Skip to content

Programs : Brochure

This page is the brochure for your selected program. You can view the provided information for this program on this page and click on the available buttons for additional options.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Minimum GPA (Undergraduate): 2.25 Language of Instruction: English
Number of Credits Offered: 3 Eligible Population: 02 Sophomore, 03 Junior, 04 Senior
Type of Program: Faculty-led Click here for a definition of this term Area of Study: Government and International Policy, Criminology Law and Society, Global Affairs, Integrative Studies
Click here for a definition of this term Study Abroad Host: Global Education Office Open to non-Mason Students: Yes
Program eligible for VA Benefits: Yes
Program Description:

Environmental Law and Justice

Costa Rica, Spring Break 2022

CR Environ Law and Justice
Costa Rica has rain forests, volcanoes, cloud forests, and abundant wildlife -- 5% of the worlds biodiversity. Costa Ricans made a choice to pursue laws and governance that balance environmental protection and economic growth. Because of an active effort to protect the environment, 25% of  Costa Rica is either national park, nature preserve, or other protected area. In Costa Rica, environmental law, sustainable economic development, and economic and social justice combine to sustain the peaceful republic. In this program, we will:

- Visit national parks to see the impact of environmental law
- Tour commercial farms using sustainable practices to see how farms can be economically successful and environmentally responsible
- Meet with organizations that work for environmental and economic justice

If you are interested in themes of environmental law, international law, sustainability, economic justice, environmental protection, or social justice, this program is for you! We will begin the program in San Jose, Costa Rica to learn about Costa Rica’s history and government. We will then travel to Costa Rica’s national parks to assess how pursuing environmental protection and reforestation have promoted economic justice and growth. Promoting ecotourism at national parks has provided income and employment to local communities.  In addition, we will visit pineapple and coffee farms that are pursuing sustainable practices.


  • Explore the Britt Coffee Plantation and taste Costa Rican coffee
  • Enjoy time at Lake Arenal and La Fortuna
  • Explore vast national parks and nature preserves 


This program is open to all undergraduate sophomores, juniors, and senior students, including students who do not attend George Mason University. 

Undergraduate students must have a minimum GPA of 2.25.


Students will choose one 3-credit course during the application process.

Tentative Course Options

  • CRIM 485
  • INTS 399
  • GLOA 480
  • GOVT 398

Program Dates

March 12 – 20, 2022 


Tentative Itinerary 

Day Date Time City/Country Activity
1 Saturday 3/12 Afternoon San Jose, Costa Rica Arrival. 
Tour of city.  Cultural and historical orientation.1 CH
Guest speaker  1 CH
Evening group dinner.
AD lecture on politics, culture, and law 1CH
Group discussion 1 CH
2 Sunday, 3/13 Full Day Full day—day trip from San Jose
Braulio Carrillo National Park balances economic development with environmental protection. Government created the park in the 1970s, when the highway was built to facilitate trade. 3 CH
Guest speaker 1 CH
AD lecture on sustainable  development and law 1CH
Group Discussion—1 CH
3 Monday 3/14 Full day San Jose Visit the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE).  Guest Speaker 2 CH
Attend presentations on Costa Rican environmental policies and law. Guest Speaker  2 CH
Visit Central Market 1 CH Economic sustainability and ecotourism
AD lecture on government and non-profit actions on the environment 1CH
Group discussion—1 CH
4 Tuesday
Full Day Central Valley, Costa Rica—Depart San Jose for Central Valley.  Visit coffee plantation and Poas Volcano en route.
Hotel will be near Arenal
Britt Coffee Tour Coffee Plantation—economic justice, sustainable agriculture, international trade and law, ecotourism 2CH
Pre/post tour group discussion 1CH
AD lecture on fair trade coffee and social justice 1CH
Poas Volcano National Park Tour (Environmental law and preservation)
2 CH
Post tour discussion group 1 CH
5 Wednesday 3/16 Full Day Arenal, Central Valley, Costa Rica
Hotel will be near Arenal
Travel to Arenal Volcano National Park.  Visit the park.  (Environmental law, sustainable development, and environmental preservation)
3 CH
Guest speaker 1 CH
Post tour discussion group—1 CH
AD Lecture on Sustainable Development and Economic Justice 1CH
6 Thursday
Full day Central Valley Monte Verde Cloud Forest (environmental law and sustainable development)  2 CH
Curi Cancha Wildlife Refuge  2 CH
Guest speaker 1 CH
AD lecture environmental law and wildlife preservation 1 CH
Discussion group—1 CH
7 Friday 3/18 Full day Central Valley Lake Arenal and La Fortuna. Arenal National Park (ecotourism and sustainable energy—wind farms)
3 CH
Group discussion—1 CH
AD Lecture on Sustainable development and sustainable energy—1 CH
8 Saturday 3/19 Full day Travel from Central Valley to San Jose.
Hotel is in San Jose
Pineapple Plantation (ecotourism economic justice, organic sustainable agriculture) 2 CH
Post tour group discussion 1 CH Return to San Jose, 
Closing dinner.
Final group discussion 1 CH
9 Sunday 3/20   Program ends. Depart San Jose for home
* Dates and itinerary subject to change. The Global Education Office reserves the right to make changes to a program in light of currency fluctuations, changing security and safety conditions, and/or any other unforeseen circumstances.

Program Cost

Spring Break 2022: $3000

The Program Cost for study abroad courses is assessed separately from Mason tuition and fees. This means separate charges are put on your student account for this course, a study abroad tuition charge and a study abroad program fee charge, which together equal the published Program Cost for this course. 
  • Application Deposit 
  • Tuition and mandatory fees 
  • Pre-departure orientation
  • Round-trip airfare
  • Accommodations
  • Some group meals
  • Guided tours and field excursions as described in itinerary
  • International emergency medical insurance
Not included: 
  • Passport fees 
  • Visa fees
  • Covid-19 Testing 
  • Vaccinations 
  • Some meals 
  • Personal spending 
  • Required textbooks and/or course materials

Program Payments 

The full program fee is charged to your Mason Student Account. Students pay the Global Education Office (GEO) Program Fee as advertised in two payments (Application Deposit + Final Payment.) 
Application Deposit: $200 non-refundable Application Deposit must be received by the application deadline. This fee is paid online through the MasonAbroad application system and is included in the program fee. 
Final Payment: The final balance payment is made through the Mason Bill+Payment system. Payment is due according to the Mason Payment Schedule. The amount due is the difference of your Program Cost minus the $200 you will have already paid, the Application Deposit 
  • You can make your final payment in the Mason Bill+Payment system even if you do not see the GEO program charge on your student account. 
  • George Mason University applies payments to outstanding charges first. If you have an outstanding balance from a previous semester your payments will first go to paying that charge. You will still be responsible for the GEO charge. 
Financial Aid: In most cases, financial aid (federal, state, institutional financial aid, scholarships, grants or loans) can be used to finance study abroad. It is the student’s responsibility to check with the Office of Financial Aid to review their financial aid package. The Office of Financial Aid is the only office that can determine your aid eligibility. 
Meeting with your financial aid officer prior to applying to study abroad will help you understand if, how much, and when your aid can be used to study abroad. 
Confirmation of your financial aid award may not be available until registration and billing for the term in question is final. If aid eligibility changes, or the amount of aid disbursed is lower than anticipated, students are responsible for all remaining account balances or risk late fees, holds on their accounts, and program dismissal. 
To assist students in the processing of their financial aid, GEO will communicate with the Office of Financial aid those students who plan to utilize financial aid for their specific study abroad program through their application with GEO. Please note there is no guarantee to students that their aid can be utilized for their specific study abroad program. 
If you plan to use federal, state, institutional financial aid, scholarships, grants or loans to finance your study abroad you must: 
  • Mark “Yes” to “Do you plan to use Financial Aid to finance your program (federal, state, institutional financial aid, scholarships, grants or loans)?” in your profile in 
After acceptance:  *Students must be enrolled at least half-time for federal loans and the majority of grant funds. Please refer to the Financial Aid Website for a definition of half-time for undergraduate and graduate students:
VA Benefits: The Veterans Administration determines if a program is eligible to receive VA benefit payments based on the participants VA education program. Use of benefits is dependent on type of benefit and type of program. If you plan to use VA benefits to finance study abroad contact your program officer at to request the "Intent to Use VA Benefits Form." You will complete that form with Mason’s Office of Military Services. To contact Military Services be sure to email them directly at
Withdrawal and Refund Policy: All participants are bound by the Mason GEO Withdrawal and Refund Policy.

Payment Instructions

For more information on payments, financial aid, and information for non-Mason students:



GEO offers a number of need- and merit-based scholarships. All Mason students on this program are welcome to apply:


Application Deadline:

November 10th


Application Requirements:*

Program Deposit: $200 for all applicants.

Course Selection Questionnaire: You will choose the course(s) you would like to receive credit for on this program. Check the "Academics" tab to see what courses are offered on this program. If you need help selecting your course, check with your academic advisor.

Passport Status Questionnaire: You do not need a passport to complete this questionnaire or the application. However, if you do not have a valid passport, you should begin applying for one now. The Global Education Office offers Passport Grants to help.

Signature Documents: Read and electronically "sign" the documents regarding the acknowledgement of risk, the pre-departure orientation, and your financial responsibility.

Additional Requirements for Non-Mason Applicants:

Official transcript: To be mailed or emailed to the Global Education Office at George Mason University.

Non-degree Contract Course/Admission Form: Please complete the form and upload it into the questionnaire.

* Additional application requirements may apply to individual programs. Once you open your application, you will see all application requirements.

Application instructions:

Academic Director

  Catherine Moses Dobson
Name Catherine Dobson, PhD 

GEO Program Administrator

Name Jess Ostrowski-Wright (she/her)
Phone (703) 993-2154

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring Break 2022 11/10/2021 ** Rolling Admission 03/12/2022 03/20/2022

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.