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Sustainability and Renewable Energy in Costa Rica

About the Program

SBU Costa Rica offers hands-on environmental learning experiences in an off-the-grid educational community. Students will learn about renewable energy, waste, and various organic and sustainable farming methods at the Punta Mona Center for Regenerative Design and Botanical Studies, an 85-acre, family-owned, permaculture farm and educational center located in the heart of the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge on the southern Caribbean coast of Costa Rica.

Participants will tour the renewable energy facilities of two ecovillages on their way to be housed and taught at the Punta Mona Center. Accessible only by a guided hike through a wildlife reserve or a wave-cresting trip on a surf boat, the Punta Mona Center lies deep in the forest and hosts a range of international participants that bring an unsurpassed wealth of knowledge to a unique educational experience. There will be lectures on renewable energy, triple bottom line business, slow food, economics and agriculture, green building, environmental literature, and community development. Each day, the group will participate in both outdoor classroom sessions and field study activities. Evening sessions of conversation, journal writing, selected readings, and team-work will culminate in interdisciplinary capstone projects. The course ends with a two-day retreat in Puerto Viejo with excursions to the Bri-Bri Indigenous Reservation and Chocolate House as well as the Jaguar Rescue Center.

See what we did in a previous year Click Here.

Check out pictures from previous years on our Facebook page.


Course of Study

All participants must register for one of the following courses:

  • Undergraduate students will enroll in the 4 credit course ENV310
  • Graduate students will enroll in the 4 credit course EHM560

For students following the Diversified Education Curriculum (DEC):

  • This program fulfills DEC H

For students following the Stony Brook Curriculum (SBC):

  • This programs fulfills GLO, STAS and EXP+ 

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Course Information

Location Punta Mona Center, Limon, Costa Rica
Language of Instruction


Language Proficiency


Program Type

Group experience led by SBU faculty

Program Dates

January 1 - 19, 2016

Living Arrangements

All students will live in comfortable and rustic co-ed housing with shared sustainability-focused facilities such as compost dry toilets and solar-heated showers. The community is multicultural, bilingual, and multigenerational with students from all over the world. The communal meals are primarily vegan and as organic as locally possible. Lacto-ovo vegetarian options are served on the side, and one meat dish will be available each week.




2.0 or higher

Other Requirements
A valid passport is required for entrance to Costa Rica. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you may need to make prior visa arrangements to either enter Costa Rica or to re-enter the United States. If you are a permanent resident of the U.S. or an international student returning to school in the U.S., please make sure you have with you the necessary documentation for re-entry into the U.S.

Application Deadline

October 1

Candidates may be interviewed to determine their qualifications for participating and representing Stony Brook University abroad.

Program Cost

Application Fee


Tuition Rate

$270 per credit for NY residents


$898 per credit for non-residents

Program Fee

$3,200 (includes shared lodging, 3 meals per day, group excursions, course materials, and international health insurance)

Administrative Fee

$200 (non-refundable)

International Health Insurance

Included in the Program Fee

Other Fees $600 (approximately; includes personal expenses, books, passport)
Travel Costs

Estimated Airfare: $600.  All student participants will travel together to the study abroad site. Students are responsible for booking flight arrangements and will receive additional information upon acceptance.

Costs are estimates for planning purposes of the student and are subject to change at any point.

Student Feedback:

  • Be open to new experiences in order to fully immerse yourself in the culture. - Participant, Winter 2016, Costa Rica
  • Be prepared to question assumptions that you have made for a long time, and also to have an amazing time while doing that. - Participant, Winter 2016, Costa Rica
  • If you are even slightly considering going to Costa Rica, you must.  It was the most amazing experience of my life, and I grew in ways I could have never imagined. - Participant, Winter 2016, Costa Rica

More Information

Credits earned on this program will calculate toward a student's GPA at Stony Brook University.  Non-SBU students are advised to check their home university policy on grade and credit transfer.

Links and Resources

Apply Now

Contact Information

Alison Becker
International Programs Coordinator
International Academic Programs
Stony Brook University
E1340 Melville Library
Stony Brook, N.Y. 11794-3397
Tel: (631) 632-7030
Fax: (631) 632-1396
Dr. Marc Fasanella
Program Director
Sustainability Studies
Stony Brook University
W0513, Melville Library (next to the Career Center)
Stony Brook, N.Y. 11794-3352
Tel: 631-335-9137
Fax: 631.632.5375
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