Soils, Crops and Natural Resources of Costa Rica

Currently Unavailable
Costa Rica
Wednesday, March 11, 2020 to Saturday, March 21, 2020
Agronomy, Environmental Science
Type of Travel: 
Travel Course
Application Deadline: 
Friday, November 1, 2019
Program Director(s): 

This study abroad program will explore agricultural systems, natural resources, and resource management in Costa Rica through interactions with farmers who have a history with ISU course. Activities include visits to variety of farms including coffee, highland fruits, organic vegetables, sugarcane, pineapple, and banana production.

Informational Session
Wednesday, October 16, 2019
4:30-5:30 p.m. (interested students are welcome to come at 5:00 p.m.)
3140 Agronomy Hall

Program Goals
To learn about the soils, crops, environment of Costa Rica while gaining an appreciation of and respect for Costa Rican culture, the Spanish language and Costa Rica nationalism.

Learning Outcomes
At the end of the program, students will:

  • Appreciate and understand the culture of Costa Rica at least well enough to contrast and compare major aspects to the USA
  • Recognize the value and importance of Spanish; be able to use a few basic words/phrases in conversation
  • Know the major soils, crops and cropping systems of Costa Rica and be able to compare and contrast those with Iowa and the central USA
  • Understand how climactic and geologic features impact the agriculture and environment of Costa Rica

Participant Selection Criteria

  • Completed Study Abroad application including three references and summary of international experience
  • GPA: 2.0 and above

Skills and Additional Requirements

  • Ability to be outdoors in challenging terrain, living without wi-fi

Note: Due to international quarantine restrictions service animals cannot be accommodated on our study abroad programs. For more information, please contact the Iowa State University Student Accessibility Services Office.  

Course Information
You will earn a total of 3 credits for AGRON 496. This course has a pre-departure course component and a travel component

AGRON / En Sci 496-For Pre-departure part of the course, class will meet during the spring semester at a location and a time TBD. This course will

  • Set the tone for the program
  • Discuss academic portion 
  • Lay out expectations and procedures 
  • Answer your questions and concerns
  • Cover topics about itinerary, accommodation, meals, safety, health, logistics, travel documents, finances and more
  • Travel portion of the course will take place during spring break 2020

 Students must take both the on-campus course and complete the travel component.  

Program Fee*
$3,515 (includes roundtrip airfare, lodging, in-country arrangements)

Other ISU Fees*
$105 Study Abroad administrative fee
$14.41 CISI health insurance and travel assist

Note:  ISU tuition and fees for 3 credits will be applied if needed

*Billed to U-bill

Out-of-Pocket Expenses
$250 some meals
$250 personal expenses (souvenirs, toiletries, cell phone fees, vaccines and preventative medicines, visa if required - U.S. citizens do not require a visa)
$175 passport and mailing*

*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 (up to $145)

There are study abroad scholarships available through the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences study abroad office in 0018 Curtiss Hall. Scholarship application details are served to CALS students in the learning content section of the study abroad program application. Application deadline for Spring term scholarship applications is November 1, 2019

Other Scholarship Resources

Office Of Students Financial Aid

Affording to go

Iowa State University Student Affairs Scholarships

Application Process
To be considered in the selection process, applicants should have completed the program application in its entirety before the application deadline of November 1, 2019.

  • Once the selection process is complete, you will be notified about the decision
  • If you are accepted to the program you will be required to commit or decline participation
  • Typically you will be given 7 to 10 days with a specific commitment date to finalize your decision

Once you commit to the program, you are officially a participant in the program and will be responsible for all the program cost outlined in the budget. If you withdraw your participation after committing to a program, you will be responsible for all non-refundable payments that were made on your behalf and these charges will be charged to your U-bill.

Tentative Program Itinerary

Wednesday, March 11
Depart Ames, Arrive in Liberia, CR

Thursday, March 12
Earth University, La Flor

Friday, March 13
Pineapple tour, Arenal Volano (El Tucano)

Saturday, March 14
Organic Vegetable tour, Ira Rosa (Dairy farm), (El Tucano)

Sunday, March 15
Coffee production and processing (El Tucano)

Monday, March 16
Highland fruit tour/citrus production (El Tucano)

Tuesday, March 17
Banana production

Wednesday, March 18
Jaco Beach

Thursday, March 19
Sugarcane, irrigation tour (Las Espuelas)

Friday, March 20
Hilton Garden Inn, Liberia

Saturday, March 21
Return to Ames