Why Costa Rica? Costa Rica’s renowned biodiversity, laid-back culture, and breathtaking landscapes make it one of the most popular tourist destinations in Latin America. Costa Rica is home to 5% of the world’s biodiversity, while occupying only 0.25% of the world’s landmass. The Costa Rican people, affectionately known as “Ticos,” have a well-deserved reputation for being friendly, fun-loving, and welcoming to foreigners. Despite its natural beauty and wonderful people, Costa Rica experiences the problems that plague many Latin American countries. Many nonprofit organizations that work to improve conditions in local Costa Rican communities lack funding and volunteer support. With eco-tourism ranking as Costa Rica’s main industry, education and environmental conservation are essential to ensuring a bright future for the Costa Rican people.
Live in Atenas, Costa Rica World Endeavors volunteers live in Atenas, a small, relatively prosperous farming town in the central highlands of Costa Rica where coffee, sugarcane, and fruit are grown. Life here revolves around family and community, and the nightlife consists mostly of family gatherings, barbecues, and shared meals. Local residents can often be found browsing the colorful farmer’s market for fresh produce, enjoying a cup of local coffee at a café, or strolling in the park at the center of the city. Atenas is renowned for its climate, which keeps the city warm in the daytime and cool at night. Public pools and hiking trails make Atenas an appealing destination for those who wish to spend time outdoors, and the town’s location, less than an hour from the capital of San José and the international airport, makes it easily accessible for arriving volunteers.
Fields We offer volunteer placements in Costa Rica in the following fields:
Housing: Volunteers stay with host families, where they share space, build relationships, practice language, and learn about traditional culture, food, home rituals, and customs. Host families are welcoming and friendly, usually middle class, and are hand-picked by the World Endeavors team to ensure that placements provide a safe and positive environment for the volunteer. Housing accommodations are modest, safe, and clean, but may differ from Western norms in terms of space or amenities. Volunteers usually stay in either a single or a double room (shared with other volunteers), and are expected to display respect and consideration for the host family. Living with a host family ensures total immersion in the culture, which can be both challenging and rewarding, but ultimately provides the most authentic experience of the host country.
Dates: Volunteer projects in Costa Rica are available year-round, with some exceptions for holidays.
Duration: A four-week stay is recommended
Cost:See our Cost Table for program fee information
The cost for participating in this affiliate program is determined by the provider and the estimate is listed on their website. You are also required to pay a small amount of student fees to NDSU for the term in order to be registered as a full-time student (or 3-6 credits for summer), but NDSU tuition is waived for the time of your participation. You are responsible for the additional costs for the application and course fees, airfare, housing and other living expenses if they are not included in the cost by the provider.
Financial aid and scholarships can be applied toward the costs for this program. See the financial aid and scholarships page for more information. You will be required to pay the program fees due directly to the provider. Check with the provider about payment deadlines and whether you can make adjustments to your deadline based on when your financial aid will be disbursed.
Dates / Deadlines:
** This program follows a 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.
Office of International Programs North Dakota State University Phone: +1 (701) 231-7895 - Fax: +1 (701) 231-1014 Campus address: Memorial Union 116 Physical/delivery address: 1401 Administration Ave / Memorial Union 116, Fargo, ND 58102 Page manager: Office of International Programs