FULL - COSTA RICA - Voluntourism in Costa Rica

Program Dates
Monday, May 13, 2019 to Thursday, May 23, 2019

Voluntourism in Costa Rica

Volunteer tourism is a form of tourism that continues to grow throughout the world. In this study abroad course, we will participate in four different type of volunteer activities, take a kayak tour to see wildlife, visit Corcovado National Park, and have a full day of relaxation on Carate beach. Not only will we see wildlife, we will be working with an important sea turtle tagging program in the Osa Region (see below).  In addition to this, we will assist at a mangrove reforestation nursery, work at a local dog spaying clinic, and lend a hand at a women's cooperative recycling center.  Course material will be focused on the many aspects of volunteer tourism as well as the various ways to ensure it is done in a sustainable way that benefits local communities. 

Latin American Sea Turtles (Asociación LAST) is a Non-Governmental Organization that is committed to the recovery and sustainable management of sea turtle populations that are dangerously low in number; they have worked in the Osa Region of Costa Rica since 2010. LAST also works on mangrove reforestation in this same area. Mangrove wetlands play an important role in coastal and marine ecosystems of Costa Rica’s Pacific coast and provide nesting sites for Eastern Pacific Hawksbills. LAST works closely with several families and local businesses to provide volunteers with accommodation, meals, and free-time activities during their stay at the Osa project. For more information, view the program presentation. For a full description and application instructions, visit OIED's Online Program Brochure.

Courses and Credits

  • HOS 3535-145 – Voluntourism in Costa Rica – 3 credit hours Pre-requisite: 54 earned hours and good academic standing
  • This course counts as an IB elective (major, approved, required or other), HOS elective, COB elective or upper level elective and fulfills the Global Issues requirement.


Billable Program Cost: $3,616.13
Includes: airfare, in-country program transportation, lodging, international health and evacuation insurance, program events, some meals, and CCS administrative fee.

Estimated Additional Student Cost: $400.00
Estimated costs include but are not limited to: immunizations, personal expenses, and additional meals.  

Program Leader

Dr. Carol Kline
Department of Management
College of Business

Carol Kline is an Associate Professor of Hospitality and Tourism Management in the Department of Management. Her research interests focus broadly on tourism planning and development and tourism sustainability but cover a range of topics such as foodie segmentation, craft beverages, agritourism, animal welfare in tourism, tourism entrepreneurship, niche tourism markets, and tourism impacts to communities.  Her international experience includes leading four study abroad trips to Ghana and two to Cuba; living in Germany for two years; conducting research overseas; and participating in several international conferences. 

Students not eligible for this program who want to participate should contact the program leader to ask if accommodations can be made.
Eligible Groups: 
Appalachian undergraduates
Undergraduate business majors