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GIE: Coffee and Climate Change in Costa Rica
Monteverde, Costa Rica; San Jose, Costa Rica; San Marcos, Costa Rica (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Spring Break
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Earn ASU Credit: View Pre-Approved Courses
Cost Sheets Spring Break
Areas of Study:
Global Studies, Sustainability
Program Type:
Global Intensive Experience
Language of Instruction:
Internships Available:
Graduate Courses Available:
GPA Requirement:
International Coordinator:
Mandy Nydegger
College Sponsor:
School of Sustainability
Available to Non-ASU Students:
  Program Details


Coffee Berries

Quick Facts

  • March 4 - March 12, 2017 (Spring Break, 2017)

  • Three cities: San Jose (Central Valley), Santa Elena (Monteverde), San Marcos (Tarrazu region)

  • Visit the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve--one of the most biologically diverse regions on the planet

  • Conduct field research on coffee cooperatives and provide assistance with current community development projects

  • Course Partnership with Starbucks Fair Trade Coffee Initiative

  • Participate in service learning with local schools

  • Collaborate with local researchers on climate adaptation, mitigation and resiliency research

  • Earn 1 credit for the course



Location Details

Located in the Central Valley, the city is situated between mountain peaks.  This is the country’s agricultural heartland and coffee-growing region. Much of Costa Rica’s coffee is grown within a stone’s throw of the capital. San José is also home to several nearby volcanoes and National parks.

Located in the Monterverde Region, the misty Reserva Santa Elena offers visitors an opportunity to experience a pristine Central American cloud forest. The Santa Elena reserve was one of the first community-managed conservation projects in the country, and the Santa Elena Coffee Cooperative attempts to balance conservation and coffee growing in the region.

Its geography is suited to growing coffee, mostly because the slopes of the mountains face the morning light, and the cloud cover protects the coffee trees in the afternoon. The red soil found in the valley is of volcanic origin. All this, plus the altitude, make ideal conditions to grow the coffees harvested by locals. San Marcos is located in the volcano region of Costa Rica and is well known for its coffee. Downtown San Marcos is 1350 meters above sea level but is surrounded by peaks as high as 3000 meters above sea level.

Visa Information

It is each student’s responsibility to independently determine if a visa is necessary for travel to any foreign countries visited on this program. Limited information may be provided by the ASU Study Abroad Office, your faculty director, and/or partner organizations/institutions. Where visas are required, failure to obtain a visa may result in your inability to participate and, ultimately, your withdrawal from the program, subject to the terms of the Study Abroad Payment and Withdrawal Policies

Consult this page for additional information regarding visas. If you need assistance securing a U.S. Passport, visit the ASU U.S. Passport Acceptance Office in Tempe.

PLEASE NOTE: Visa requirements for non U.S. citizens may differ from those for U.S. citizens; students who are not U.S. citizens are advised to contact their International Coordinator and begin independently researching the visa requirements for their nationality as soon as possible.


Eligibility Requirements

To participate in this Global Sustainability Studies Program, you must meet the following requirements: 

Undergraduates must*

  • have a minimum 2.75 GPA

  • SOS 327 (Sustainable Food & Farms) taken in Fall 2016 or Spring 2017 Semester (but can be waived upon petition)

Graduate students must*
  • be in good standing in their program

  • have a minimum 2.75 GPA

Note: Graduate students will be selected based on merit of application. School of Sustainability graduate students will be given priority placement should a program be over-enrolled.

*Students that do not meet the listed qualifications may be considered on an individual basis, if space is available.  Please speak to the faculty directors for more information.


  • SOS 494: Coffee and Climate Change in Costa Rica  (1 credit)




Faculty Directors

Dr. Hallie Eakin
Senior Sustainability Scientist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability
Associate Professor, School of Sustainability
Phone: 480-965-0011

Dr. Eakin's recent research investigated economic globalization, agricultural change, and rural vulnerability to climate in the context of comparative international projects involving case studies in Mexico, Argentina, Guatemala, and Honduras. She has worked on coffee farmers' adaptive strategies in Mexico and Central America. Dr. Eakin has consulted with the World Bank, the United States Agency for International Development, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency on projects in agricultural development, the use of seasonal forecasting in drought risk mitigation, and adaptation to anticipated climate-change impacts on urban water availability. 

Stratis Giannakouros
Program Manager, Global Sustainability Studies Program, Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives
Phone: 480-727-2498

Stratis has been engaged with environmental sustainability both in the United States and internationally, most recently, in his position as Assistant Director of the Center for Sustainable Communities at Luther College. He has also served as the Sustainability Outreach Coordinator for the Colorado State University School of Global Environmental Sustainability. In this capacity he designed and implemented environmental sustainability and climate related programs. His research focuses on the way state and federal policies catalyze clean energy transitions. He is also interested in climate innovation and green entrepreneurship.

Hallie Eakin

Stratis Giannakouros



Program Housing

Students will be housed in university dorms or shared rooms at centrally-located hotels. Faculty will be housed in the same locations as students. Some meals will be included, but students should plan on covering the majority of their meals.   For our class discussions, team meetings, and collaborations, we will use conference rooms either in the hotels, classrooms on our partner university campuses, or in space provided by our hosting organizations. There will be travel to and from the working site visits, which may include use of buses, vans, taxis, and walking.


Accessibility Information


Individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation in one of more of this program’s locations very different from what you find in the United States.  No transportation in Belize is suitable for students in wheelchairs; there are no accessible buses, vans, or taxis. Students will have to navigate uneven surfaces, climb stairs without railings, walk on unpaved dirt roads, and negotiate streets that are uneven and narrow. The Study Abroad Office cannot guarantee access to public transportation, buildings, or public sites on this program.

Although ASU cannot guarantee the accessibility of all program sites, students with disabilities can and do study abroad. Upon request, the ASU Study Abroad Office can provide information about the availability of accommodations and accessible facilities on the specific program and can help you determine whether this program can meet your accommodation needs.



Cost Information

The Program Fee for Spring Break 2017 is $1,860.

Program Fee includes: Housing for the entire program, some meals, site visits and cultural events, in-country transportation, ASU faculty support, and international health insurance. Not included: Airfare, passport & visa fees, personal expenses, and miscellaneous items.  Please note that the participant is fully responsible for making arrangements and for all costs of transportation, lodging, food and additional expenses that may be associated with any non-Program activities.

Faculty Directed program participants are also responsible for paying a non-refundable $50 Application Fee, in addition to the Program Fee listed above. All other costs associated with participation in the program are the responsibility of the individual student. Be sure to reference the program cost sheet for information on program fees and any additional estimated expenses.


Funding Your Study Abroad Program

Studying abroad is an investment in your future, which requires careful planning and management. However, the personal, academic, and professional rewards that you will gain from this experience will last a lifetime. You should carefully consider costs, budgets and financing when selecting and preparing for your experience abroad. If you have questions at any step of the process, we encourage you to reach out to your International Coordinator for guidance.

Steps to Financing Your Study Abroad Program

  1. View the program Cost Sheet to find a breakdown of program expenses.
  2. Attend a Financing Your Study Abroad Workshop.
  3. Consider your Financial Aid options.
  4. Search and Apply for Scholarships and Grants.
  5. Exhaust your options by exploring Additional Funding Resources including our Community-Based Funding Guide.
  6. View our  Financing Your Study Abroad Program Handbook for more information, including Payment Information.

Unique Funding Opportunities


  Dates & Deadlines
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring Break 2017 11/15/2016
Rolling Admission 03/04/2017 03/12/2017

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision tasks prior to the term's application deadline.

Indicates that deadline has passed
This program is currently not accepting applications.