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Costa Rica Plant and Wildlife Sciences

Dates: 1–15 May 2023
Application Deadline: 15 February 2023

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to hear howler monkeys bellowing their booming voices across the rain forest canopy? Or to swim through the incredibly colorful coral of Costa Rica’s Pacific coast? This trip will take you on a voyage through some of the world’s most spectacular tropical landscapes, home to an array of diverse and unique plant and animal species. You will have an opportunity to meet and interact with indigenous people and cultures, explore the Caribbean coast, hike in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and Arenal Volcano National Park, and observe tropical wildlife—experiences that could change your life. This trip fulfills the BYU motto: making the world our campus.

“Teach ye diligently and my grace shall attend you . . . of things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth . . . of things which are at home, things which are abroad . . . and a knowledge also of countries and of kingdoms—that ye may be prepared in all things when I shall send you again to magnify the calling whereunto I have called you, and the mission with which I have commissioned you” (D&C 88:78–80).

Click here to apply today!


Contact Us

Steve Petersen
5027 LSB
(801) 422-4885


Program Flyer


Frequently Asked Questions
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More Information

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All participants will enroll in 2 credit hours of PWS 494R—Biogeography, Ecology, and Natural History of Costa Rica.

Students may not take any other courses on this program, including BYU Online courses, without approval by the program director and ISP.
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Includes Latter-day Saint undergraduate tuition for two credits, accommodations, transportation and entrance fees for program activities and program excursions, some group meals, and international health insurance coverage.

Does not include airfare to and from the United States, preparation course tuition, food, or miscellaneous (optional) expenses.
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Funding Sources

Regular BYU tuition scholarships, Pell Grants, and Federal Insured Student Loans may be applied to study abroad programs.

Students who submit the financial aid section of the ISP application and who have a current FAFSA form on file at the Financial Aid Office (A-41 ASB) will be considered for a Study Abroad scholarship.

Academic departments and colleges may assist with scholarships and grants.

Private grants and scholarships outside of BYU may also assist (see
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All students who are accepted into the program are expected to register for a 1 credit, pre-departure preparation class held during the second block of winter semester. BYU students are expected to keep all aspects of the BYU Honor Code and ISP rules during the program.

Students must meet all country- and program-specific COVID and health requirements for travel.
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The group will stay in affordable but neat and clean hostels and hotels in Costa Rica. Most places have internet access, kitchens to prepare food, laundry facilities, and other amenities. All housing will be safe and arranged by BYU International Study Programs.
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Students are responsible for purchasing their own airfare to and from the program sites. Airline reservations must be made through BYU Travel. Students should contact a BYU Travel agent.

BYU Travel
280 HRCB
(801) 422-6293
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Application Process

Students must be 18 years of age or older to participate.

Complete the online application here. A nonrefundable $35 application fee is required; applicants will be interviewed once the application is complete.

We are planning on taking approximately 20 students, who will be notified via e-mail of their acceptance into the program. The first payment is due upon acceptance; please refer to the Payment Information document.

Applicants should note that this program is highly competitive and seats fill quickly. It is strongly suggested that applicants consider alternative programs once the trip roster is full.

Application Deadline: 15 February 2023
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Program Adjustments

International Study Programs (ISP) reserves the right to cancel this program, revise its offerings, or make any adjustments to the preliminary cost.

If it becomes necessary for ISP to cancel a program, all program payments made to BYU ISP will be refunded to the student’s BYU Financial account.

ISP is the only office authorized to cancel any of its programs.
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Steven Petersen is a professor of forest and range ecology in the Department of Plant and Wildlife Sciences. His research focuses on ecosystem dynamics, forestry, plant-animal interactions, and the application of geospatial technology. He will help you explore the diversity and connections among biological organisms and their environment in the incredible landscapes of Costa Rica and their coastal waters.

5027 LSB
(801) 422-4885
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Contact Us

International Study Programs
101 HRCB
(801) 422-3686
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ISP Student Handbook

To see the student handbook, click here.
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Payment Schedule

To see the payment schedule, click here.