Pursuing Sustainable Development: An Experiential Urban and Rural Program provides students with a four-month experiential opportunity in Costa Rica. In this program, students analyze Costa Rica’s sustainable development efforts in both urban and rural contexts. The program is designed for on-the-go students with a passion for protecting biodiversity and strengthening socio-economic wellbeing!

The program combines enriching fieldwork and site visits with engaging classroom time, allowing students to critically examine and understand several models of responsible economic development, biodiversity promotion and resources management.

The first two months of the semester are based in urban San José, Costa Rica’s capital city, at the International Center for Development Studies (ICDS). The final two are based in the Caribbean lowland rural rainforest area at the EARTH University campus.

Check out this video about EARTH University! 

Program Website

Course Description

Courses in sustainable development are complemented by the opportunity to develop and prefect valuable language skills through complementary Spanish language courses, local culture immersion and homestays. The four-month program includes five credit-bearing courses. 

During the first two months of the program, students will take the following courses at ICDS, located in San José, the urban capital of Costa Rica:

Community Engagement and Sustainable Human Development: A Service Learning Course

Environmental Dimensions of Sustainable Development: The Costa Rican Experience

During the third and fourth months of the program, students will attend EARTH University in the rural lowland rainforest region of the Caribbean Limón province and will participate in the following two courses:

Sustainable Livelihoods: Integrating Community, Entrepreneurship and Natural Resources.

Environmental and Social Assessment: How to Measure, Manage and Mitigate our Impact.

ISEP STUDENT SERVICES OFFICER Kira Hakanson 703-504-9991 | KHakanson@isep.org Thanks for your interest in ISEP Study Abroad! I’m your Student Services Officer and main point of contact here at ISEP. As you search for programs, I'll be available to answer any questions you might have. Feel free to contact me at any point in your search process for help, tips or advice.

EARTH University

Founded in 1990, EARTH University’s innovative educational approach prepares young people from Latin America, the Caribbean and other regions, including Africa and Asia, to contribute to the sustainable development of...


(in English)

*This program is OK for Sophomores

Fields of Study

  • Natural Resources/Conservation: Recommended!

    Environmental Science Sustainability Studies

Academic Requirements

  • U.S. GPA: 2.75 or higher
  • LPR Required
  • LPR Writing Score: B2 - Intermediate High-Advanced
  • LPR Reading Score: B2 - Intermediate High-Advanced
  • LPR Listening Score: B2 - Intermediate High-Advanced
  • LPR Speaking Score: B2 - Intermediate High-Advanced
LPR = ISEP Language Proficiency Report

Special Needs Support

  • Learning

Semester & Prices

Select a semester to calculate the price. Semesters are named according to host university's calendar.

Loading Semester Data...

Semester Tuition

  • Priority Admissions Deadline: {{schedule.semester.semesterTranslation.displayPriorityDeadline}}
  • Chance of Placement: {{schedule.chancesOfPlacement.name}}
  • Application Deadline: {{schedule.applicationDeadline}}
  • Average Classes Per Week: {{schedule.semester.classesPerWeek}}
  • Average Class Hours Per Week: {{schedule.semester.hoursPerWeek}}

Required Expenses



University Deadline: {{child.studentDeadline | date:'longDate'}}

{{plan.housingPlan.getNumPeopleDisplay()}} , accommodates dependents {{plan.housingPlan.url}}

Optional Expenses



University Deadline: {{child.studentDeadline | date:'longDate'}}

{{plan.housingPlan.getNumPeopleDisplay()}} {{plan.housingPlan.url}}
{{plan.name}} ,

EARTH University

Guácimo, Costa Rica



Select a Semester

Total: US$0



{{child.childProgram.name}} Options

Housing (Estimate) TBD Home University Housing Price (Included) Options

Meals (Estimate) Home University Meals Price Options

{{addonType}} US${{programScheduleCollection.selectedSchedule.selectedAddonDisplaySums[addonType]}} (Estimate) Options

ISEP Application Fee US$100

ISEP Acceptance Fee US$425


Program Deadlines
Chances of Placement: {{programScheduleCollection.selectedSchedule.chancesOfPlacement.name}}
Program added.View application
Program saved.View all
{{ programScheduleCollection.Message }}