Soils and Crops of Costa Rica

Type of Travel: 
Costa Rica
Program Director(s): 
Departure Date: 
Wednesday, March 7, 2018 to Saturday, March 17, 2018
Application Deadline: 
Wednesday, November 1, 2017


We will visit locations throughout central and northwestern Costa Rica in order to observe tropical soils, tropical crops and their environmental impacts. At each site in-depth discussions will be led by a combination of Costa Rican experts and the ISU faculty.  

See program brochure here

Program Prerequisites
All students are welcome to apply, preference given to students majoring in Agronomy or Environmental Science or Global Resources Systems as well as individuals with limited international experience.

Agron 496 or EnSci 496  or Globe 496 (3 credits)

Program Fee
Approximately $3,325 (includes round trip airfare, bus transportation to the airport, most meals, lodging, ground transportation, entrance fees, required international health and emergency insurance)

Out of pocket expenses
$30 for meal on own
$150 incidentals, souvenirs
$35 Costa Rica departure tax
$105 Study Abroad Center fee
$135 for passport*

*If you are a first time traveler in CALS and need a passport, click here to find out how you can get the cost of your passport reimbursed

Scholarships are available  through the Agronomy Department (contact group leader or 1126 Agron Hall), as well as the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (0018 Curtiss Hall, due NOVEMBER 1)

Program Goals
To allow ISU students to experience the culture and agriculture of Costa Rica.

By the end of the program students should:

1) have an understanding of tropical crop production
2) understand how tropical soils affect crop production methods
3) have a better understanding of the culture of Costa Rica

Tentative Program Itinerary
Proposed route and activities - loose integration of the past 5 years. All stops and hotels have been previously vetted and successfully/enjoyably used.

Wednesday, March 7
ISU to San Jose - Best Western Irazu Hotel, San Jose

Thursday, March 8
Santa Maria de Dota Coffee Coop & highland fruit farm - Irazu Hotel

Friday, March 9
Highland horticulture and Rosa Finca dairy - El Tucano Resort, Santa Rosa

Saturday, March 10
Banana farming and processing in the Caribbean lowlands - El Tucano

Sunday, March 11
Volcano Arenal National Park near La Fortuna - El Tucano

Monday, March 12
Citrus production and Ultisol/Oxisol profiles near Los Chiles - El Tucano

Tuesday, March 13
Soils, water and irrigation in Guanacaste - Las Espuelas Hotel, Liberia

Wednesday, March 14
Rice plantation & processing mill; Playa Panama - Las Espuelas

Thursday, March 15
El Viejo sugarcane plantation & processing plant; Mango production near Orotina and return to San Jose - Irazu Hotel

Friday, MARCH 16
Mango production near Orotina and return to San Jose -Irazu Hotel

Saturday, March 17
San Jose to ISU

Important Note Regarding Missing classes:  Please note that participation on some travel courses require you to be away from campus for some school days. The College of Agriculture & Life Sciences tries to minimize the number of days missed for this purpose, but in some events, the inflexibility of the travel schedule prevents us from working completely within our breaks. Should you choose to enroll in a travel course that requires missing some class(es) on campus, you will need to contact your instructor directly to inquire whether or not arrangements can be made to make up this class work and/or exams. The CALS Study Abroad office can provide you with a letter explaining the dates of the trip. However, it is your responsibility to contact the instructor to determine the potential impact on your grade before signing up for a Study Abroad program. The instructor is responsible for determining the impact of any absence from class.