apply nowStudents seeking adventure and fun, as well as, having a desire to share their time and talents with their host community, are ideally suited for the Costa Rica community service trip. In just a short two-week stay, the program will expose participants to the multifacted beauty of Costa Rica: its hospitable and warm culture, its "pura vida" (pure life) mantra, and its commitment to protecting and exploring biodiversity. 


Students will learn how Costa Ricans live and think, as well as, some of the country's development challenges. Students will acquire or strengthen Spanish language skills and participate in fun daily cultural, social, and recreational activities. Excursions, including visits to a coffee plantation and a weekend trip to Arenal Volcano, serve as opportunities to experience firsthand the nature the country is known for!


Environmental/Sustainable Development 

Students may work with a network of urban gardens or ecological farms. Student volunteers generally assist with the garden or farm's daily tasks, learning about permaculture, organic farming and composting in the process. Students may also learn methods to teach children about environmental issues. 


Social Welfare Services

Students may volunteer in organizations that support vulnerable populations, such as children or senior citizens. Organizations include subsidized daycare centers or senior centers. Students may participate in storytelling sessions, English language classes, or other fun activities. 


Spanish language classes and community service are arranged through the International Center for Development Studies (ICDS) and their affiliate organizations. While in San José, students will stay with carefully selected host families, in walking distance of their classes. Students will volunteer with local community organizations in San José and engage with Costa Rican people through activities such as soccer games, dance lessons, and cooking with their families. 

One year of Spanish or the equivalent is required for admission. Upon completion of this program, students will receive a certificate documenting 30 hours of community service. 

Dates July 15 - July 28, 2018
Application Deadline April 1, 2018
Payment Deadline April 15, 2018
Price $2,950 without airfare
Ages 15-18 year olds only (completing grades 9-11)
Credit No academic credit. A certificate documenting 30 hours of community service is provided upon completion.
Accommodations Local host families (meals and laundry included); hotels on excursions.
Language of Instruction English and Spanish
Prerequisites Students must have completed at least one year of high school Spanish or the equivalent.

To see a full list of application requirements, please visit our FAQ page.


Costa Rica is a country of natural beauty, political stability, friendly people, and a temperate climate. Since dismantling its army in 1948, it has been known around the world as one of the most stable countries in Latin America and has often been a mediator in other Central American conflicts. The international community acknowledged this contribution in 1987 by presenting President Oscar Arias with the Nobel Peace Prize. Costa Rica has devoted itself to environmental conservation and educational achievement. Today, Costa Rica’s National Conservation Areas System (SINAC) covers more than 134 areas - national parks, reserves, and refuges - comprising roughly 27 percent of the national territory. This commitment provides an abundance of natural wonders and biodiversity - a paradise for naturalists and wildlife. The relatively small size of the country allows one to explore the beach, jungle and mountains all in one day. The population of Costa Rica is diverse and the people, colloquially called the ‘Ticos,’ are warm and welcoming.

Costa Rica Sea Turtle
Costa Rica Waterfall In Rain Forest
Costa Rica Students Near Waterfall At Volcan Arenal
Costa Rica Student Crossing Rainforest Bridge
Costa Rica Students Hiking In Jungle
Costa Rica Arenal Volcano
Costa Rica Beach
Costa Rica San Jose Statue
Costa Rica Students Biking Through Forest
Costa Rica San Jose Cool Topiary
Costa Rica Students Walking Through Rainforest