• <div style="background-image:url(/live/image/gid/60/width/1600/height/300/crop/1/29999_6856950268_ed6442d1ca_o.rev.1450805264.jpg)"/>
  • <div style="background-image:url(/live/image/gid/60/width/1600/height/300/crop/1/29122_10401981_1004028349629458_8008107117841765376_n.rev.1446045049.jpg)"/>
  • <div style="background-image:url(/live/image/gid/60/width/1600/height/300/crop/1/29997_13537953983_5cff365fc4_o.rev.1450805192.jpg)"/>
  • <div style="background-image:url(/live/image/gid/60/width/1600/height/300/crop/1/29998_8071086937_683d5a422f_o.rev.1450805230.jpg)"/>

Off-Campus Study

ISEP Earth University in Cost Rica - Sustainable Development (English)

Founded in 1990, EARTH University’s innovative educational approach prepares young people from Latin America, the Caribbean and other regions, including Africa and Asia, to contribute to the sustainable development of their countries and construct a prosperous and just society. EARTH offers rigorous undergraduate programs in agricultural sciences and natural resources management with a prestigious, international faculty, providing a world-class scientific and technological education that emphasizes values, ethical entrepreneurship and environmental and social commitment.

EARTH was established by Costa Rican law in 1986 as a private, non-profit, international university and was created thanks to the support of the Costa Rican Government, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Learn more about Earth University and the country of Costa Rica by reading the country handbook!

Program Type

Direct only

Locations

Mercedes, Limón Province, Costa Rica

Languages of Instruction

English

Program Dates

Fall 2018: August to December

Spring 2019: January to May

All dates are tentative and may change.  ISEP will alert all accepted students of final dates.

Eligibility

To be eligible to participate in this program, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Good academic and judicial standing during time of application AND time of participation in program
  • Undergraduates must have completed at least two semesters of study at Lake Forest College AND have junior status or higher before participation. 
  • At least 18 years of age by the program’s departure date. 
  • Be able to stay at the host program for the duration of the semester, including through the exam and travel periods
  • Minimum GPA of 2.75  

Students applying to ISEP must apply for an Exchange option (in any country) as a first choice but may apply to a Direct option as a back-up.  Direct options may have an additional cost.

 

 ISEP Direct chance of placement for US students is Excellent.

Location

EARTH University Campus

EARTH University’s campus is located approximately halfway between the capital city of San José and the Caribbean port city of Limón, in the heart of the tropical Caribbean lowlands of Costa Rica. The 8,342-acre campus includes classrooms, laboratories, sustainable academic farms, sporting and recreational facilities, chief operational offices, student and faculty residences, a commercial banana plantation, reforested areas and a large, protected rainforest reserve. Since the academic and residential buildings are located around six kilometers (almost four miles) from the main entrance, you will find almost everything you need on campus. 

Academics

Pursing Sustainable Development: An Experiential, Urban and Rural Program provides students with a four-month experiential opportunity in Costa Rica. This active study abroad program allows students analyze Costa Rica’s sustainable development efforts in both urban and rural contexts, and is best for on-the-go students with a passion for protecting biodiversity and strengthening socio-economic wellbeing!

The program combines enriching fieldwork and site visits with engaging classroom time, allowing students to critically examine and understand several models of responsible economic development, biodiversity promotion and resources management.

The first two months of the semester are based in urban San José, Costa Rica’s capital city, at the International Center for Development Studies (ICDS). The final two are based in the Caribbean lowland rural rainforest area at the EARTH University campus.

Program Website 

Course Description

Courses in sustainable development are complemented by the chance to develop and prefect valuable language skills through Spanish language courses and homestays.  The four-month program includes five credit-bearing courses. Spanish skills are built through complementary Spanish language courses, local culture immersion and homestays. 

The first two months of the program students will take the following courses at ICDS, located in San José, the urban capital of Costa Rica:

Community Engagement and Sustainable Human Development: A Service Learning Course

Environmental Dimensions of Sustainable Development: The Costa Rican Experience

During the second half of the program students will attend EARTH University in the rural lowland rainforest region of the Caribbean Limón province and will participate in the following two courses:

Sustainable Livelihoods: Integrating Community, Entrepreneurship and Natural Resources.

Environmental and Social Assessment: How to Measure, Manage and Mitigate our Impact.

 

Fields of Study: Natural Resources/Conservation/Sustainability Studies

Student Life

Here is a link that you can learn about the campus life at Earth University.

Housing and Meals

Students are provided with housing and meals.

 

Housing



Share a dorm room; share your culture.  At EARTH, you will share a dorm room with another classmate of a different nationality in one of our thirteen gender-specific student residence buildings.

Within each room, you will have your own bed and an armoire to store your belongings.  In addition, you will have small vanity table with drawers and a desk where you can study.

Each residence includes shared bathrooms, living rooms and gathering areas for de-stressing with your roommates.

Cleaning is divided among all residents, so you will take turns with your classmates to maintain your residence hall.

For convenience, the dorms are located within close walking distance of the cafeteria, classrooms, library and laundry facilities.

In 2011, EARTH opened a “green” dorm, featuring energy-efficient lighting, solar water heaters, and a rainwater collection system for toilets and outdoor sinks.

Financial Information

For all approved programs for guaranteed financial aid transferability, students pay their Lake Forest College tuition plus a program fee.  

The Direct fee includes the orientation, on-site director, university fees, housing, and the equivalent of 19/meals per week, but Direct fees are set by the host university and may be different than that of Exchange, which tend to be less expensive to promote more exchange opportunities for all schools.  

Here is an estimated budget for the Fall 2018/Spring 2019:

Budget Item

DIRECT

Amount

Lake Forest College Tuition

$22,412

Program fee (estimated)

Note: Spring may have added cost

$5,210

College Deposit (credit)

($250)

Total Expected Billed by Lake Forest College

$27,372

ISEP Fee due on Stage 2 Application

$325

College Deposit due on Acceptance (non-refundable, but shows as credit on bill for off-campus term)

 $250

ISEP-required health and repatriation insurance ($90/mo estimated)

Note: Some countries require national insurance. Check ISEP.

(included in program fee)

Additional Meals

$800

Estimated Airfare

$800

Estimated Personal Expenses (passport, visas, immunizations, textbooks, supplies, personal expenses, additional national insurance if required, travel insurance, additional travel etc.)

$1,200

Total Out-of-Pocket Expenses

$3,375

Total

$30,747

Tuition rates and program fees are subject to change each year, but this information was up-to-date as of February 2017.  We will notify applicants, and update this page if the program fee or other estimates change.

Keep in mind that you may spend more or less in certain areas like personal expenses, travel, meals, or airfare, depending on exchange rates and your own spending habits. Classroom or lab fees are not included in this estimate, nor fees to enroll in courses at partner institutions, and will depend on your course registration choices.  

Don’t forget to apply for scholarships! A great listing can be found here.  

Do check your student account on My.Lakeforest for your aid awards, as much of this will go with you. If you want to compare your program to the cost of being on campus, those numbers can be found here: https://www.lakeforest.edu/admissions/tuition/fees.php

You can discuss with Financial Aid your specific aid package and your expected family contribution.