Tropical Marine Biology Field Study Available Sessions
$1,000 Flight Voucher when you apply with code by February 11, 2021
About the Program
Find yourself captivated by Costa Rica’s natural beauties and rich biodiversity! This program is designed for students of all language levels who are interested in exploring topics in Marine Biology in Costa Rica, a renowned leader in the field of environmental conservation. You’ll have the unique opportunity to build understanding of the region’s tropical characteristics, marine ecosystems, biodiversity and environmental issues through field trips and fieldwork.
Methodology includes online coursework that begins prior to travelling to Costa Rica and fieldwork once you arrive onsite.
- San Jose
- 12/7/20 - 1/21/21
- Apply by:
- Withdraw by:
- Application Requirements
- Transcript - Unofficial
- $95 Online Application Fee
- Complete Application
You’ll enroll in 1 VU Tropical Marine Biology course and earn 6 credits (20 online hours, 35 lecture hours, 35 field session hours, for a total of 90 contact hours).
The course has an online component and a fieldwork component. You’ll take 2 weeks of online coursework at home, plus 2.5 weeks of field sessions in Costa Rica. The online portion of the class will allow you to interact with your professor and classmates through Canvas, a virtual platform for Internet-based courses. Once in Costa Rica, you will officially meet your professor and classmates and together continue with the program. You’ll explore the topics exhibited during the online part in the field, visiting different marine habitats along the Costa Rican Pacific coast, including coral reefs, sandy and muddy beaches, mangroves and estuaries.
Upon confirmation of your participation in the program, we’ll register you in the module. Please consult with your academic advisor at your home university on credit pre-approval guidelines.
All Levels Course Structure
The host institution has offered the following courses in the past. Please note that course listings may not be finalized until the start of the term; we’ll post an updated list when the host institution finalizes its offerings.
*Courses with an asterisk indicate that the course has been associated with multiple subject areas.
Please click on the course title to view additional subject areas and detailed course information.
Get out and explore! Excursions are offered for most semester, year, and summer programs*. Semester students are typically offered between two to three excursions and summer study students are typically offered between one to two excursions. You'll receive a calendar of excursions during orientation; here are a few day and overnight excursions we've offered in the past.
Arenal Volcano and La Fortuna
Arenal Volcano is located next to La Fortuna, built in 1969 after the original town was destroyed by a huge eruption. On the way to La Fortuna, you’ll stop at Finca Don Juan, an organic farm where you’ll learn about organic products like cassava. Next enjoy a hike to La Fortuna Waterfall, where you can swim in cool waters hidden in the jungle. Finish your day with a visit to Baldi Hot Springs , where you can relax in the many water pools naturally heated by Arenal Volcano.
Manuel Antonio National Park
Located on the Central Pacific Coast in Puntarenas Province, Manuel Antonio is one of Costa Rica’s most popular and beautiful national parks and home to many endangered species, such as the Titi monkey. On the way to Manuel Antonio, you’ll stop at the Tárcoles River to watch huge crocodiles in their natural habitat. Once inside Manuel Antonio, keep your eyes open for monkeys, sloths, and many species of birds and insects as you enjoy the pristine beaches, beautiful waterfalls, and impressive lookout points in this lush tropical forest. Colorful and plentiful crafts sold on the beach make this the perfect place to buy souvenirs for loved ones back home.
Doka Estate Coffee Tour & Poas Volcano
Enjoy beautiful views from the mountainside and savor a warm cup of coffee as you gaze out at the coffee plantations of Alajuela. Thanks to eruptions from Poás Volcano, this land’s rich soil is perfect for growing coffee, one of Costa Rica’s major exports. Next you’ll head to the volcano where you'll take a short hike up to its crater,which is one of the biggest in the world (2 kilometers in diameter).There the turquoise acid pool and fumaroles are visible coming out of the sides of the crater.
Monteverde Cloud Forest
Visit a cloud forest that boasts a complex, far-reaching ecosystem that’s home to thousands of species of mammals, birds, insects, and plants, including many endemic and endangered species. Take a night walk to observe fascinating nocturnal animals like spiders and snakes, and immerse in the cloud forest through a tour of hanging bridges. During your free time, you can explore the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and experience being both the Caribbean and the Pacific sides of the country at once by stepping on the Continental Divide.
This budget contains costs that you can take to your financial aid office. Please note that amounts may fluctuate; we’ve included a range of costs.
Federal law allows the use of financial aid to cover “reasonable” costs of study abroad including round-trip transportation, tuition and fees for the program, living costs, passport and visa fees, health insurance, and more.
Please note that all costs and charges listed below are subject to change without notice. With the exception of Program Price, all costs are estimates and may vary.
Below is a tentative itinerary for your program. Please note, dates and events below may change without prior notification. Contact CEA before purchasing airline tickets.
You will receive a finalized itinerary once you arrive onsite.
Note: Additional cultural activities/excursions or required course-related activities may be incorporated into your final itinerary. You are advised not to make personal travel arrangements until you have the final dates.