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  • Program Terms: Summer
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Program Category: UGA Faculty-Led Click here for a definition of this term Open to non-UGA students: Yes
Sponsor: University of Georgia Classes With: U.S. Students, UGA Students
Taught By: UGA/U.S. Professors(s) Academic Area: Latin American and Caribbean Studies
Language of Instruction: English Minimum GPA Requirement: 2.0 or above
Minimum number of credit hours: 6 Maximum number of credit hours: 6
Work Opportunity: No Volunteer Opportunity: No
Scholarship Availability: Yes Housing Type: Dorm/Student Residence, Hotel/Hostel
Program Description:

This program will not be running in 2020. For information about 2021, please contact the program director.

UGA - Franklin - Surfing and Sustainability in Costa Rica

How are communities navigating the complex challenges of conservation and development in the places where surfing and tourism happen? Whose voices get heard? Whose whispers fade into the jungle, livelihoods lost forever to foreign-run businesses, high-priced real estate and fancy hotels? What can we do as tourists to change the way we travel? How can we understand the deeper issues of sustainability in Costa Rica and beyond?

With a critical lens into the nuances of political ecology, anthropology, geography, conservation and development, we invite you to see it all for yourself, to embody what it's like to be a surf tourist in Costa Rican paradise; to learn first-hand from the people and places whose stories aren't often told or heard. We invite you to see it all differently, beyond the earthly horizons of your comfort zone, diving deep into the oceans of what it means to be a surfer in Costa Rica by becoming one yourself.

Program Location: Costa Rica

As a global icon for sustainability, peace, conservation and eco-tourism, Costa Rica attracts millions of visitors each year, making tourism the country's number one industry with billions earned and invested each year in tourism infrastructure and development. In a place with over one thousand miles of tropical coastline, it's no wonder that surfers make up a quarter of all tourists to Costa Rica, changing landscapes and cultures as towns grow up around surfing and tourism. And it turns out, many of these visiting surfers end up sticking around for a while, making Costa Rica our home, living our endless summer dream of surfing warm-water waves every day of our lives. 

At the intersection of surfing, conservation and development on Costa Rica's Pacific Coast, cultures and environments are being transformed in a myriad of complex ways, as government agencies, communities, foreign businesses and civil society organizations work hard to promote sustainability, seeking to conserve nature while catering to an increasing demand for development and economic growth. The result is a fascinating atmosphere of cultural interaction,conflicts over how to conserve or deve165, 42, 42);">Program Itinerary
This is a working itinerary and subject to change.

November 7 Study Abroad Reception (returnees & new admits)
March/April (TBA) Program orientation 
Sunday, July 5 – SJO to Uvita (Hotel Luz de Luna)
Monday, July 6 – Uvita to Pavones (Hotel Riviera)
Tuesday, July 7 – Pavones (Hotel Riviera)
Wednesday, July 8 - Pavones (Hotel Riviera)
Thursday, July 9 - Pavones (Hotel Riviera)
Friday, July 10 – Pavones to Uvita (Hotel Luz de Luna)
Saturday, July 11 – Uvita (Hotel Luz de Luna)
Sunday, July 12 – Uvita to Jaco (Club Del Mar)
Monday, July 13 – Jaco (Club Del Mar)
Tuesday, July 14 – Jaco (Club Del Mar)
Wednesday, July 15 – Jaco to Playa Hermosa (Casa Kata)
Thursday, July 16 – Playa Hermosa (Casa Kata)
Friday, July 17 – Playa Hermosa (Casa Kata)
Saturday, July 18 – Playa Hermosa (Casa Kata)
Sunday, July 19 – Playa Hermosa to Playa Guiones (The Gardens)
Monday, July 20 – Playa Guiones (The Gardens)
Tuesday, July 21 – Playa Guiones to Playa Avellanas (Hotel Playa Negra)
Wednesday, July 22 – Playa Avellanas (Hotel Playa Negra)
Thursday, July23 – Playa Avellanas (Hotel Playa Negra)
Friday, July 24 – Playa Avellanas to Playa Grande (Ripjack)
Saturday, July 25 – Playa Grande (Ripjack)
Sunday, July 26 – Playa Grande (Ripjack)
Monday, July 27 – Playa Grande to Santa Rosa National Park (Camping @ Playa Naranjo)
Tuesday, July 28 – Santa Rosa National Park (Camping @ Playa Naranjo)
Wednesday, July 29 – Santa Rosa National Park (Camping @ Playa Naranjo)
Thursday, July 30 – Santa Rosa National Park to La Fortuna (Arenal Springs Resort)
Friday, July 31 – La Fortuna (Arenal Springs Resort)
Saturday, August 1 – La Fortuna (Arenal Springs Resort)
Sunday, August 2 – La Fortuna to SJO



More information to come.

Program Costs

See "Cost of Attendance" sheet at the top of this brochure for dollar estimates. Basic cost breakdown for study abroad includes:

  • Program fee for student travel (including accommodations, group excursions, meals, etc.);
  • Tuition and fees for academic courses;
  • International airfare estimate; and
  • Personal spending money estimate.  
Speak with a UGA Financial Aid Advisor about how to apply the HOPE scholarship and other financial aid to study abroad expenses


  • Satisfactory academic and disciplinary records, and strong references.
  • Enrollment is limited (Likewise, a minimum enrollment count must be met to confirm program).
  • Pre-requisite courses, if any, will be enforced.

Admission Process

Admissions are rolling after the Oct. 15 decision date, and only applications marked "complete" by that time will receive a decision. Admission decisions will be sent via the application portal. Students will have a limited time to accept or decline an admission offer before the spot passes to another candidate. Students who accept the offer of admission must pay a non-refundable $300 deposit to confirm their place in the program and register for courses.

Contact Information

Dr. Pete Brosius, Program Co-Director

Phone: 706-542-1463

264B Baldwin Hall
Athens, GA 30602

Tara Ruttenberg, Program Assistant

Pedro Uribe, Surf Instructor

This program is currently not accepting applications.