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  • Locations: Monteverde, Costa Rica; San Jose, Costa Rica
  • Program Terms: Maymester
  • Budget Sheets: Maymester
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Program Type: Faculty Led Program Length: Short-Term Faculty-Led
Housing: Host Family, Hotel Academic Courses: BIO w/LAB, ENV w/LAB, HON
Minimum GPA: 2.50 Office Location: Study Abroad Office JAAC 1009
Program Fee: $4000
Program Description:

Belmont in Costa Rica



Belmont students in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is one of the most biodiverse regions of the world and has made a commitment to live with that biodiversity through sustainability initiatives and conservation of natural resources. This Maymester study abroad provides opportunities to be immersed in a country that seeks to balance environmental protection within a cultural and economic context.
Nature and Biodiversity in Costa Rica: Operating on almost 100% renewable energy, Costa Rica has become a model for sustainability and aims to be the first carbon-neutral country in the world by 2020. Students will explore ecotourism, fair trade, sustainable farming practices, and renewable energy. Costa Rica has implemented progressive efforts to protect one quarter of its landmass and restore tropical forests. While exploring different types of tropical forests, students will see amazing plants and wildlife, including orchids, heliconias, coffee and banana trees, monkeys, lizards, birds, coatis, snakes, butterflies, and bats.
Nature and Culture in Costa Rica: Traditional Costa Rican food, a cooking session, overnight homestays with local Costa Rican families, riverboat and yacht expeditions, beautiful sunsets, and a variety of nature and culture tours will provide opportunities to enjoy the “pura vida” life.

These Belmont courses will be conducted primarily at the CIEE campus in San Luis de Monteverde in Puntarenas province, with shorter stays at La Selva Biological Station in Heredia province and Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste province of Costa Rica. The program will be led by Belmont faculty Dr. Darlene Panvini and Dr. John Niedzwiecki. Students in both courses will attend all activities and tours together.

Photo of Costa RicaExcursions
  • Guided natural history hikes of cloud forests, a rain forest and a dry forest.
  • Visits to Monteverde Rainforest Preserve, Arenal Volcano National Park, and a Pacific beach.
  • Snorkeling at Playa Hermosa.
  • Riverboat tour.
  • Workshops on Birds/Insects/Plants/
    Mammals of Costa Rica. Bat mist-netting workshop.
  • Presentation by an internationally
    recognized expert on amphibian decline in Costa Rica.
  • “Fair trade” coffee farm tour in San Luis.
  • Tours of the sustainability operations of the CIEE campus.
  • Sustainable farming in the tropics.
  • Chocolate Factory tour and dinner.
  • Traditional Costa Rican cooking lesson.
  • Overnight stays with a Costa Rican family.

The courses will be available for both science majors and for non-science majors.  They will fulfill an upper-level Biology major elective or a Group A or B Environmental Science elective, or a BELL Core requirement. Students have the option to enroll in both science courses.

All courses will satisfy either Belmont requirements in the BELL Core or the specified major. You must participate in at least one course offered in Costa Rica. You should consult individual program faculty to see how online options can fit into your study abroad program.
  • BIO 1950/3950: Biodiversity of Tropical Ecosystems: 4 Credits, Lab Science
  • HON 2950: Biodiversity of Tropical Ecosystems: 4 credits, Lab Science (counts as HON 2310)
  • ENV 1950/3950: Tropical Conservation and Sustainability: 4 Credits, Lab Science
  • HON 2950: Tropical Conservation and Sustainability: 4 Credits, Lab Science (counts as HON 2310)

Animal in Costa RicaONLINE OPTIONS:
ENG 3950: Third Year Writing (English 3010; satisfies BELL Core requirement)
REL 3950: Religion Jr. Cornerstone (Path A or B; satisfies BELL Core requirement)
INB 3950: (equivalent to INB 3300): (satisfies BBA Core Business requirement for International Business)

October 7th at 10:00am in JAAC 3081
October 21st at 4:00pm in JAAC 3081


1. Program Fee: $4,000: 
This fee will include airfare to and from Nashville, housing, all in-country meals, admission fees, field trip/event fees, and in-country transportation.

Costs not covered by the program fee include: Books, free day activities, snacks and

2. Belmont Tuition
Tuition is charged at the special study abroad tuition rate of 2/3 off the cost of normal Maymester tuition. For every 3 hours of study abroad credit you register for, you pay for only one hour.  

Program Deposit: $500 due at time of acceptance 


Faculty-Led Application Process
Dates and Deadlines
All requirements must be completed by the Study Abroad Office deadlines: online materials are due by 11:59 PM on the deadline date
  • Spring Break Programs: November 15
  • Maymester Programs: February 1
  • Summer Programs: February 15 
How to Apply
1. Please click the Apply Now button (found at the top-right of this page and/or at the bottom of this page) to apply. 
2. You will automatically be directed to your myBelmont account to log-in. 
3. After logging in to your myBelmont account, if you are not re-directed back to Belmont Global, open a new window for Belmont Global to complete your application. 


Dr. Darlene Panvini
Department of Biology
darlene.panvini@belmont.eduJAAC 3007
Dr. John Niedzwiecki
Department of Biology
john.niedzwiecki@belmont.eduJAAC 3004

Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.