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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: San Jose, Costa Rica
  • Program Terms: Spring Break
  • Budget Sheets: Spring Break
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Study Abroad Adviser: Cornell, Jodi Program Director: Clawson, Barb, Gleason, Mark, Hodgson, Erin, Lewis, Donald
Language of Instruction: English Host Country Language: Spanish
Sponsor: Iowa State ISU Course: PlP/Ent/Hort 511
Program Description:

Outdoor Market

Program overview:  This program provides an introduction to production of a wide variety of tropical crops (coffee, banana, pineapple, mango, sugar cane, cut flowers, vegetables, papaya, etc.) from the perspective of Costa Rica. The class also explores Costa Rican ecology, history, and culture. Close cooperation with University of Costa Rica faculty allow many unique opportunities during the class visit.

Course:   Plant Pathology/Entomology/Horticulture 511 (3 credits), students will meet throughout the spring 2017 semester on campus.  The travel dates to Costa Rica are:  March 8 - 17, 2017.

Group leaders:  Mark Gleason, ; Erin Hodgson, ; Donald Lewis, ; Barb Clawson,

Program fee: $2,405.00  (includes: RT airfare, ground transportation, housing, entrance fees and many meals, CISI required emergency insurance).  Out of pocket expenses will vary depending on if you already have a passport and your personal spending habits.  Suggested out of pocket expenses include t $150/ for incidentals, $50 for meals on your own, US passport ($135).  If you are a CALS student and a first time traveler without a passport, contact  for information on how to get the cost of your passport reimbursed. 
Other fees:  There is a $105 study abroad administration fee from the Study Abroad Center in 3224 MU, and a $10 application fee.

Program prerequisites:  Understanding of general biology/agronomy/horticulture preferred.  Preference will be given to graduate students and upper-level (junior/senior) undergraduate

Additional skills and requirements:   Ability to tolerate stresses of group travel in the tropics; e.g., lengthy bus rides on curving mountain roads, tropical heat and humidity, strenuous walks and ability to carry own belongings, "togetherness" of group travel, being without wifi for several hours or even days.

Wednesday, March 8  Depart Bessey Hall loading dock (5:30 am)
      Depart Des Moines airport (8:15 am) AA1777
       Arrive San Jose (6:40 pm) AA511

Thursday, March 9   In-field study of Organic Vegetable Production
       Visit University of Costa Rica, Agronomy Department
       Dinner with UCR Faculty and Students

Friday, March 10   In-field study of greenhouse cuttings production for international market
        Tour Else Kientzler Botanical Garden
        In-field study Dracaena propagation, production and marketing

Saturday, March 11 In-field study of coffee production
       Tour Farmers Market 
       Tour of composting and vermiculture facility

Sunday March 12 Visit beach and marine biology at Playa Hermosa 

Monday, March 13 Lecture and Lab Tour at CICAFE Coffee Research Center
       Tour sugar cane processing plant

Tuesday, March 14 In-field study of orange production and processing
       In-field study of papaya production and processing
        In-field study of leatherleaf fern production

Wednesday, March 15 In-field study of melon production and processing
       In-field study of mango production and processing
       In-field study of rice production

Thursday, March 16 Sightsee at Braulio Carrillo (cloud forest) Nat'l Park
       Lecture and Lab Tour at CORBANA (banana research facility)
       In-field study of banana production and processing
       In-field study of pineapple production, harvesting and packaging
       Dinner with UCR Students

Friday, March 17  Depart San Jose hotel (4:00 am)
       Depart San Jose airport (6:40 am) AA871
       Arrive Des Moines (7:49 pm) AA3095
       Arrive Ames (9:00 pm)

Important Note Regarding Missing classes: Please note that participation on some travel courses require you to be away from campus for some school days. The College of Agriculture & Life Sciences tries to minimize the number of days missed for this purpose, but in some events, the inflexibility of the travel schedule prevents us from working completely within our breaks. Should you choose to enroll in a travel course that requires missing some class(es) on campus, you will need to contact your instructor directly to inquire whether or not arrangements can be made to make up this class work and/or exams. The CALS Study Abroad office can provide you with a letter explaining the dates of the trip. However, it is your responsibility to contact the instructor to determine the potential impact on your grade before signing up for a Study Abroad program. The instructor is responsible for determining the impact of any absence from class.

For further information regarding this program, please contact the group leaders, or email , or come into 18 Curtiss Hall or click here

This program is currently not accepting applications.