• UNI students on raft

    Faculty-led Program in Costa Rica - Winter

  • Arenal volcano in Costa Rica in the distance

    Faculty-led Program in Costa Rica - Winter

  • A sloth hanging upside down from a branch

    Faculty-led Program in Costa Rica - Winter

  • Costa Rica written in the sand

    Faculty-led Program in Costa Rica - Winter


Students will have the opportunity to critically analyze the origins and consequences of one’s own personal values as well as apply ethical reasoning to important issues facing society. Students will experience first-hand the values held by others and analyze how these compare with their own. These cross-cultural experiences will emphasize the process of inquiry and analysis to assist students in developing the reasoning skills to ethically address important, complex issues with the global community.

Visits will include a trip to the Starbuck's coffee plantation, the Poás Volcano, natural hot springs, and national parks where students may see animals including monkey's, sloths, iguanas, frogs/lizards, birds and many others. Activities include white water rafting, beach activities, and much more! Students will get to try a variety of fruits and other local foods.

Participation in this program fulfills the UNIFI: Responsibility category. It can count as a general education UNIFI elective credit under the category of Connect. Students will be enrolled into their study abroad course by Study Abroad Center staff.

I would recommend any type of these programs to all students. It is an experience that you will never forget while also creating connections and friends with many. - Jacob, past participant

I have never been on a trip where I've been able to do so much in such a short period of time. I felt comfortable the whole time and loved the group we were with. Since Costa Rica is a place with so many different things to do, I truly felt like I got a full cultural experience. - Madison, past participant



Course Leaders

Nicholas Bailey, Assistant Professor

Department: Management
Phone: 319-273-6224
E-mail: nick.bailey@uni.edu
Campus Address: CBB 246

Dr. Bailey teaches Business Policy and Strategy and International Business here on the UNI campus. He has visited more than a dozen countries, including Brazil, Costa Rica, Denmark, England, France, Germany, India, Mexico, Poland, Turkey, and the UAE. In May, 2017, Dr. Bailey traveled with UNI students to visit the Amazon Rainforest and Tropical Savanna in Brazil, which led him to lead additional programs abroad. He has led the Costa Rica program twice (January 2019 and January 2022) and has led a program to Puerto Rico as well. He looks forward to taking students abroad again this coming winter session!


BUS 3159: The Ethics of Global Leadership, Cross-Cultural Negotiations, and Sustainability (3 credits)

  • This is a UNIFI: Responsibility category course. It can count as a general education UNIFI elective credit under the category of Connect. 

Participation in this program requires several class meetings during the fall semester, although the course is scheduled as a winter session course. The Study Abroad Center will enroll participants in the course. Please contact the program's course leader for more information on academic requirements.  

To view a tentative syllabus, click HERE


  • Winter session courses are billed tuition and fees.
  • 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.


Tentative Program Dates: Tuesday, January 2 (depart) - Friday, January 12(return), 2024

Sample itinerary is subject to change.

Day 1: Arrive in San José, Costa Rica

Day 2: Visit Starbucks affiliated coffee plantation to learn about cultivation, processing, and business practices of the industry; then, visit the Poás Volcano, an active volcano with a geothermally heated crater lake. Class in the evening.  

Day 3: Visit a HydroDam or other green energy sites. Class in the evening.  

Day 4: Travel to the Caribbean side of Costa Rica for your stay in La Fortuna/Arenal. Along the way, stop for white water rafting on Pacuare River. The river flows from the Talamanca Mountains all the way down to the Caribbean and is well known amongst whitewater rafters all over the world as one of the planet's five best rafting rivers. Class in the evening.  

Day 5: For those interested, start the day with the unique experience of kayaking on Lake Arenal with unbeatable views of the Arenal Volcano. In the afternoon, bathe in the natural hot springs. Also offered: optional zip-line canopy tour (at additional expense). Class in the evening. 

Day 6: Travel to Tamarindo. Along the way, visit the Pumas Rescue Center and Animal Sanctuary. At this wildlife center, dedicated staff and volunteers work to rehabilitate injured Costa Rican wildlife. You will learn about the animals, about their behavior, natural history, ecology and learn the stories behind their rescue and why they couldn’t go back to nature. Class in the evening. 

Day 7: Hike in the Rincón de la Vieja National Park along the Las Pailas Trail. In this dry-tropical forest you'll find hidden waterfalls, bubbling mud pots, and hot springs. End the journey at the Oropendola Waterfall and take a swim in its blue pool. Class in the evening. 

Day 8: Set sail on a catamaran, exploring some of the most beautiful isolated white sand beaches and snorkel locations in Costa Rica. A snorkeling guide will show you the marine wildlife such as: puffer fish, starfish, sea turtles, and dolphins. Class in the evening. 

Day 9:  Surfing lessons and free time. 

Day 10: Return to the U.S. 

*This can be a physically demanding tour and students may need to walk at a normal/average pace at times over steep and uneven terrain.

Participant Info

Important information to review:

  • Review the roles of the Advisee and the Advisor under the main menu Get Started

Entry and Exit Requirements:

  • Review and follow the travel recommendations of the CDC for International Travel
  • Monitor appropriate websites for updates and information about COVID or other emergencies before departing and while in the destination country. The U.S. Embassy for Costa Rica provides updates that can be found on their website

Housing & Meals

Students will stay in hotels arranged by the Study Abroad Center and paid for before departure. Breakfast and a few additional meals are built into the program cost. Students will purchase other meals out-of-pocket while abroad. Students are encouraged to try the local foods.

Program Costs

Faculty-led Program in Costa Rica - Winter

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, September 15, 2023
Program Dates: 
Tuesday, January 2, 2024 to Friday, January 12, 2024

Eligibility Requirements to Study Abroad

The Study Abroad Center reserves the right to determine participants' eligibility to Study Abroad. Students must have a completed study abroad application, including supportive recommendation form(s). Additionally, 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 cumulative GPA prior to departure and throughout the study abroad process
  • If your cumulative GPA is lower than 2.5, submit the following to the Study Abroad Center (103 East Bartlett):
  • Letters of reference from two academic contacts (e.g. academic advisor and former or current professor) supporting your pursuit of study abroad. If you are attending a faculty-led study abroad program, one of the letters must be from a course leader. However, if the program has two course leaders, only one of the letters can be from one of the course leaders.
  • 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.