COSTA RICA AND NICARAGUA: Social and Environmental Sustainability in Central America (closed)

Costa Rica

Program website not available Type:   |  Minimum GPA:
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  • Summer 2 Semester - July 3 - August 5, 2014 (dates subject to change)

Application Deadline

  • Summer 2 Semester - Priority Deadline: November 15, 2013

Priority deadline is November 15th with a final deadline of January 26th. Program accepting applications until filled and is subject to close at any time.


Faculty Leaders: Lori Gardinier ( and Ron Sandler (

Study Abroad Coordinator: Colleen Boyle (

Term: Summer II


  • HUSV4945 Leadership & International Program Development
  • PHIL1181 Environmental Ethics Abroad


This interdisciplinary program explores contemporary issues in social and environmental sustainability in Costa Rica and Nicaragua.  Students will examine how economic development and globalization influences the social and ecological environments.   Participants will engage in service-learning within non-profit organizations, visit agricultural and environmental programs, and refine their Spanish language skills all while living with Costa Rican families.   They will also study and analyze alternative approaches to ecosystem management, including species conservation, and agriculture, with an emphasis on the values that underlie them and the challenges that human impacts on the environment (particularly global climate change) pose to them.   Particular attention will be giving to the ethics and practices within the ecotourism industry, the role of public private partnerships, the relationship between social and environmental sustainability, and the ecological and social roles of national parks.   Using lectures, presentations, case studies, field trips, and service-learning this program will expose student to the theoretical and ethical frameworks used to explain and evaluate social and ecological systems and practices.  While in service-learning placements students will develop and apply skills and techniques for program development and implementation in the nonprofit sector.  This experiential program focuses on program evaluation techniques within nonprofits, ethics in international volunteerism/foreign nonprofit interventions, globalization and its influence on the nonprofit sector, and ethical issues in ecosystem management, biodiversity conservation, and ecological sustainability.


  • HUSV4945 Leadership & International Program Development
  • PHIL1181 Environmental Ethics Abroad

Host University



Eligibility Requirements

  • Minimum 2.5 GPA
  • All students are encouraged to apply.
  • Students with an expressed interest in non-profits and/or environmental issues will be given preference.

Application Procedure

    • Online Dialogue of Civilizations application (available on OISP website and myNEU)
    • $500 non-refundable program deposit paid through NUPay.* Be sure to select the appropriate summer term.**
    • One copy of passport ID page – to be given directly to your faculty leader after acceptance.
    • 2-3 page essay answering the following questions (copy and pasted into online application):
    1. What are your personal and academic reasons for wishing to participate in this Dialogue of Civilizations program?
    2. How will the program further your academic and career goals?
    3. What is your previous travel and language experience, if any?
    4. What courses have you taken which are directly relevant to the program?

    *If you are not accepted into your Dialogue program, the $500 deposit will be credited to your student account.

    **Applications are not considered complete until deposit is received. This deposit will be applied to the full cost of the program.

    **Faculty may require additional information and/or interview (after application deadline)

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Tuition: $10,195

DOC Fee: $2,000

Tuition and DOC Fee cover 8 Northeastern credits, round-trip airfare from Boston, housing for program duration, International SOS assistance, as well as some local transport, excursions and group meals.


Students will have a private room with a host family while in Costa Rica.  While in Nicaragua, students will stay in hotels with a roommate.  Classes will be held at La Universidad Latina de Costa Rica and students will have access to wireless and a computer lab.


Our program will start in Managua, the capital of Nicaragua.  While in Nicaragua we will also have programing in rural areas as well as Granada, a small colonial city.   The program will be based in Costa Rica for about four weeks.  During weekdays we will be based in the capital of San Jose.  On the weekends students will have programing at various locations such at Earth University, Volcano Arenal, Monteverde national park.