Spring 2017 Trip Details

Spring 2017 Trip Details

Costa Rica 2017

Arenal National Park, Costa Rica

Arenal National Park, Costa Rica

Image: Penn State

Trip Details:

Travel Component DatesMarch 4-12, 2017








Program Objectives:

The students will experience new landscapes, people, and cultural traditions through the cultural immersion experience while in Costa Rica, enhanced by mindfulness training.

Students will attain awareness of self and other cultures, traditions, and topography leading to global citizenship perspective.

Critical Analysis
Students will critically reflect on their travel experiences and articulate the ways in which the experiences have shaped themselves as a culturally aware global citizen.

Embedded Courses for this trip:

Introduction to Literature of the Americas (CMLIT 5)
Class Section: CMLIT 5-506
Class Number: 30345
Contact Ms. Caressa Gearhart at clo114@psu.edu 

Infant and Child Development (HDFS 229)
Class Section: HDFS 229-506
Class Number: 12027
Contact Dr. Parminder Parmar at prp104@psu.edu

Human Development and Family Studies Intervention (HDFS 311)
Class Section: HDFS 311-506
Class Number: 11551
Contact Dr. Melissa Labuda at mal151@psu.edu

Introduction to Psychology (PSYCH 100)
Class Section: PSYCH 100-506
Class Number: 30350
Contact Dr. Karin Machluf at kxm5600@psu.edu

Introduction to Well-being and Positive Psychology (PSYCH 243)
Class Section: PSYCH 243-506
Class Number: 17575
Contact Ms. Renae McNair at twr115@psu.edu

Ibero-American Civilization (SPAN 131)
Class Section: SPAN 131-506
Class Number: 30357
Contact Dr. Beatriz Rivera-Barnes at bur3@psu.edu

To register for this class, fill out a Registration Drop/Add Form and submit it to the Registrar's Office with the instructor’s signature. Here is a link to the form, for your convenience: 

Registration Drop/Add form

Forms are also available in the Registrar's office.


Tentative itinerary for this trip:

San José, Costa Rica

San José, Costa Rica

Image: Penn State


Saturday, March 4, 2017
Travel to Costa Rica

Arrival to San José airport at 11:30 a.m. on Flight US #1080. Meet the guide at the airport. After check in, lunch and city tour. The San José City is the capital of Costa Rica and is well known for its local theaters, art shows and galleries. That afternoon we will visit the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, the Jade Museum, and the Central Market.



Sunday, March 5, 2017
Travel from San José to Arenal, visiting Poas National Park

Transportation to Arenal around 8am stopping at Poas Volcano National Park, one of Costa Rica's largest and most active volcanoes.


Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica

Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica

Image: Penn State

Monday, March 6, 2017
Ecocenter Danaus
Arenal Volcano National Park and Hot Springs

In the morning, visit Ecocentro Danaus, a private ecological reserve where programs for conservation, training, environmental education and sustainable production are developed. In the afternoon, visit to Arenal Volcano National Park. On this hike of Arenal National Park we will enter into the tropical forest and areas which were once devastated by the fury of the volcano. In the evening, a sunset visit to Paradise Hotspring.



La Fortuna Waterfall, Costa Rica

La Fortuna Waterfall, Costa Rica

Image: Penn State

Tuesday, March 7, 2017
La Fortuna Waterfall & Night Tour at La Tigra

In the morning and afternoon, we will visit La Fortuna Waterfall, famous for its height of 60 meters (197 feet). There you can take a refreshing swim in its cool waters or take pictures of its beauty. In the evening, students will either go on a hike to La Tigra, a small town with wildlife and mirrored lakes or participate in a course-defined activity.




Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Tenorio Volcano National Park & Celeste River

During the day, groups will travel to Tenorio Volcano National Park and Celeste River. This is one of the most amazing places of Costa Rica, without a doubt. The magnificent turquoise blue waters together with all the nature that surrounds them make of Rio Celeste a place to admire. Everyone will return to the hotel for dinner.

Hanging Bridges Park, Costa Rica

Hanging Bridges Park, Costa Rica

Image: Penn State

Thursday, March 9, 2017
Hanging bridges & Chocolate tour

In the morning, the group will travel to the Hanging bridges forest preserve. The Hanging bridges forest reserve comprises 243 hectares of protected forest. It is ideal for hikers who would like to discover and admire the unique characteristics of the tropical rain forest. On the 3.1-kilometer circuit you will go across 15 impressive bridges, some of them suspended over the forest.In the afternoon, you will learn about “the gift of the Gods”, the cacao tree, its history, culture, traditions and the flavor.




Friday, March 10, 2017
Campesino Tour or Course Defined Activity

In the morning, half of the group will do a prescribed course-defined activity. The other half will go to visit a Tico family to learn about the daily lifestyle of a typical Costa Rican farm, their customs, traditions, and daily chores to maintain their farm. In the afternoon, visit to a nearby school to learn about the educational system in Costa Rica. This will be also a nice opportunity to bring some gifts for low-income students. Please bring donations such as books, pencils, notebooks, etc.

Saturday, March 11, 2017
Day off for optional activities and excursions!

Horseback riding to the Volcano (half day) - $65pp
Venado Caves –(half day) - $78pp
Ziplining (half day) - $50pp
Canyoning (half day 7:30am/12:30pm) - $101pp
Balsa River Whitewater Rafting class II,III (9am and return 3pm)- $69pp
Sarapiqui River Whitewater Rafting class III, IV (8:30am back at 4pm)- $89pp

Sunday, March 12, 2017
Departure to the international airport

Transportation to the airport (3 hours approximately)
Depart on Flight  UA #1081W at 11:35am from San José.

Full Flight Schedule:


Flight #

Departure City


Arrival City


March 4, 2017

UA 1080L

Newark, NJ

7:15 AM

San Jose, CR

11:40 AM

March 12, 2017

UA 1081W

San José, CR

11:35 AM

Newark, NJ

6:45 PM

 Tentative Cost Per Student: $1975*

*Price is subject to change. A deduction in cost will be applied and students will be informed of the reimbursement amount. Scholarships are also available. Additionally, excursions and meals are not included.