What better place to study the environment than in Costa Rica, a worldwide leader in eco-tourism and conservation?
Seven Tulane undergraduates spent the spring semester 2014 studying tropical and environmental studies at a Tulane-run campus in Costa Rica called Centro de Investigación y Adiestramiento Político y Administrativo (CIAPA).
“There is a whole infrastructure in place in Costa Rica for students to travel around the county and experience nature,” says Ludovico Feoli, executive director of the Center for Inter-American Policy and Research at Tulane.
The environmental studies semester at CIAPA was only one of the many offerings for college students at the prestigious academic research institution founded in 1974. CIAPA and Tulane have partnered to find solutions to Central America’s economic, political and social challenges.
Since 2000, Tulane has operated a summer study abroad program at the CIAPA campus. In 2009, Tulane started coordinating the center’s research program and managing its facilities, and in 2012, the center began offering study abroad opportunities year-round.
Study abroad at CIAPA can be a meaningful opportunity, one that students never forget. Currin Wallis, Class of 2016, spent the fall of her freshman year in Costa Rica, and is majoring in Latin American Studies and Spanish. Wallis was thankful for the opportunity to take classes taught by professors from Tulane and the University of Costa Rica and then to be further engaged during excursions and field trips outside of the classroom: “CIAPA gives you a three-dimensional learning experience.”