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UK Sponsored: Mountains to Coast: Field Studies in Costa Rica (Agriculture, Food & Environment)
Multiple, Costa Rica (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Summer 2
This UK Education Abroad program is not currently accepting applications. Please contact your EA Advisor or UK Education Abroad ( to determine if it is still possible to apply to this program.
Fact Sheet:
Experience Type:
Study Abroad
Area of Study:
Agriculture, Biology, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Environmental Studies, Forestry, Geography, Natural Resources and Environmental Science, Sustainable Agriculture
Course Language:
Housing Options:
Homestay, Hotel
2-Sophomore, 3-Junior, 4-Senior, 5-Graduate
Minimum GPA:
Student Type:
Undergraduate students only
Sarah Whitaker
Program Director:
Geri Philpott, Rob Paratley
UK Travel Medical Insurance:
Included in the UK Sponsored program fee
Program Description:

Mountains to Coast: Field Studies in Costa Rica

Dates TBD: Applications will be accepted once 2015 dates have been established!

Program Overview

Through this program participants will take a hands-on, field-oriented approach to studying the wildlife, water, plants and varied ecosystems of Costa Rica. The program will take place in multiple cities in Costa Rica and students will be working in a variety of environments including forests, agriculture, marine, desert, and urban cities. Emphasis will be placed on methodologies for field data collection necessary to evaluate a variety of natural resources in the location and students will become familiar with sampling instrumentation, collection, preservation, analysis, and data interpretation. Throughout the course, students will draw conclusions and make recommendations based on an interdisciplinary understanding of natural and human systems.


This program is designed specifically for students in the NRES: Natural Resource & Environmental Science department to fulfill the NRES summer field study degree requirement. This course is offered as an alternative and/or supplement to the summer program in Kentucky's Robinson Forest.    


  • Apply principles of chemical, biological and physical systems to address natural resource and environmental issues.
  • Demonstrate the safe and proper use of major conservation field techniques in tropical ecosystems. 
  • Visit a variety of ecosystems including cloud forest, wet and dry tropical forests, Pacific Coast forest, elfin forest and riparian forest as well as a mangrove swamp and an active volcano.
  • Research and report on a specific aspect of Costa Rica such as cloud forest, ecotourism, corridor systems, sea turtles, etc.


This program is open to undergraduate students from all academic disciplines.

Academic Credit

  • UK Sponsored programs are conducted by the University of Kentucky faculty. UK GPA credits and grades will be awarded by the program director for the successful and timely completion of all required program activities and assignments, including any required on-campus meetings.
  • Undergraduate students will enroll in NRE 320: Natural Resource and Environmental Analysis (3 credit hours). NRES will fulfill a major requirement for all NRES students. If a student has already earned credit for NRE 320, alternate credit may be arranged by the faculty directors or the NRES Academic Coordinator, Ms. Geri Philpott. 
  • All students will be enrolled in ISP 599: Study Abroad (1 credit hour).

Housing & Meals

  • Students will primarily be in hotels or lodges while in Costa Rica. Students will be housed in shared rooms, often in large group cabins. 
  • Most meals will be provided as part of the program fee. Participants will be responsible for some meals.

Scholarships & Financial Aid

Students are strongly encouraged to explore all funding opportunities for programs abroad. There are numerous opportunities available based on the area of study, program type, length, and country of destination. 
  • Many financial aid packages (scholarships, loans and grants) used for on-campus study can be applied to education abroad programs. Students who qualify for financial aid should consult with their UK Financial Aid counselor as soon as possible to apply for funding.
  • The Education Abroad at UK Scholarship - The campus-wide Selection Committee awards need-based scholarships to UK students in the amounts of $750, $1,000 and $1,500. The deadline for application materials is March 1 for Summer/Fall programs and October 1 for Spring/Winter programs.
For more information about scholarship and funding opportunities, please visit the Education Abroad at UK Financial Aid & Scholarships resource page.

Program Costs

  • Costs and cancellation policies vary by program, so it is important to review this information very carefully. For more information on program costs, please see the "Fees and Policies" information page (the link is in the program header at the top of this website).

Required Applications

  • Students must complete an application with UK Education Abroad (online, this website) and a supplemental application with International Studies Abroad (ISA). The supplemental ISA application will be provided to all accepted students after the application deadline.

Passport & Visa Requirements

  • U.S. passport holders are not required to obtain a visa for participation on this program. Participants who wish to extend their stay in the country beyond the program start and end dates and those who are not U.S. passport holders must investigate the visa regulations at the Embassy of Costa Rica website.

Travel Medical Insurance

All participants of this program will be enrolled in HTH Travel Medical Insurance for the duration of the program. The cost of Travel Medical Insurance is included in the program fee. Please see the Education Abroad at UK Health & Safety webpage for more information. 

For More Information

For additional information about this program, please contact:

  • EA Peer Ambassadors, Education Abroad Resource Center, 315 Bradley Hall
  • Ms. Geri Philpott, Natural Resources & Environmental Science Academic Coordinator at the University of Kentucky, Drs. Rob Paratley and Stephen Price, faculty in NRES, will be directing the program in Costa Rica.

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Dates / Deadlines:
There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
This UK Education Abroad program is not currently accepting applications. Please contact your EA Advisor or UK Education Abroad ( to determine if it is still possible to apply to this program.