Wake up to the sound of howler monkeys at our unique biological station, on the doorstep of the 57,000-acre Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. After exploring the ecology of the cloud forest, you'll expand your horizons – and your classroom – beyond treetops to beaches, waterfalls, coral reefs, and more, for over seven weeks of travel and close study of ecosystems throughout Costa Rica and along the coast of Panama. Day by day, you'll build your Spanish language skills and see what it means to live in rural Costa Rica.
EXPLORE BEYOND MONTEVERDE WITH TWO EXTENSIVE TRIPS
including visits to Costa Rica's mangroves, lowland rainforest, dry forest, turtle nesting beaches and many others, including the coral reefs of Panama's Bocas del Toro Islands.
JOIN A SPANISH-SPEAKING FAMILY FOR A MONTH
and fast-forward your language skills as you learn about native culture.
PUT NEW SKILLS INTO PRACTICE
as you complete an independent research project that gives you an in-depth look at local flora or fauna.
Explore Corcovado National Park's Pacific Lowland Rainforest and neighboring Caño Island, looking for dolphins and whales along the way
Study nesting turtles in Tortuguero National Park
Discover the astonishing diversity of coral reefs in Panama's Bocas del Toro
Explore a dry forest recognized for its study of regeneration in Santa Rosa National Park
See how local coffee farms, cheese factories, and butterfly gardens add to Monteverde's vibrant landscape
Camp, hike, snorkel, boat and swim while comparing Atlantic and Pacific slope habitats
Hike above the treeline to explore endemic species and amazing views in Costa Rica's paramo
Discover local foods and customs in the town of Monteverde
Put your skills to work on an independent research project in tropical ecology or conservation, from observation to data collection and then to a presentation of your findings. At every step, you'll be guided by an expert faculty advisor. Past projects have explored beetle habitats, hummingbird behavior, the prey of cane toads, orchids and their pollinators, and much more.
Our highly experienced staff have extensive knowledge of all CIEE programs and services. If you are a student with questions about completing your application, or you want to sign up to receive program updates and news, our staff are happy to help.
Academic Program Students take the following courses for a total of four Pomona credits:
Tropical Diversity (1.0 Pomona credit)
Tropical Community Ecology (1.0 Pomona credit)
Independent Research in Biology/Ecology (1.0 Pomona credit)
Spanish Language (0.5 Pomona credits)
Humans in the Tropics, (0.5 Pomona credits)
As part of the program, students participate in field trips to Costa Rica's Atlantic and Pacific slopes, as well as several trips to Monteverde's many diverse forests. Additionally, students spend one month living with a local family.
There is no P/NC option on this program.
Living Arrangements Students live in a biological field station in four-person rooms, each with a private bath. Meals are served family style at the field station as well. During the four-week homestay, students live and take their meals with local Costa Rican families.
Number of Students CIEE enrolls approximately 15–20 students, selected from a competitive national pool.
Host Institution Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE)
Faculty Liaison Rachel Levin
Pomona Biology 40 and 41E. One additional semester of ecology or environmental science, is recommended.
Completion of elementary Spanish (Spanish 2 or 22), or the equivalent.