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Service-Learning - Costa Rica

Program Highlights


Spring Break 2016: March 12-20, 2016


OSU Sponsored


Costa Rica



Host University

Escuela Agricultura Region Tropical Humeda University

Academic Credit

Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

Application Deadline

October 1, 2015
Term: 1162


Good academic standing; Priority for Norton House Learning Community;

Program Costs

Ohio State Tuition + TBD Program Fee (See "Program Costs" Section for details)

Contact Information

Timothy Hornsby (.9)

Resident Directors

Paul A. Heimberger
FAES College Counselor

Karen Argabright


During spring break students will travel to Costa Rica for nine days to learn about development and sustainability through service-learning. Students will tour the country, observe Costa Rican agricultural production, and work hand and hand with the world-famous EARTH University on various development projects. Students will learn about environmental and agricultural sustainability through the various service-learning projects and through the many tours and hands-on experiences throughout your travels in Costa Rica.

The group will first travel to EARTH University and see various farms (cacao, coffee, banana, animal) on and around campus. Another benefit from staying at EARTH University is the interaction between the OSU and EARTH students who are from various tropical countries around the world. Students will be able to see the education that takes place at EARTH University and prepare for the service-learning projects that may include: building a bio-digester, building urban gardens, constructing mobile chicken coups, school renovations, writing project manuals in English for other English-speaking groups that visit EARTH University, or other possible activities.

The program will visit Tortuguero National Park, (Ranked 4.5 of 5 on TripAdvisor) where there are only two ways in and out: flying or boating. The group will take a boat trip through Tortuguero National Park to the beautiful and remote destination of Laguna Lodge located on the Caribbean Coast. At this at other locations students will have the opportunity to hike and enjoy the beauty of Costa Rican ecosystems.

Other activities the group will take part in include cultural and historic visits throughout Costa Rica as well as time to experience various marketplaces. Students will also have the opportunity to get a closer look at the volcanic action in the country by relaxing in a volcanic hot spring.

After going on this program the most difficult part is not bragging too much about your nine day spring break experience to your friends!


Students will land in capital city of San Jose and travel to Limon where they will be hosted by EARTH University (Escuela Agricultura Region Tropical Humeda). They will then move into a rural community to provide service.

Courses and Credits

Admitted participants are required to register in 3 hours of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences 3797 for Spring Semester.

There will be pre-departure seminars (not a credit-bearing course) on Fridays from 4:10 to 5:05pm leading up to the program and twice after spring break.


Students will stay in modest, shared accommodations throughout the program. All meals will be provided.

Program Costs

Students are responsible for paying The Ohio State University tuition plus a TBD program fee. The program fee includes international airfare, all food, in country transportation and housing. It does not cover personal expenses or additional baggage fees.

If students withdraw or become ineligible any time eleven days after the acceptance notification, they will be held responsible for a cancellation fee. Please refer to OIA's Cancellation Policy.

Application Information

Applicants must submit the Office of International Affairs Study Abroad Application online via Buckeye Link. Please note that upon application, a $150 application fee will be assessed to your Statement of Account. The application fee will be refunded only if you are not accepted or submit a written request to withdraw your application prior to the application deadline.


Students should begin researching funding opportunities before they have been accepted into a study abroad program. Grants and Scholarships deadlines may occur before the study abroad program application deadline.

Special Petition Process

In the event that a U.S. Department of State travel warning is issued for this country, study abroad will be possible only by special petition.* If a travel warning exists at the time of acceptance, the petition must be included as part of the program acceptance materials. If a travel warning is issued after acceptance to the program, participants will be asked by their Office of International Affairs study abroad coordinator to submit a petition at that time. All petitions are reviewed by the International Travel Policy Committee and subject to approval by the Provost.


In order to be eligible to apply for this program, students must be in good academic standing, participate in a group interview and meet OIA's General Eligibility Requirements and Conditions for Participation. All students will also be required to participate in on-campus pre-departure orientations organized by the Office of International Affairs.

Passports are required for every Ohio State study abroad program. For many study abroad destinations, passport information is required to apply for an entry visa (as early as 6 months prior to departure). For information about applying for a passport, go to travel.state.gov.

Ohio State Funding Opportunities: oia.osu.edu
U.S. Department of State: travel.state.gov (travel warnings/country specific information)
Centers for Disease Control: cdc.gov/travel (geographic health recommendations)
YouTube: Youtu.be/1NVvGJgxHjY
Service-Learning - Costa Rica: go.osu.edu/CostaRicaServiceLearning

Contact Us
Information about Getting Started sessions and study abroad coordinator advising hours can be viewed at http://oia.osu.edu/study-abroad.html. Questions about study abroad programs can be directed to abroadadvisor@osu.edu. The Office of International Affairs is located in Oxley Hall, 1712 Neil Avenue.

*Ohio State reserves the right to change without notice any statement in this handout, concerning but not limited to rules, policies, tuition, fees, curricula, and courses. The Office of International Affairs reserves the right to cancel any program for which a State Department travel warning is in effect. It is the policy of Ohio State not to discriminate against any individual on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age or handicap in matters of admission, employment, housing, or services in the educational programs which it administers in accordance with civil rights legislation.