• View of beach in Costa Rica

    Capstone in Costa Rica

  • Group photo white water rafting

    Capstone in Costa Rica

  • Building in San Jose, Costa Rica

    Capstone in Costa Rica

  • Mongrove Tree in Costa Rica

    Capstone in Costa Rica


This program explores sustainability efforts made in Iowa as well as Costa Rica. While abroad, you will participate in language and culture workshops, field trips and activities related to sustainable tourism, and collaborate with local students.

I highly enjoyed going to Costa Rica. I learned a lot about their culture and got to really practice my Spanish. -Ellie, 2018

Interacting with students, professors and our host families was the best way to learn about sustainability and culture in Costa Rica. -Megan, 2018


Course Leaders

Jennifer Bruss, Program & Community Outreach Coordinator

Department: Recycling and Reuse Technology Transfer Center
Phone: 319-273-3689
Email: jennifer.bruss@uni.edu
Campus Address: CEEE 113

Jenny has been involved with environmental and sustainability education for over 10 years on the UNI campus and the community. The summertime brings other opportunities for education while managing Creekside Harmony Educational Garden on campus. Her passions are biking, running and other outdoor sports throughout the year. She is excited to lead another group of UNI students on next year's adventure to Costa Rica through the study abroad program.


CAP 3140: Environment, Technology & Society (2 credits)

Participation in this program requires several class meetings throughout the spring semester. Meetings are tentatively planned for Thursdays, 7 - 9 pm. Attendance of each of the meetings is required. Please contact the program's course leader for more information.  To view the course syllabus, click HERE. 


  • In order to receive Capstone credit, program participants must have completed 60 credits hours prior to the program's course start date (i.e. be of Junior standing). Students who participate in capstone programs without meeting the credit hour prerequisite will receive elective credit. In this instance, students should consult with their academic advisor(s) regarding how the elective credit fits into their specific plans of study. 
  • Students planning to participate in the spring commencement ceremony in May can enroll in this summer term program, however, their degree will not be conferred until the end of the summer term and is contingent on the successful completion of the program and all required coursework.
  • Students attending colleges and universities other than UNI are welcome to participate in this program. If you are not currently a UNI student, but would like to participate in this program, please contact the UNI Study Abroad Center prior to starting your program application.
  • Capstone courses cannot be repeated. If you have previously taken the program's capstone course, please contact the UNI Study Abroad Center prior to starting your program application.


Tentative Program Dates: Monday, May 13, 2019 to Saturday, May 25, 2019

Sample itinerary is subject to change

Day 1: Travel to San José, Costa Rica; dinner with host families

Day 2: Orientation with host university; Spanish language lesson; visit San Jose during the afternoon with stops at an open market and the National Museum; attend soccer game in evening

​Day 3: Spanish language lesson; visit to nearby beach with a surf lesson option

Day 4: Day trip to Sarchi for tour of oxcart factory and painting lessons

Day 5: Spanish language lesson; sustainability lesson; cooking class; and salsa dancing lesson and night out 

Day 6: Depart for overnight trip to La Paz and Arenal Volcano National Park; visit La Paz Waterfall Gardens

Day 7: Visit Arenal National Park and swim in Kalambu Thermal Waters; return to San José

Day 8: Spanish language lesson and service learning at local orphanage; soccer game with local students 

Day 9: Coffee, chocolate and cane sugar cultivation and production tour

Day 10: Depart for overnight trip to Pacuare River for white water rafting and optional zip-lining

Day 11: White water rafting, then return to San José

Day 12: Free day for shopping and packing

Day 13: Return to U.S.A.

Housing & Meals

Students will stay in housing arranged by the Study Abroad Center and paid for before departure.  While in San José, students will stay in host families (2 students per family). Note, host families may have limited or no English proficiency. Students are encouraged to stay flexible and view their host family stay as a cross-cultural communication opportunity. 

Breakfast and dinner will be provided most days, but remaining meals will be paid for by students out-of-pocket while abroad. Students are encouraged to try the local foods.

Program Costs

Capstone in Costa Rica

Estimated Program Cost:


* estimated total cost of participation, actual amount depends on type of housing accommodation selected, actual airfare purchase price, personal spending habits, and other factors

Click Below to View Detailed Budget Sheet:

Cost of studying on-campus*

*per semester, estimated, will vary per person

Tuition & Fees:


Room & Board:




Personal Expenses:






Source: https://admissions.uni.edu/costs

Dates & Deadlines


App Deadline: 
Friday, February 15, 2019
Program Dates: 
Monday, May 13, 2019 to Saturday, May 25, 2019

The Study Abroad Center reserves the right to determine participants' eligibility to Study Abroad. Students must meet all of the following in order to be eligible to Study Abroad:

  • Have a cumulative 2.5 GPA or higher at the time of application and maintain this GPA prior to departure and throughout the study abroad process
    • If your cumulative GPA is between 2.40 to 2.49, submit the following to the Study Abroad Center (28 Gilchrist):
      • A letter of reference from your academic advisor supporting your pursuit of study abroad
      • An essay, which should explain why your cumulative GPA is below a 2.50, include how your cumulative GPA is stable or improving, a detailed plan for improving your academic performance a strong academic and/or personal interest in your study abroad location and/or course, and a compelling academic rationale for studying abroad.
  • Must be over the age of 18 years old
  • Must meet the course prerequisites (participation in the program is dependent upon meeting these)
  • Must be in good standing with the University
  • UNI's partner institutions may require additional eligibility requirements to be met, these vary from institution to institution. Please consult with the Study Abroad Center staff to discuss these additional requirements if applicable.
  • Applicants traveling to a region of a country or a country with an overall Travel Advisory Level 3 (Reconsider Travel) or 4 (Do Not Travel) will not be eligible.
  • All study abroad applicants must pass the Study Abroad Applicant Assessment with a score of 70% or greater.
  • Applicants may be selected for an in-person interview before being accepted. Selection for an interview does not guarantee acceptance into the program. You will be contacted directly by the Study Abroad Center if selected for an interview.