Study Abroad

CIEE Monteverde: Sustainability and the Environment

  • Location: Monteverde, Costa Rica
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Language of Instruction: English and Spanish
  • Class Eligibility: Juniors and seniors


Literally up in the clouds of the Costa Rican continental divide, Monteverde is a tropical mountain home to tens of thousands of species. Monteverde is a small, international community, nestled along the edge of the cloud forest in the Tilarán mountain range of northwest Costa Rica. It is perhaps best known for the famed Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve, which offers some 200,000-plus yearly visitors a portal to a lush haven for biodiversity. The region, comprised of numerous small towns (Monteverde, Cerro Plano, Santa Elena), is home to about 5,000 people of diverse backgrounds. What is now considered Monetverde, was actually founded by Quakers who left the USA to defy the draft before the Korean War. The dairy farm originated by these Quakers as well as a meetinghouse and school, and a small Quaker community (<100 people) are still in Monteverde today.

  • Visa:

    Required upon arrival. Students will be issued a tourist visa, which will be renewed after their second academic field trip.

    Non-US citizens should consult with CIEE and Denise Allison, Director of International Student Services, before applying to the program.

  • Fees: Students pay Haverford tuition, room, and board to Haverford College. Haverford will then be responsible for submitting payments to the program.

Three college-level courses in the natural sciences, environmental studies, sustainability, or agriculture and some college-level Spanish is recommended. Students are required to enroll in an appropriate-level Spanish language course.

Academic Credit

CIEE requires students to enroll in all 5 courses. Major, minor, and concentration transfer credit will only be granted for courses in which students receive a grade of a C or above. Students will receive natural science, social science, and humanities divisional credit. 


The coursework that students will engage focuses on sustainability and tropical conservation. Students have the opportunity to pair their classroom experience and academics with real life out of the classroom experiences, excursions, and internships.

Tropical Conservation Biology and Policy
Costa Rican Natural History
Sustainability: Environment, Economy, and Society
Conservation and Sustainability Internship
Spanish Language

About the Conservation and Sustainability Internship
Students participate in a one-month internship that may include environmental education or protection, native species horticulture, sustainable agriculture, alternative energy, sustainable building materials, or institutional development, offered by private businesses, NGOs, and educational institutions.

Course Highlights

Biology, Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Spanish

Note: Changes occur frequently. Students are responsible for finding the classes they need and consulting the official site of the institution.

Review the Full Academic Requirements for Studying Abroad


Student will participate in an online pre departure orientation before going to Monteverde and then a two-day orientation program at the beginning of the program in Alajuela.

Number of Students


Housing/Meal Plans

Homestay only. All meals are provided.

Haverford students may not opt for independent off-campus housing – that is, housing not arranged by the program.


Gain Travel Grant – The Global Access Initiative (GAIN) Grant helps cover airfare to and from CIEE program locations for students who demonstrate financial need. Pell-eligible students are guaranteed a GAIN Grant if they submit their CIEE scholarships application by October 15 for spring programs, or by April 1 for fall programs. GAIN Grants are available on a first-come first-served basis to students with a wider range of need. Students can be awarded $750-$2,000 toward airfare. The award amount depends on CIEE program location.

View Scholarship Information

Apply to Study Abroad!

  • PDF
  • Program List


  • Semester
  • Science/Math/Pre-Health/CompSci Approved


  • Semester I: Late August - late November
  • Semester II: Early February - late May

Application Deadlines

  • Semester I: March 15
  • Semester II: October 15

Faculty Contact

Helen White

Matthew McKeever