from UVU and nationally. These scholarships are competitive and have varing application dates. Please click on the following here for more information.

Financial Aid & Employee Tuition Waivers

Pell Grants and Federal Insured Student Loans may be applied to the program, based on eligibility. Speak to a Financial Aid Advisor for more information (BA 105). 

Employee Tuition Waivers (for dependents of UVU employees) may be used for Study Abroad tuition. See Human Resources for more information.

Program Director

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Program Director

Travel Report

Students are strongly encouraged to read the U.S. State Department’s country information webpage for the most up-to-date information on travel advisories, entry, exit, and visa requirements, safety, security, health, and other important travel factors.