Summer


Biology in Costa Rica

1 Course Program

Summer


Biology in Costa Rica

1 Course Program

Dates

July 5–29
 

Locations

  • Manuel Antonio
  • Monteverde
  • La Fortuna
  • Tamarindo
See full itinerary here.

Program Fee

See everything that’s included here.

Staffing

9:1 Student to Staff Ratio

Availability

OPEN

Course Offered—One Mandatory Course

 BIOLOGY

 Biology
 

See full course descriptions here.

WHY TAKE THIS PROGRAM?

Make rainforests, reefs, waterfalls and beaches your classroom as you travel across Costa Rica’s diverse landscape and study grade 11 Biology. Snorkelling along the Golden Coast, zip-lining through rainforests, trekking through jungles, hiking volcanoes, and whitewater rafting on the Ticos River makes this program an outdoor adventure infused with scientific exploration and learning.

WHY TAKE THIS PROGRAM?

Make rainforests, reefs, waterfalls and beaches your classroom as you travel across Costa Rica’s diverse landscape and study grade 11 Biology. Snorkelling along the Golden Coast, zip-lining through rainforests, trekking through jungles, hiking volcanoes, and whitewater rafting on the Ticos River makes this program an outdoor adventure infused with scientific exploration and learning.

What
Students
Are
Saying

{
I was really nervous to leave my home for such a long time, but my anxiety quickly dissipated; within hours, it felt like I was with family. The teachers were always there for me no matter the time or reason. The activities we participated in together daily helped enrich and enhance our biology lessons, which were always engaging. Never would I have thought that the beach would make such an amazing classroom!

Bridget Patterson
Student, 2019

Program Itinerary

Read about each itinerary location by tapping the icon.

Preparation and Coursework

Early May
To ease into the program, students have access to the course website where reading lists are posted. Course preparation is spread out over three weeks: our first two-week preparation session begins in early May, focusing on novel studies; the second one-week session starts in late June, focusing on completing research and small assignments. These online sessions are designed to connect students with their teachers and classmates, to help complete short tasks, and to alleviate the workload during the summer. Students are required to complete all foundation work before leaving to ensure they are ready to hit the ground running while overseas.

Departure from Toronto

Day 1
Our study abroad departure hub is Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. Five hours prior to departure, a short meeting is held at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel, Terminal 3, to distribute course packs and maps, and to clarify travel procedures. All students are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to the Sheraton Gateway Hotel. Students making alternate arrangements must contact MEI before March 31.
Toronto
Days 1–2
Before they travel abroad, students commence their high school credit coursework with teachers and classmates in Toronto. Here, we conduct our first biology lab and review the foundational course material before setting off for Costa Rica. This preparation allows us to dive straight into the adventure that awaits us.
Manuel Antonio
Days 2–8
Our first stop on our journey is the rainforests of Manuel Antonio’s spectacular National Park. The park is made up of a primary forest, mangrove swamps, lagoons, and a variety of coastal habitats. This location offers students a good look at one of Costa Rica’s 12 ecosystems famous for its wildlife sightings. There are over 100 different types of mammals and nearly 200 different varieties of birds which makes it an ideal locale to study animal structures, plant anatomy, and evolution. In addition, our morning workouts introduce students to the benefits of physical activities such as yoga, beach Frisbee, and body surfing.
Monteverde
Days 8–13
In Monteverde, which means “green mountain,” students reside in an ecolodge built in a cloud forest. Here, we have access to a state-of-the-art, on-site lab to test samples collected from the surrounding environment. In this remote location, students connect with the local ecology and participate in research, service work and night hikes. These activities are integrated into the coursework so that students can find a balance while completing their research-based assignments.
La Fortuna
Days 13–17
From Monteverde, we travel to the Arenal volcano in La Fortuna. We will reside at the base of this volcano where students enjoy daily adventures such as zip-lining through tree canopies, hiking the mist forest, and testing out the natural hot springs. We balance activities with studies that focus on the biology unit “Diversity of Living Things.” Tropical storms and impressive lightning shows often enhance evening masterclasses and activities.
Tamarindo
Days 17–25

Using this tranquil location as a backdrop, students decompress and take day trips to nearby sites. Playa Flamingo is the perfect place to try your hand at kayaking or snorkelling. Students experience the marine ecosystems of the Gold Coast where sightings of sea turtles, whales, jumping stingrays, and dolphins are not uncommon. Students also have a chance to reflect on their adventure while preparing for their final exams. Our last day is spent beachside, before celebrating together over a final banquet dinner.

Departure from Tamarindo Airport (Day 35)

Students Return Home

Manuel Antonio

Days 27–35

Monteverde

Days 22–27

La Fortuna

Days 16–22

Tamarindo

What’s Included

Program Costs

  • Ministry-approved credit(s) upon successful completion of the course(s)
  • Custom course pack
  • Student Login
  • MEI journal
  • Digital yearbook

Travel Costs

  • Hotels and accommodations
  • Breakfast and dinner daily
  • Entrance fees to all course-specific sites
  • Return airfare from Toronto’s Pearson
  • International Airport
  • Approximate airline departure taxes, surcharges and fees
  • Airfare between countries
  • Transportation between hotel locations via private coach
  • Transportation for all listed program excursions
*Based on air fares, land tariffs and currency exchange rates as of February, 2018.
Please note the possibility of increases in airfares and land costs prior to departure. Any increase must be borne by the individual participant.

Program Fee Does Not Include

  • Lunches
  • Insurances
  • Gratuities
  • Course texts
  • Medical Insurance and Cancellation Protection*
  • Non-refundable $95 Registration Fee
*All students travelling with MEI Academy are required to purchase Medical Insurance.

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