Field Ecology in Costa Rica

With the Costa Rican Monteverde Research Institute as our guide, we will hike in the rainforest and cloud forest, explore the beaches, observe dolphins and sea turtles, eat a fresh local seafood lunch, catch bats, and kayak in a mangrove.  We’ll examine the different biomes and ecosystems of Costa Rica including mangrove forests, the cloud forest, lowland tropical rainforests, and coral reefs. Focus will be placed on learning the huge terrestrial and marine biodiversity of a tropical country.

March 16-23, 2019 • Cost: $3,444
Class: BIO 280 (required prerequisites: BIO 151, BIO 108, BIO 118, or BIO 145)

Course Registration and Eligibility

Go to the Global and Experiential Center- Room 3, O'Connor Hall with your credit card or check payment. Make all checks payable to St. Joseph's College with a note in the memo line: “BIO Costa Rica” and the student name. In order to guarantee enrollment in the program, these deadlines must be met.


This is open to St. Joseph’s College students enrolled in BIO 280. BIO 280 requires one of the following prerequisites BIO 108, BIO 118, or BIO 145. 

Program Cost and Deadlines

All deposits are non-refundable. Failure to make payment in accordance with the deadlines could result in the office terminating the participant's enrollment in the program. 

$500 deposit, online application, and uploaded passport or proof of passport application are due on November 19, 2018: Allow at least 6 weeks for passport processing.

See Lena Grasso in Room 3 off the Student Hospitality Lounge with your payment. Make all checks payable to St. Joseph's College with a note in the memo line: BIO Costa Rica.

The price includes:

  • Accommodations may include rustic rainforest dwellings, hostels and hotels. Accommodations will not include air conditioner.
  • 3 meals daily within the country
  • Transportation within the country for activities scheduled on the itinerary
  • Entrance fees within the country for activities scheduled on the itinerary

The price does not include**:

  • Transportation to/from JFK
  • Additional increases in taxes and fuel surcharges at the time of ticketing
  • Additional activities or optional trips
  • Personal expenses such as wifi and phone
  • Currency fluctuation
  • Exceeding the airline’s baggage allowance


Saturday, March 16: 4:40 a.m. flight from JFK to Costa Rica. Arrive in San Jose, Costa Rica in the morning and travel to the coast. 

Sunday, March 17: Hike in Cahuita National Park and indulge in a sunset at the beach. 

Monday, March 18: Participate in a boat tour with snorkeling plus dolphin and sea turtle watching. Enjoy lunch at a local fish cooperative. Travel to the rainforest. 

Tuesday, March 19: Engage in a natural history hike in the lowland rainforest of Tirimbina. Tour a pineapple plantation. Discuss renewable resources with Monteverde Institute staff. 

Wednesday, March 20: Explore the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Preserve. Tour the Monteverde Institute grounds and learn about Sustainability and Community Issues at Monteverde. Free time in the afternoon to explore the town. 

Thursday, March 21: Observe crocodiles en route to a Humpback whale and dolphin sightseeing/snorkeling tour.

Friday, March 22: Jump into a mangrove kayaking tour. Take off on an evening flight  

Saturday, March 23: Arrive at JFK around 2:20 a.m.

Itinerary is subject to change.

How to Apply

Directions for applying online:  

  1.  Log in to the portal and check off private computer
  2.  Open up your email so you do not time out 
  3.  Click here for the application
  4.  Follow the "St Joseph’s Study Abroad Program" checklist 


Due to new government regulations, passport information must be provided with your final payment. If you need a new passport, apply immediately.

Without passport information tickets cannot be issued and delays with ticketing may create penalties and/or cancellations without refund. If you don’t have a passport, please apply for it and provide a passport processing receipt with your deposit.

A copy of your passport is due no later than December 5, 2018.