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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the special appeals of studying in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is a unique location to study biology and ethics because of its legislative policies focused on sustainability and the environment. The tiny Central American country protects a larger percentage of its habitat than any other country in the world.  The tropical climate supports 5% of the earth’s biodiversity, which is 100 times more than would be expected based on its tiny landmass alone.  The Costa Rican population is among the most highly educated, prosperous, and happy of any Latin American country.

Do I need to know Spanish to participate on the program?

No, all of the courses are taught in English.

What do I need to know about taking courses on the program?

Do I get class credit for this program?

The courses offered on the Nature, Governance, and Sustainability in Costa Rica Program are regular Georgia Tech classes that appear in the registration system, just like all other courses offered at Georgia Tech. ​​​​​​Because they are regular Georgia Tech classes, grades earned in these courses are shown on a participant’s Georgia Tech transcript and are calculated as part of the Georgia Tech GPA.

Can I take a course pass/fail?

No, all courses must be taken for a letter grade.

Are there any scheduling conflicts that i need to consider when signing up for courses?

No, all students will take both of the courses offered on the Nature, Governance, and Sustainability in Costa Rica Program.

What is the course load?

All students are required to register for the 2 courses offered for a total of 6 credit hours.

Are there any pre-requisites for the program?

Yes, you must have earned credit for a Core Area D Lab Science. If you are not sure what counts as a Lab Science, please visit the GT Catalog.

May I audit a course?

No. There is a Georgia Tech requirement that all study abroad courses be offered on a letter grade basis.

What are the eligibility requirements?

See OIE's answer. We do not place any special GPA requirements and all majors are welcome to participate. However, you must be in good academic and disciplinary standing.

Do I have to be a Georgia Tech student to apply?


Is the program open to graduate students?

All NGS Costa Rica courses are undergraduate courses. If you are a graduate student and you would like to take both courses for your own benefit, you are welcome to participate. Please secure your advisor’s approval and inform the Graduate Coordinator in your school about your participation in the study abroad program.

How much does the program cost?

The program cost breakdown is listed on the Program Details page.


Do I need any vaccinations?

Currently there are no additional required vaccinations to travel to Costa Rica. For more information on health, vaccines, and medications in Costa Rica, visit the CDC's website. We are monitoring the situation in relation to the COVID-19 epidemic. 

Where can I get more information?

Contact the Program Director (