Costa Rica: Internship in Sustainable Agriculture

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The UW Tacoma's Office of International Programs is pleased to offer our newest internship abroad program on Sustainable Agriculture to Mastatal, Costa Rica. Students will gain a deep understanding of the general principles and practices of sustainable farming, including permaculture, via hands-on experience at Siempre Verde and learn about farming techniques specific to subsistence agriculture in the tropics (e.g., composting, soil amendments, terracing/swale building, greenhouse plant production, living fences, etc.). This program takes place during Summer Quarter (Term B) 2015. Don't miss out on this amazing opportunity!

Academic content

Students recieve the following course and credits for the program:

  • TESC 496 - Internship in Sustainable Agriculture (5 credits) NW

Students will be required to keep a daily journal documenting all activities (and related notes) undertaken at Siempre Verde. Journals will be turned in by the end of the quarter.

A five page review of sustainable farming principles and techniques with specific reference to the neotropics (including illustrations/examples drawn from personal experience during the internship) will be due by the end of the quarter. The paper should include references to at least five scientific (peer-reviewed) sources.

Students spend one month in Costa Rica. Program dates: July 26 - August 23, 2015.


John "Buck" Banks, Ph.D., is the Director of the Office of International Programs and is a Professor of Environmental Science Division of Sciences and Mathematics (SAM) Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences University of Washington Tacoma. This internship opportunity is supervised by Dr. Banks.

Health Requirements

No immunizations are required for Costa Rica. However, it is advisable that you are up-to-date on your regular immunization schedule. Please consult your personal physician or local health board.


Undergraduate students from any UW campus may apply. A maximum of seven students will be selected to participate on the program. Participants are selected on the basis of academic merit, preparation, interest, motivation, emotional maturity, and financial responsibility. No previous international/language experience is required.


Application materials are due by 5 p.m. on May 8, 2015. Applicants will be notified of acceptance decisions by May 20th. Once accepted to the program, applicants will need to confirm their participation in the program by June 3rd. Click the button below to begin.

Apply Now

Travel documents and insurance

A U.S. passport valid 6 months beyond your anticipated date of return to the U.S. is required. No visa or other paperwork is required for U.S. citizens.

Study abroad insurance coverage is a UW requirement. We recommend students take advantage of the UW Study Abroad Insurance, as an easy and affordable option. Students with personal insurance that covers expenses for emergency evacuation, repatriation of remains, injury, illness or death while participating in study or research abroad can petition for a UW Study Abroad Insurance waiver. If the petition is granted, the student will be exempt from the requirement to purchase the UW Study Abroad Insurance Plan. [Additional information...]

Program Cost

The total cost of the program is $2,228.

Included in the cost of the program:

  • Academic course fee in lieu of tuition (5 credits)
  • Hotel/lodge accommodationswhile in Costa Rica
  • Meals while in Costa Rica
  • Ground transportation in Costa Rica
  • Transfers, service charges and taxes (excluding airport departure taxes)
  • Work gloves and rain boots

    Not included in the cost of the program:

    • Round-trip airfare from Seattle, Washington, to San Jose, Costa Rica (SJO)
    • Airport departure taxes (approx. $29)
    • Meals while in transit to and from the US and between sites in Costa Rica
    • Study Abroad Insurance
    • Travel documents (e.g. passport)
    • Items of personal nature such as phone calls, souvenirs, and laundry service

    Payment schedule

    Amount Due
    Administrative Fee
    $250 upon acceptance to program
    Program Fee
    $1,978 July 10, 2015

    Methods of payment:

    The Administrative Fee of $250 is due upon acceptance to the program. This payment can be made online, in person, or by mail. To make the payment online, click this button to proceed. Please note: Visa or Mastercard only.

    Pay Administrative Fee

    To pay by check, please make a personal check, cashier's check, or money order payable to University of Washington Tacoma and write "Costa Rica Summer 2015" in the memo line of the check. Submit the check in person to the Cashier's Office by visiting the Carlton building on the fourth floor (CAR 400) or mail it to the following address:

    International Programs
    University of Washington Tacoma
    1900 Commerce Street
    Tacoma, WA 98402

    The Program Fee is charged automatically to your student account upon registration and can be paid online through your MyUW account. Please note: Students do not register themselves for this program. Once a student is accepted to the program, the Office of International Programs will register the student after the Administrative Fee has been paid and all appropriate program documents have been received.

    For questions about the payment schedule or the methods of payment available, please contact Tracey Norris, Study Abroad Coordinator, at 253-692-4426 or email tvnorris[at]

    Financial aid

    Students receiving financial aid which they intend to apply toward the program cost should consult with a financial aid adviser before applying to the program. Some sources of funding may not cover the cost of study abroad programs. Check with a financial aid advisor to understand how your funds apply toward study abroad. Students may be asked to provide a student financial aid budget to the Financial Aid office for your study abroad program. Please email the Office of International Programs to request the student financial aid budget at uwtintl[at]

    Be aware that you may not receive financial aid in time to cover initial program costs. You should be prepared to pay your expenses out of pocket until your financial aid is disbursed. The deadline for program payment cannot be waived or postponed.

    Refund conditions for fees

    Once you confirm your participation in the program:

    Once you confirm your participation in the program:

    1. If you withdraw prior to June 3rd, 2015, all payments except the $250 Administrative Fee, will be refunded to you. The $250 Administrative Fee is not refundable after May 11, 2015 under any circumstances.
    2. If you withdraw on or after June 3rd, 2015, but prior to July 10, 2015, you are obligated to pay 50% of the Program Fee.
    3. If you withdraw on or after July 10, 2015, you are obligated to pay the full cost of the program. No refunds will be given for unused accommodations, meals or other fees and services under any circumstances.

    Notice of Withdrawal from the program MUST be made in writing and received by the Office of International Programs in one of three ways: in-person in GWP 102, emailed to tvnorris[at], or by mail to the following address:


    International Programs
    University of Washington Tacoma
    1900 Commerce Street
    Tacoma, WA 98402

    Changes in costs or scope of the program

    In the event of significant devaluations of the dollar, some adjustments to program activities may be necessary. If there are any political events that might compromise the safety of the participants, a rescheduling or cancellation of the program may be necessary. If such changes occur, students will be notified of the changes and options will be presented.

    Program cancellation

    If viable enrollment is not reached by June 3rd, 2015, the program will be cancelled. Participants will be notified and the Administrative Fee will be refunded.

    Equal opportunity and disability accommodations

    The University of Washington reaffirms its policy of equal opportunity regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability, or status as a disabled veteran or Vietnam era veteran in accordance with University policy and applicable federal and state statutes and regulations. The University of Washington is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation in the application process contact Disability Support Services at least ten days in advance of the study abroad program application deadline.