The spring study abroad program in Costa Rica teaches students the fundamentals of behavioral ecology. We focus on linking behavior observed in the lab (at GSU) with that of the animals within its natural habitat (16 -23 March; Liberia, Costa Rica). Two faculty will guide students through a training period in Atlanta and subsequently aid them in the observation of that same species in Costa Rican streams. This allows for comparisons between captive and wild behavior, and provides direct insights into the evolution of behavior. Animal behavior is often taught in the absence of natural context, but that context provides critical insights into fishes and humans). Students will collect data in both the lab and field and then make statistical comparisons between the two conditions. The end result is for the students to present the results of their work at a GSU STEM poster session. Field based learning opportunities represent best practices associated with active learning, real world applications, and facilitate an increased appreciation and understanding of the natural world outside of Atlanta / the USA, which is instrumental to developing scientifically and socially literate citizens.
There will be a few class sessions prior to departure, where the program's coursework will be discussed, and students will receive important pre-departure information about health, safety & insurance. There will also be at least one class session held after returning to Atlanta for debriefing.
March 16 - 20: Field work in and around Lomas du Barbudal
March 21-22: Plya Hermosa
March 22: Back to Atlanta
Participants will stay in comfortable double occupancy hotels near the field sites/ nature preserve.
The program is open to undergraduate and graduate students who meet all academic requirements of the Georgia State University. Program size is limited and participation is contingent upon acceptance by the Program Director.
- Transient students should visit the Transient Student tab on the How to Apply page of our website
- International students at Georgia State who hold F-1 visas must contact the Office of International Students and Scholar Services at (404) 413-2070 to discuss possible implications of study abroad for their immigration status.
Participants who successfully complete Bio 4930/6930 courses will receive 3.0 semester hours of course credit at Georgia State University. Undergraduate students should register for (Bio 4930) and graduate students should register for (Bio 6930). Students from other institutions should follow their institution's regulations concerning transfer credits.
Program cost may vary at any time according to currency fluctuations and changing travel arrangements. The program cost is tentatively set at $2500, PLUS regular Georgia State University tuition and fees. Nonresident/out-of-state students will pay in-state tuition plus a $250 fee in addition to the program cost.
Program Cost Includes:
- Round-trip airfare
- Hotel accommodations, double occupancy
- Some meals
- Selected city orientations
- Group cultural events
- International insurance
Program Cost Does Not Include:
- Georgia State tuition and fees
- Passport or visa fees
- Additional meals
- Excess baggage charges and tips
- Personal expenses
- Travel not associated with the program
- Public transportation in Liberia
Due with application: $200
Early January: $2300 remaining balance
All payments are non-refundable upon receipt
Financial Aid & Scholarships
Georgia State University students may use any financial aid they currently receive for the term they study abroad, including: Pell Grant, Federal Direct Loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans and PLUS loans), Perkins Loan, HOPE Scholarship, and other scholarships. Please note: due to federal regulations, these funds are not available in time to use for your initial payments!
Georgia State University students may be eligible for the IEF Scholarship
and the International Access Scholarship
- Meet the eligibility requirements
- Are accepted into a program
- Pay a deposit by the deposit deadline
will be considered for these scholarships based upon the program application they submit. Visit the scholarship page on our website
or stop by the Study Abroad Programs Office for advisement to learn more about
other scholarship opportunities
& financial aid for study abroad
Study Abroad Advising
Interested in studying abroad, but not quite sure where to get started? Meeting with a Peer Advisor
is your first step in studying abroad! All of our Peer Advisors have study abroad experience and can help you define your goals for studying abroad and point you to resources to make your study abroad experience a success. After you meet with a Peer Advisor to learn the basics about studying abroad, you are eligible to come in to meet with a Study Abroad Advisor
during walk-in advising hours. Study Abroad Advisors are here to guide you through the entire study abroad process, from choosing a program and applying to scholarships to making sure you're readjusting to life back on campus when you return. To view our current advising schedule, please visit our website
Study Abroad Programs Office
Georgia State University
Dahlberg Hall, 3rd Floor
Atlanta, Georgia 30303