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You’ll cover a lot of ground and become fast friends with your fellow participants on this program. The housing accommodations you’ll share are mostly rustic. As the program moves you to various research sites and activities, you will experience living in hotels, homestays, tents, and two different dormitory-style field stations.


  • Shared or private bedroom
  • Shared bathroom
  • Meals plan (all meals)

Field Trip (weeks 1–2)

The first two weeks of your program, you’ll explore the various ecosystems of Costa Rica with your program instructors and fellow students. The field trip varies each season, so you may be staying in a tent, field station or local hotel during this portion of your adventure.

Remote Field Station (weeks 3–4)

After the field trip, you’ll settle into a field station located at the edge of a forest preserve. On one side is the Continental Divide, on the other, the Pacific Ocean. Life at the Monteverde Biological field station is very similar to summer camp. The station has a classroom, lab, kitchen and library. Meals are shared family-style in the dining area with your fellow students and instructors. Each bedroom sleeps four students in bunks and has an attached bathroom.

Homestay and Rustic Cabins (weeks 5–7)

You’ll spend one week conducting research at San Gerardo in the Bosque Eterno de los Niños. While you’re conducting research, you’ll sleep in a rustic cabin on bunk beds with foam mattresses. Bathroom facilities (toilets and showers) are in a separate building and the dining area doubles as a group meeting space and lecture hall.

Your homestay will be with a local Spanish-speaking host. Costa Rican hosts are welcoming and often treat their guests as members of the family, sharing meals and social activities. To show their support, your hosts will likely attend your final research presentation.

Field Station (final week)

The last week of the program, you’ll return to the Monteverde Biological field station.

Live with

  • Local residents
  • UCEAP students
  • Program instructors


You will be walking or hiking every day along rural dirt roads through diverse natural environments. The commute time will vary but the local staff will choose housing as close as possible to the site where you will be conducting your field research.