** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Students will study an endangered reptile with a 100-million-year history and work to protect critical ecosystems. As students walk beneath lush rainforest canopies and learn about the immense biodiversity of tropical flora and fauna, they will not have access to cell phone data, internet, electricity, sewer, gas or other modern amenities. Going off the grid will better enable students to exchange ideas about life, science, and our shared world while experiencing Costa Rican culture.
Check out our homepage to see past program participants and what they did on the program!
MSU West Plains students will be subject to West Plains tuition rates
Transportation to/from designated airport
Ground transportation for personal trips
Souvenirs & other personal purchases (e.g. coffee, clothing, etc.)
IDS 297 (3)
BIO 197 (3)
BIO 597 (3)
BIO 697 (3)
GRY 197 (3)
Maximum Credit Hours: 6
This is an unplugged program from digital technology and students have to be ready to walk long distances.
Pre-Departure Meeting Dates
Pre-Departure Meeting Topic
Informational Meeting for Springfield Students
Informational Meeting for West Plains Students
Depart Springfield for San Jose, Costa Rica
Rainforest Ecology introduction, water quality assessment, bat research project lecture
Rainforest diversity day / night hikes
Cultural exchange and agricultural sustainability lecture, leatherback sea turtle ecology introduction, night time patrols
Low lands and coast diversity day hike, leatherback sea turtles biology lecture, introduction to groups' projects, night time patrols
Leatherback sea turtle data analysis, group presentations, night time patrols
Humans and climate change: effects in marine habitat and coral reef lecture
Coral reef snorkeling and fish census. Return to San Rafael for our final gathering
Return to Springfield
Course Reflection Due
Financial Aid & Scholarships
Financial Aid and scholarships are only available to currently enrolled MSU students. If you are a visiting student from another institution, you will need to work with your home institution Financial Aid Office to identify any available aid.
The seven colleges at Missouri State University are pleased to announce their respective Study Away Scholarships. A scholarship fund has been established by MSU’s President, International Programs, and the respective college to assist students with their study abroad. Search available college scholarships here!
Other Financial Aid:
Study Away Programs works closely with the Office of Financial Aid to make funding readily available for our study away students. Before students can schedule an appointment with Financial Aid, you must submit an approved STFD Budget Worksheet to Study Away Programs.
Study Away students may be able to use their institutional aid, grants, or loans for their study abroad. Students are encouraged to meet with Financial Aid as soon as possible to plan appropriately for their time abroad. Please request a Study Away Financial Aid Counselor when making an appointment.
Billing & Procedures
Tuition fees are not included in the program fee and will be charged to your University account separately and will be subject to MSU's billing and payment policies.
The program fee will be billed within approximately one week of the application deadline. This fee includes the International Programs Academic Experience Fee.
The program fee is due in full according to the standard program payment deadline (please refer to the "Financial Responsibility, Cancellation, and Withdrawal Policy" signature document). If a student is planning on financial aid to cover some or all program costs, the student must provide documentation to Study Away at least two weeks prior to the program payment deadline.
Students who have not paid the MSU portion of the program fee will be withdrawn from the program and dropped from the course.
MSU students will be billed through their University accounts.
Non-MSU students and program guests must pay through the Study Away storefront.
Cancellation & Refund Policies
If a student withdraws from the program, the participant will be liable for 15% of the total program fee, the International Programs Academic Experience Fee, and any non-refundable purchases made on the participant's behalf.
When the program begins, no refunds will be issued under any circumstances.
All withdrawals must be complete the STFD Program Withdrawal Form with the Program Director's signature to Study Away Programs, Plaster Student Union 209.