Costa Rica

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Honors College will reactivate its Study Abroad programs in Spring/Summer 2022. We will also be launching, in Summer 2022, “Study U.S.A.” programs within the United States. The Honors College will offer informational Study Abroad Honors Hours sessions and open registration in fall 2021.

Updated program information on the website coming soon.

Thank you for your patience and understanding

Costa Rica: Biodiversity, Conservation and Sustainability

READ THE GUIDELINES TO SECURE YOUR SPOT and the 2020 Honors Study Abroad Programs policies at the bottom of the page!


Costa Rica is determined to be the first carbon-neutral country in the world by 2022. On the summer trip students will focus on the country’s initiatives in social responsibility, sustainable development, biodiversity with an emphasis on tropical ecosystems, indigenous community, and the effects of global warming mitigation, as well as the relation people/nature. We will explore everything from chocolate and coffee tours to rainforest medicines, from volcanoes to beaches, from exotic birds to gulch-spanning ziplines, from crocodiles to frog ponds. At the Malecu Indigenous Reserve and the community of Uvita de Osa, students will work on service-research projects alongside local ecotourism directors, farmers and scientists who are working in cooperatives and research institutes that benefit both entrepreneurs and the local community.

Make an educated decision! Check out the October 24, 2019 Study Abroad Honors Hour on the Costa Rica program HERE!

Approximately $TBD+ airfare ($350 to $500)

– Accommodations
– Most meals
– Local Transportation
– Group visits, activities
– Museums, etc.

– Airfare
– $350 Honors College administrative fee
– $195 Office of Study Abroad fee
– FIU tuition
– Passport, and other necessary documents
– Vaccinations if needed
– Personal expenses

Spring 2022: Fridays, 8:30AM to 11:20AM

Summer A: May 12 – June 2, 2022



Sustainability, culture, and biodiversity. The impact of economic, environmental, and social issues related to tourism and general business practices.

Activities: visiting National Parks, and Private Reserves. Working on cooperative farms, harvesting crops, visiting and talking with members of indigenous tribes and assisting local people in launching sustainable tourist facilities. Also, you will explore the rich and diverse ecological landscape through boat rides, bird watching, nature walks, snorkeling, swimming and zip-lining.

You will also perform approximately 20 hours of service work in at the Malecu Indigenous Reserve helping to improve the infrastructure of the local school.

Indigenous traditions, community tourism, conservation, sustainable medicinal plants, unique ecosystems, the cooperative model and its social/economic impact.

Destinations: Sarapiquí: Tirimbina Rainforest Reserve, CoopeSarapiquí Coffee Tour; La Fortuna: Arenal Volcano Observatory, Paradise Hotsprings, La Fortuna Waterfall; Monteverde: Curicancha Cloud Forest Reserve, Children Eternal Rainforest; North Pacific: Curú National Wildlife Refuge, Tortuga Island Tárcoles river, South Pacific: Marino Ballena National Park, Uvita Beach; San Gerardo de Dota: Los Quetzales National Park, Las Vueltas Reserve; San José de Costa Rica: Sarchí, Downtown San José.

Great for students with interests in environmental studies, biodiversity, economics, ecology, anthropology, sociology, agriculture, business, tourism, medicine, pharmacology, religious studies, engineering, biology… There is something for everyone!

There is a Spring course component (3 credits.) Classes start Spring 2022. The trip is during Summer A (3 credits.) These 6 credits fulfill one year of Honors College requirements.

Carlos Roberto Chavarria is a Forest Engineer with a master’s degree in Natural Tourism Management, specialized in protected areas management, development of economic activities based on the sustainable use of natural resources, agro-ecotourism, and sustainable tourism. He is one of the founders of “Reserva Biológica Tirimbina,” where he developed a model of financial sustainability that generates resources for the development of Environmental Education and Scientific Research programs. He has also developed a variety of activities on biological corridors’ management in Costa Rica and has worked with Coffee Farmers Cooperatives for the implementation of better environmental practices.

Professor Chavarria has contributed as a tutor in the Organization of American States’ Agro-ecotourism Program and has offered courses about Sustainability, Ecotourism and Climate Change for Ball State University, Indiana, Johnson & Wales University, Rhode Island, Purdue University, Indiana, Florida International University, and others. He collaborates with the Society for Conservation Biology, American Section’s Board of Directors since 2010. In 2012, he established Costa Rica Rainforest Experience, an organization dedicated to Academic and Educational Tourism. Since then, he has been developing programs in Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama, connecting institutions dedicated to conservation and education with these countries’ culture, traditions, and scenic beauty.

How do we secure our spot and keep it? It works on a first-come, first-served basis!

Follow these instructions:

Current Honors Students interested in securing a spot for a 2020 study abroad program:

  • Get clearance from your Honors advisor. For STEM students, your advisors are Brenda Luna ( or Patric Hambleton ( Non-STEM students must see Grisel d’Elena ( Call 305-348-4100 and ask for an advising appointment. Indicate it is regarding Study Abroad. You must have an advisor’s clearance when you go see Luli to secure your spot!
  • Once you’ve been cleared, email Luli ( to schedule a registration appointment, specifying your PID and program of choice
  • On the date of your appointment, bring to DM 233 a $350.00 money order or cashier’s check (ONLYmade out to FIU. These are the Honors College administrative fees. This payment will secure you a spot in your program of choice. It is non-refundable, and constitutes a serious commitment to the program
    • The registration process includes a group contract-signing session and online application. Calculate around 2 hours for the whole process
    • You will be officially registered once you complete all 3 steps (registration & payment, online application, and contract-signing)

Newly Admitted Students interested in securing a spot for a 2020 study abroad program:

  • Email Luli ( to schedule a registration appointment, including your Panther ID number and program of choice
  • Follow the instructions on the third bullet above
  • Make sure together with the $350 you bring to the session a copy of the unofficial transcripts from the institution you are coming from and a copy of the Honors letter/email of acceptance

Freshmen Students:

  • You can register for study abroad only once you get your first FIU GPA, assuming there are still spots available. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait until the 2021 registration opens in April

All Students:

  • In order to keep your good standing with the program, comply with the Honors Study Abroad Policies and deadlines at the bottom of this page
  • The Office of Study Abroad (OSA) charges a non-refundable $195 administrative fee. It will be posted along with your second payment and they can be paid together

Below is the schedule of payments to be followed after you secured your spot with your initial $350 fee:

Schedule of Payments:

1st Payment*
2nd Payment*
3rd Payment (**)
Costa Rica
Sat, June 1, 2019
Thu, Aug 1, 2019
Tue, Oct. 1, 2019*
Tue, Oct 1, 2019
Sun, Dec 1, 2019
Sat, Feb 1, 2020**
Tue, Oct 1, 2019
Sun, Dec 1, 2019
Sat, Feb 1, 2020**
Tue, Oct 1, 2019
Sun, Dec 1, 2019
Sat, Feb 1, 2020**
Tue, Oct 1, 2019
Sun, Dec 1, 2019
Sat, Feb 1, 2020**
Tue, Oct 1, 2019
Sun, Dec 1, 2019
Sat, Feb 1, 2020**
Tue, Oct 1, 2019
Sun, Dec 1, 2019
Sat, Feb 1, 2020**
United Kingdom
Tue, Oct 1, 2019
Sun, Dec 1, 2019
Sat, Feb 1, 2020**
*Non-refundable*Non-refundable**Non-ref. if canceled after Feb 14, 2020

**Non-refundable after February 14, 2020

After you’ve secured your spot at DM 233, make your 3 payments at Student Financials (SASC Building 1st Floor.) In order to make sure the payment goes towards the program and NOT to cover other balance you may have, we strongly recommend you pay in person. Make sure to tell the cashier you are paying your Honors Study Abroad program, and which one is it (E.g. Honors Japan program, Honors UK program, etc.) The charges will be posted to your account approximately 21 days prior to the deadline or earlier.


Registration will remain open from Monday through Friday (9:30am-4:30pm) until the programs are full. Email Luli at to make an appointment.
For information about Study Abroad Scholarships, please contact the Office of Study Abroad (SASC 230) at 305.348.1913 or at

For other questions, please contact Luli Szeinblum at 305.348.4100 or



Honors College Study Abroad Program

Student Eligibility and Participation Criteria

Academic Standing and Grade Point Average (GPA)

  • Students must be in good standing and maintain a minimum cumulative FIU GPA of 3.2 to participate in Honors College Study Abroad Programs.

Freshmen and Transfer Students

  • Students without an FIU GPA: If space is available, freshmen in their first year who do not yet have an FIU GPA may apply for a Study Abroad program after their Fall grades have been posted. Students must have earned a minimum GPA of 3.2 to apply. Transfer students, with or without a completed AA degree, must have a minimum 3.3 transfer GPA to apply.

Expected Graduation and Excess Credits

  • Participation in a Study Abroad program must not delay the student’s expected graduation date based on the FIU admission term/cohort.
  • Participation in a Study Abroad program must not cause the student to exceed the excess credit threshold. Students who exceed the excess credit threshold will not be approved for participation, even if participation in a Study Abroad program would satisfy pending Honors requirements.

Advisor Clearance

  • All students must obtain advisor clearance prior to securing a spot in a Study Abroad program.

Enrollment Status

  • Only active degree-seeking students will be allowed to enroll in IDH 4007.  Enrollment in IDH 4007 is a prerequisite to IDH 4008.

No exceptions will be made for the above criteria.

Study Abroad Policies

Note: IDH 4007 is the pre-trip class on campus, and IDH 4008 is the actual class abroad.


  • Students that do not comply with the payment due dates stated on, Schedule of Payments section, will be charged by the university a late fee of $100.00.
  • After the due dates there is a 2-week grace period when payments are still allowed (late fee still applies.) Missed payments after exactly those 2 weeks will result in being dropped from IDH 4007 or IDH 4008, depending on the time the payment was missed. Refunds will NOT be awarded.
  • Students are responsible to ensure that any payments made are applied to their study abroad program charges by checking their student account on at least 24 hours after the payment was made.  Students who do not comply will be dropped from the program. Refunds will NOT be awarded.
  • Students paying their program through a scholarship are responsible for their payments to be disbursed on time and in their entirety. If the payments were not completed by the deadline, it is the student’s responsibility to notify the Office of Study Abroad (OSA) of the situation. Students who do not comply with the payment deadlines will not be allowed to participate in IDH 4007 and/or IDH 4008. Refunds will NOT be awarded.


  • Students must apply online at within 2 days of securing their spot. Otherwise, they will lose it.  Refunds will NOT be awarded.
  • ALL Office of Study Abroad (OSA) required documentation for summer 2020 programs, must be uploaded to by December 1, 2019, 11:59pm, and for winter break session 2019-2020 programs (Honors Costa Rica) by August 1, 2019, 11:59pm. Students who do not comply with the deadline will not be allowed to participate in IDH 4007 and/or IDH 4008. Refunds will NOT be awarded.
  • The documentation required by OSA includes: Medical Form, copy of valid passport, Course Registration Form, and four questionnaires: 1) personal information form, 2) emergency contact form, 3) special needs form, and 4) financial information form.
  • The Medical Form is valid for only one year as of the date it is signed by a physician licensed in the United States and cannot expire before the end of the trip.
  • Passport must remain valid for at least 6 months after the last day of the trip.
  • Students that do not have a valid passport by the deadline mentioned above must instead submit proof that the passport application/renewal process has been initiated and must replace it with a copy of their actual passport no later than the end of IDH 4007. If they fail to comply by the deadline, they will not be allowed to participate in IDH 4008. Refunds will NOT be awarded.ONLY FOR STUDENTS THAT SECURE THEIR SPOT AFTER DECEMBER 6, 2019 (AND JULY 26, 2019 FOR COSTA RICA):

ONLY FOR STUDENTS THAT SECURE THEIR SPOT AFTER DECEMBER 6, 2019 (AND JULY 26, 2019 FOR COSTA RICA):The deadline to upload the required documentation will be extended until March 16, 2020, 11:59pm, and November 4, 2019, 11:59pm respectively (final DROP date). Students that fail to comply by the deadline will not be allowed to participate in IDH 4008. Refunds will NOT be awarded.

  • Students must clear any existing holds by December 1st, 2019, (and August 1, 2019, for Costa Rica.)  Students are responsible for ensuring that they have no new holds before they are registered in IDH 4008. Students that fail to comply by the deadline will not be allowed to participate in IDH 4007 and/or IDH 4008. Refunds will NOT be awarded.


  • Study Abroad programs can be physically demanding. Students must be physically able to participate in the programs.


  • Students must be in good standing and maintain a minimum cumulative FIU GPA of 3.2 to participate in Honors College Study Abroad Programs. Students that fail to comply will not be allowed to participate in IDH 4007 and/or IDH 4008. Refunds will NOT be awarded.
  • A minimum grade of C in IDH 4007 is required to be enrolled in IDH 4008. Refunds will NOT be awarded if the student cannot be enrolled.


  • Students who have been sanctioned under the FIU Student Code of Conduct (, which results in loss of privileges and/or other sanctions that result in the student not being considered to be in good standing with the University (e.g., conduct probation,) are not eligible to participate in IDH 4008. Refunds will NOT be awarded.
  • Students studying abroad are expected to represent the Honors College and FIU honorably and maturely. The faculty director and/or staff are authorized to end the trip early for students whose behavior becomes disruptive (and/or whose behavior violates the Student Code of Conduct.)
  • By signing up to participate in a study abroad program, students are assuming all the above-mentioned responsibilities and are committing to comply with them without further notices.