Stern Around the World: Costa Rica

**NEW FOR FALL 2018**
As a student in this Fall 2018 semester course, you will work on projects that include creating business and marketing plans for agricultural production, eco-tourism and environmental education for youth. Then from January 5-12, 2019 you will take a trip to Costa Rica and have the opportunity to work with these small businesses to help further develop their innovative sustainability programs. You will test your business hypothesis on the ground with local partners and become immersed in Costa Rican culture.  

Course Overview

BSPA-UB 45 Sustainability Impact Consulting & Business Innovation in Costa Rica
3 Credits, Half-semester Fall Course
Professor Rachel Kowal ( and Professor Tensie Whelan (

Some of the most forward-thinking businesses interested in taking care of the environment and society can be found in the beautiful country of Costa Rica.  Stern students will have the opportunity to work with small businesses in Costa Rica to help further develop their innovative sustainability programs.  Since agriculture and tourism are Costa Rica’s top sources of domestic revenue, students will work with tropical fruit, chocolate and hotel companies, as well as other entities, to generate future sustainable growth and community development.  Potential student projects include business and marketing plans for agricultural production, eco-tourism and environmental education for youths.  This course will be worth 3 credits and counts towards Stern's Co-Concentration in Sustainable Business.  The course will include an 8 day January trip to Costa Rica during which students will test their hypothesis on the ground with local partners and become immersed in Costa Rican culture.  



This course is open to all matriculated NYU Stern students who are in good standing with Stern and the University and meet the following prerequisites:
• Minimum 3.0 GPA (study abroad requirement)
• Must be enrolled at Stern in New York City for the Fall 2018 semester
• Plan to graduate no earlier than May 2019 (January grads are not eligible)

This 3-credit course can count towards Stern’s co-concentration in Sustainable Business, as a Global Business Elective or as a General Stern Elective. It also counts toward the Social Entrepreneurship Minor (Joint with Wagner).


Travel Details

Travel details for Costa Rica - the following dates are required for the travel portion of the class:
Saturday, January 5, 2019 Costa Rica Arrival Date: Arrival to Juan Santamaria International Airport (San Jose, Costa Rica) morning/early afternoon
Official Program Start: Students are required to check in with the group for the official start of the program at 4:00pm on Saturday, January 5, 2019
Saturday, January 12, 2019  Offical Program End: Students must stay through the official end of the program at 8:00am on Saturday, January 12, 2019

Students will arrange their own flights to and from Costa Rica.  Please note the required program start and end times and plan your flights accordingly. Late arrivals and early departures are not permitted.

Course Registration and Important Dates

Week of April 16, 2018 Students must register themselves via NYU Albert (open enrollment as long as space remains available in the course)
- Note: *All students who register for this class after the week of April 16 must e-mail and submit
  their trip payment within ten days of registering.
Friday, April 27 at 12:30pm Scholarship requests due
Friday, May 4 at 4:30PM Deadline to submit contract, passport copy and non-refundable Trip Program Fee (see below)
Tuesday, October 25 - Thursday, December 13, 2018 Fall Class in New York: Tues & Thurs 9:30am - 10:45am
Thursday, December 13, 2018 Mandatory Trip Pre-Departure
Saturday, January 5 - Saturday, January 12, 2019  Trip to Costa Rica - These dates include arrival on 1/5, programming in Costa Rica, and departure from Costa Rica on 1/12.
**Students will arrange their own flights to and from Costa Rica. Students must check in with a Stern Trip Leader at 4 pm on
  Saturday, January 5th and stay through the official end of the program at 8:00AM of Saturday, January 12th.


Estimated Expenses

Expenses Overview:
  • Please note: Although you will register for this 3-credit course as part of your Fall 2018 schedule, NYU tuition and registration fees do not cover the additional fee for the trip to Costa Rica.
  • A Trip Program Fee will be required of all participants. The program fee is $1,500. The trip fee will cover:
    • Hotel for 7 nights
    • Daily breakfast at hotels & meals from dinner on day 1 thru breakfast on day 8
    • Local transportation
    • Group excursions
  • Additional Expenses to be covered by Student (not included in Program Fee):
    • Airfare to Costa Rica - students will make their own flight arrangements. Book early since January is the high season!
    • Passport fee (approx $75 - $100) only if you need new or to renew passport
    • Vaccinations & Travel Medicines
    • Additional meals ($15/day)
    • Course materials
    • Personal expenses & entertainment


Need-based Travel Scholarships

A limited number of Stern travel scholarships will be available for students who qualify. You must have an updated FAFSA or CSS profile on file with NYU to be considered. Students will receive more information about applying for Stern travel scholarships after registering for the course. Please note: Stern travel scholarships can only be awarded to Stern students.


Passport and Visa Requirements for All Participants

Passports: You must have a passport valid for a minimum of six months - through July 2019 - to travel. For more information on US passports, consult the U.S. Department of State's website.

Tourist visas: Americans with U.S. passports (tourist passports) valid for more than six months beyond the dates of travel do not need a visa to enter Costa Rica. If you are not a U.S. citizen, please consult Costa Rica's visa requirements.

Note: It is the student's responsibility to apply and receive the appropriate visas for their passports in a timely manner for the trip. Refunds are not provided for those students who fail to secure their visas.



Contact International Exchanges & Special Programs's Costa Rica team at or (212) 992-6800.