Costa Rica

Sustainability and Environmental Preservation (Internship Program)

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Quick Information

Location EARTH University and Monteverde Institute
Academic Date Program Planned to Run Again Summer 2022 –
Credit Hours 9-12 (depending on course selection)
Requirements 2.5 MU GPA at time of application. Good academic standing. Open to all MU students.
Estimated cost $9,486 (doesn't include airfare)
Contact Shanon Dickerson, Director of Study Abroad

Participants will have the opportunity to study at EARTH (Escuela de Agricultura de la Región Tropical Húmeda), a world-class international college specializing in sustainable agriculture and natural resource management. Then, they will complete internships at Monteverde Institute, a non-profit association dedicated to advancing the knowledge and practice of sustainable living through education, applied research, and community engagement.


EARTH is located on the Caribbean lowlands, about two hours from San José, the capital of Costa Rica. It has over 8,000 acres of property, most of which is dedicated to rain forests, reserves, commercial agricultural activities, livestock production and academic farms.

Monteverde Institute, located in the highlands of northwestern Costa Rica, is near the continental divide. Its 38-acre campus serves as a natural preserve that protects more than 65,000 acres of endangered tropical forest.

Accommodation and Meals

All housing costs are included in the program fee. While on the EARTH campus, students will be housed in dormitories. Accommodations are basic, but sufficient. Rooms will be shared; generally, two to three students per room. Rooms are not air-conditioned. Bathrooms are generally shared with approximately twelve students. Additionally, only cold water is available in the bathrooms. During program travel, lodging will be in a combination of hotels, resorts, and host families. Amenities will vary from location to location.

Meal costs are also included in the program fee. Students will dine at the EARTH cafeteria while on campus. The cafeteria offers breakfast, lunch and dinner and the majority of the meats, fruits, vegetables and dairy products on the menu are sustainably grown on EARTH University’s academic farms!

While at Monteverde Institute, students will be provided with breakfast, lunch and dinner and will reside with host families. Living with a host family helps students to fully immerse in the culture and be a part of the community engagement that is at the heart of Monteverde Institute’s vision for a sustainable future.

Program Travel

Students will arrange their own round-trip travel to San José and will be provided with suggested flight dates and arrival times. For budgeting purposes, estimates are provided below. Students who wish to have the cost of their flight billed directly to their MU accounts should contact the Director of Study Abroad to make arrangements through MU’s preferred travel agency. Once in Costa Rica, airport transfers and all program-related travel is included in the program fee.


Students earn either 9 (regular program offering) or 12 (regular program offering + extra course option) credits upon successful completion of the program.

Academic session credits: AFNR 0590 (3 credits placeholder course; graded S/U): International Agriculture and Natural Resources and AFNR 2191 (3 credits; graded A/F): International Agriculture and Natural Resources—Humanities

Internship credits: AFNR 4993 (3 credits; graded A/F): Internship in Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources

Students who submit their application by December 20 will have the option to be enrolled in 3 additional credits of AFNR _0590, an International Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources “placeholder” course, at EARTH prior to the start of the regular program. At the conclusion of the program, final grades are issued by EARTH for these credits, which transfer back to MU on an S/U basis.

In order to determine how the EARTH “placeholder” credits will transfer back to MU, students should complete a Course Proposal for Study Abroad with assistance from the CAFNR Director of Study Abroad. Once this is completed, students will work with their advisors to determine how program credits will count toward their individual graduation plans.

Please be aware that there will be mandatory orientation meetings prior to departure. The meetings will typically occur in April. Dates and times for the meetings will be available shortly after the confirmed program participant list is finalized, generally around mid-March. Participants will be notified of the meeting details via email.

Estimated Cost

Non-refundable deposit: $350
Missouri Resident Tuition (9 credits):
*Non-resident students will also be billed non-resident fees.
CAFNR Supplemental Course Fees: $325
Program Fees: $6,646
IT Fees: $126
Intl Center Fees: $245
Total cost estimate without airfare: (includes accommodation and meals) $9,486
Airfare estimate (does not include baggage fees): $800
Additional misc. estimate: $500