Pursuing Sustainable Development in Latin America: An Experiential, Urban and Rural Program

students walking at ecological park costa rica

Learn about the complexities, practicalities, and innovations of sustainability in Costa Rica–a global leader of sustainable development!

ICDS and EARTH University came together to create a ground-breaking new study abroad program which provides students with the unique interdisciplinary opportunity for linking knowledge with action in the pursuit of sustainable development in both urban and rural contexts of Costa Rica.  The program, providing an in-depth experience that combines intense fieldwork with classroom engagement, closely examines different sustainable development and resource management models that Costa Rica uses to protect the biodiversity of its ecosystems while promoting socioeconomic benefits for its people.


Hands-on experience in urban and rural settings
Perfect combination of intense fieldwork and classroom engagement
Service-learning core course with two weekly sessions of community work
Trip to neighboring country for comparison purposes
Language and cultural immersion


Minimum 2.75 GPA
Completion of basic level(s) of college Spanish or equivalent


Spring session: Late January through May
Fall session: Early August through November


Homestays with carefully selected urban families during the first part of the program in San José, and residence hall living at EARTH University in Guácimo, Limón


Arrival/departure assistance and transfers from and to airport
On-site orientation
Homestay placement
Community work placement
Weekend excursions in-country and abroad, and class day trips
Cultural activities
Wireless Internet access


Courses at ICDS
Community Engagement and Sustainable Human Development: A Service-Learning Course
Environmental Dimension of Sustainable Development: The Costa Rican Experience
Spanish Language

Courses at EARTH University:
Sustainable Livelihoods: Integrating Community, Entrepreneurship, and Natural Resources
Environmental and Social Assessment: How To Measure, Manage, and Mitigate our Impact
Spanish Language


Please check with your home university’s Study Abroad Office, or contact ICDS at studyabroad@icds.ac.cr


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