Student Support

Costa Rica


¡Pura vida!

Summer 2023 (June 21-29, 2023)

In Costa Rica, "pura vida," pure or simple life, is more than a saying, it is a lifestyle. it means to maintain an optimistic nature despite difficulties. When Costa Ricans, better known a Ticos, greet each other, they say, "pura vida" to convey that life is good! In other words, life is too short to worry or be upset; we must be grateful for what we have and make the most of it.

This summer, SMC invites you to experience the "pura vida" for yourself and travel to Costa Rica with professors Delphine Broccard and Christyanne Melendez . As part of our commitment to Global Citizenship, this program will highlight the theme of Risk, Refuge and Resilience.

This trip is set up to showcase Costa Rica's most popular and exciting destinations. Aside from playing tourist in downtown San Jose, we will learn about the risk of degrading plastic pollution in the ocean and participate in a beach clean-up. Next, by visiting Nacientes Palmichal, we will understand what it takes to safeguard a watershed area that supplies drinking water to a large portion of San Jose. At Villa Vanilla Spice Farm, a safe haven for sustainable farming, our time will be equally educational as it will be delicious, since we will get to sample some tasty goodies from the farm. Finally, we will hear the stories of resilient immigrant women who seek to better their social conditions through entrepreneurial training.

Of course, a visit to Costa Rica would not be complete without a trip to Manuel Antonio National Park - one of Costa Rica’s most visited sites - home to many species of birds, insects, and mammals. Its white-sand beaches are sure to appease you!

Program excursions in Costa Rica

Course Description

Global Studies 35 – Field Studies Abroad – Costa Rica – 1 unit

While in Costa Rica, students will learn about the risk of degrading plastic pollution in the ocean and participate in a beach clean-up. In Nacientes Palmichal, students will understand what it takes to safeguard a watershed area that supplies drinking water to a large portion of San Jose. Students will also hear the stories of resilient immigrant women who seek to better their social conditions through entrepeneurial training. Finally, students will visit Manuel Antonio National Park-one of Costa Rica's most visited sited-home to many species of birds, insect and mammals. 

Faculty Biographies

Professor Delphine Broccard
Professor Delphine Broccard teaches communication studies. She earned her master's degree in intercultural communication at Pepperdine University and is wrapping up her doctorate degree in technical communication & rhetoric from Texas Tech University. While in college, Professor Broccard studied abroad in Lima, Peru and still refers to this time as one of her life's most memorable experiences. At SMC, she previously co-led study abroad trips to South Africa. Outside of work, you'll find Professor Broccard working out, walking her dog, Pippen, or visiting a new coffee shop. She looks forward to meeting you & making your time in Costa Rica unforgettable!
Professor Christyanne Melendez
Professor Christyanne Melendez teaches geology. She earned her master's degree in geology at Northern Arizona University where she worked on two of the most infamous volcanoes in Japan: Mount Unzen and Mount Mayuyama. Living and working in Japan while completing her master's research was one of the most influential experiences of her life. It is her sincere wish that all students get the opportunity to learn and grow through international experiences. Professor Melendez is an avid outdoorswoman with strong wanderlust. In her free time, you can find her hiking, rock climbing, mountaineering, skiing, ice climbing, kayaking, paddleboarding and more. She loves to dance, create, art, read, write, and explore. She is looking forward to sharing this incredible experience with you and helping you to cultivate a deeper appreciation for the Earth.

Program Details

Program provides double accommodations at

The trip also includes all breakfasts, 5 lunches, and 3 dinners as well as the excursions listed on the itinerary.

Students are responsible for paying for airfare, expenses during free days, and meals not included in program.

Costa Rica Trip Itinerary

Program Costs

Expense Type Cost Deadline

Program Fee

Accommodations, ground transportation, cultural excursions, all breakfasts in the country, 5 lunches and 3 dinners in the country and mandatory iNext medical insurance



Program fee: March 13, 2023

Bring deposit (check or money order), passport, & mandatory forms to International Education Center

Checks should be made payable to: Santa Monica College

Student Services Center 3rd floor








*Airfare prices subject to change and may be less or more expensive than the price range provided.

You will purchase the airline ticket on your own. We recommend you book a non-stop flight to make sure you arrive in Costa Rica for the start of the program. When you book a multiple-stop flight, you risk missing your second flight in cases there are delays with your first fiight. If you choose to fly a more budget -friendly airline and/or non-American airline, please do your research. Faculty leads will share their flight information in case you'd like to book the same non-stop flight.

Book your flight from LAX to San Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO). Make sure it arrives Wednesday, June 21 in Costa Rica. Book your return ticket for Thursday, June 29.

Tuition for 1-Unit Course

$46 resident tuition

$316 non-resident tuition

International Education Center will register you for class before program departure. You must pay tuition before departure.




Money you'll expect to spend for the meals not covered in program price.

Total Estimated Costs $816-$1,586 (this does not include personal expenses and other activities student may choose to do while abroad) Once the minimum number of deposits are received, students will be advised about airfare. 

Additional Costs

Expense Type Cost Deadline

Personal spending money


Money for buying souvenirs, doing activities not featured in the program itinerary, etc.

Airport transportation

$120 estimate

Rideshare, taxi, etc.

Passport (new – if you do not have a current passport)

$145 (U.S. Passport fee)

Please allow up to 6 weeks for processing of a new passport

Scholarships are available!

Click here to apply!

For students interested in applying for a scholarship, make sure to fill out that section in the program application.

This program is on a first come, first served basis. There are 24 spots available. Once you complete your application, you secure your spot by submitting a $200 deposit.* Your final acceptance into the program will be based on your ability to provide proof of your airline ticket by the March 24 deadline.

*Waitlist only as of 2/8/2023.

*Even if you are applying for a scholarship, you must submit a $200 deposit. Your check will be held until you are notified of your scholarship award.

Payment Options for the Costa Rica program

Personal Checks, Cashiers Checks, or Money Order (No cash or credit card payments)

Get Your Passport

Dates to Remember

Title Dates More Information

Informational Sessions

Tuesday, Jan 10 at 11:00am

Thursday, Jan 12 at 3:00pm

Wednesday, Jan 18 at 11:30am

Thursday, Jan 19 at 5:30pm

Thursday, Jan 26 at 5:30pm

Zoom Meeting ID: 860 9584 7411


Application Deadline and Payment

Late applications will be considered on a case by case basis.

March 13, 2023

Complete the Online Study Abroad application

Bring deposit (check or money order), passport, and mandatory forms to International Education Center.

Students Services Center 3rd Floor

Make the check payable to Santa Monica College.


Please email

Students who applied for a scholarship will be notified

April 3, 2023


Students must show proof of their purchased airline ticket

March 24, 2023


Mandatory Forms

Overseas Release Form and Medical Release Form due at time of first deposit.

Passport due at time of first deposit

Study Abroad application

Overseas Release Form

Medical Release Form

Eligibility Requirements

  • Be a current SMC student and take the offered course. If you are not currently an SMC student, apply online.

  • All participants must be 18 years old by February 21, 2023.

  • Have a valid passport by February 21, 2023. U.S. Citizens do not need a visa to travel to Costa Rica. If you are a permanent resident or SMC F-1 visa student, please contact the Costa Rica consulate in Los Angeles.

  • Pay all program fees and tuition by the deadline. If you are a financial aid recipient, check with the Financial Aid office about using financial aid to your tuition and fees.

For additional questions, please email: