Interdisciplinary & Global Studies Division

San Josť, Costa Rica B 08

At A Glance

Term – B 2008

Project opportunities – IQP

Housing – Shared student units in a residential hotel

Director – Professor Vernon Gerstenfeld

Preparation – 1/2 unit preparation activity (knowledge of Spanish language is not required)

Application deadline – September 27, 2007 (before 1:00 pm)


Costa Rica is a land of contrasts: banana plantations, flaming volcanoes, misty black sand beaches and a thriving modern capitalist economy.  A remarkably stable country, politically and economically, Costa Rica offers an opportunity for students to become immersed in a Central American culture where democracy, economic development, and concern for the environment are a permanent part of the landscape.  Students stay in the capital city of San José, but ample opportunity is found to visit the country’s attractions.  Projects are typically in environmental issues.


Costa Rica’s unique environment provides students opportunities to focus on environmental conservation and sustainable development by working with government agencies dedicated to those issues and with selected museums and private organizations.  Students will become very familiar with the land and with the challenges of maintaining a clean environment in spite of pressures to develop the economy.  Prior knowledge of Spanish language is not required for participation.  All students, however, complete a two-week intensive language program on site.  Those who have some Spanish skills will greatly improve them. 


Estimated Out-of-Pocket Expenses

$   575
$     40
$   210
$   100
$   800

Round trip travel to site
Taxi from airport to residence
Dining out (7 x term)
Weekend tourist activities & incidentals
Estimated total out-of-pocket expenses

Expenses Included on your WPI Bill


Housing, program expenses plus required 2 week on-site language course

Estimated Total Expenses


Tuition and WPI On-Campus Housing NOT INCLUDED

Subject to change due to fluctuations in exchange rate


In calculating the extra expense to participate in an off-campus project experience, compare this figure to expenses incurred while living on campus (groceries or meal plan, entertainment expenses, transportation, etc.)

Some scholarship assistance for students going to this project center is available for those who are U.S. citizens and Pell Grant recipients. Apply to the Benjamin Gilman International Scholarship Program.

Travel Dates:

Arrive on site Monday, October 20, 2008
Depart site on Saturday, December 13, 2008
Housing is provided beginning and ending on the dates above.  Students who plan to arrive earlier or stay later will need to make their own accomodation arrangements outside of those dates.

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Last modified: August 25, 2008 13:48:48