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Offerings: Winter 2013
Seminar Fee

Sustainable Living & Deep Ecology
Professional Development Seminar: 9 - 19 January, 2013
Open to faculty, staff, professionals, lifelong learners, and advanced students.


A past participant at Arenal volcano, a likely ceremony site for honoring our
connection with the Earth .


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An exploration of sustainable living strategies within the context of our personal and collective relationship with the Earth. Includes in-depth analyses of physical, emotional, mental & spiritual aspects of humans as a part of nature; and associated thoughts, feelings, values and actions. In particular, discussions, field activities, and individual and group exercises will address the concepts of self-awareness, eco-psychology, ritual and ceremony, voluntary simplicity, and spirituality. Together we will create a cooperative, nurturing environment for exploration of these concerns, and explore avenues for improved integration of sustainable living practices into our daily lives. This will be complimented by local field site visits where we will meet and hear from individuals in Costa Rica who are making similar efforts, both individually and communally. Prerequisites for participation are primarily personal in nature: A sincere desire for self-reflection and interested in contributing to a safe and supportive experience for all (also see 'General Requirements'). The seminar will be facilitated in English, with translations as needed. More information on deep ecology is available online, as are sustainable living resources. No Spanish is required, and academic credit is available for advanced students (see below).


One lodging site: An eco-
lodge near Arenal Volcano




Top of page Itinerary
The town of San Ramón will serve as our departure point for exploring the Western Central Valley, the Northern plains surrounding Arenal Volcano, and a visit to the Central Pacific coast of Costa Rica. The seminar will include group discussions, ceremonies, classroom and field exercises, presentations from local experts, and site visits. Likely sites will include an Eco-Lodge, medicinal plant garden, organic coffee farm, nearby pacific beach, and the Madre Verde (Green Mother) community reserve. We will learn about these sites from local experts, interact with the land, explore our connection with Nature, and contemplate how we might achieve a more sustainable lifestyle, both personally and collectively. Please note that although we will not be doing strenuous exercise, participants should be prepared for some walking in a tropical (warm) environment, and have field study items with them at all times. Housing conditions will consist of middle-range hotels and lodges. Participants will also have a limited amount of personal time, both in smaller towns and in nature. The tour will be facilitated by the Earth Education International staff.
NOTE: See selected postings, photos & video from past field sites in the MediaBlog.
For additional information on these locations, see the links page.

Top of page Preparations
This section is provided to assist in preparations. Properly preparing yourself will allow you to get the most out of the experience, and allow us to facilitate a safe and enjoyable learning experience for all. Thus, please review the following information and appropriate links to other sections of this web site:

1. General Information
A wealth of information is available on this web site in order to assist you in preparing. The table of contents for this information is on the Participants page. In particular, the In-Country Information page includes information on what things cost in Costa Rica, local foods, banking, shopping, relevant Spanish vocabulary, and the like. Links to additional information about the country are also provided for your convenience. We highly recommend that you peruse that information as appropriate to acquaint yourself with conditions in Costa Rica, well before departure. This will allow you to get the most out of your time here.


Central Pacific Coast

The Central Pacific coast: One of
destinations of the seminar


2. What to Bring
Detailed general information on what to bring on your trip can be found in the Packing section of the 'Preparation' page. There you will find lists of appropriate items to bring, as well as recommendations for packing & traveling. PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION TO SECTION B: REQUIRED FIELD STUDY ITEMS. For both logistical and safety reasons each participant will be expected to have those required items with them upon arrival.

3. Program Policies
Please review the program Policies section in detail. You will be held accountable to those policies during your visit, and required to sign a form agreeing to them upon your arrival.

4. Arrival in Costa Rica
We will meet you at San José international airport upon arrival for group transport to San Ramón. Because you will be making your own international flight arrangements for this course, it is necessary to coordinate arrival and departure dates/times. Thus, if you would like us to pick you up and drop you off at the airport, YOUR FLIGHT MUST ARRIVE (OR YOU MUST MEET US AT THE AIRPORT) ON THE FIRST DESIGNATED DAY OF THE SEMINAR BY APPROXIMATELY 1PM. The same applies to flight departures, which must be no earlier than approximately 1pm on the last designated day of the program. Alternatively, upon arrival you may find your own transportation from the airport (taxi, approximately $50). For both safety and logistical reasons, late arrivals should be avoided. Please also keep in mind that orientation will begin first thing the following morning.

5. Meeting at the Airport
Because the exit from the airport can be hectic at times, it can be difficult to find each other upon arrival. Thus, when you exit from the terminal, turn immediately to your RIGHT, and walk down the sidewalk past the pay phones, benches, and glass doors to the 'Malinche' restaurant. We will meet you there. To assist with identification, see Dr. Karian's picture here. In case of any problems, difficulties or delays, we can be reached on our cell phone at 8812-7766 (preceded by 011-506 from the U.S.A.). If necessary, this can be dialed from a courtesy phone at one of the rental car agencies inside the airport PRIOR to exiting. NOTE: You cannot re-enter the airport once you have exited for any reason.

Top of page Seminar Fee
Participants pay a comprehensive fee for the course (see costs) in the amount of $2,400 USD. The fee includes most in-country expenses associated with the program, including the following:

  - All in-country transportation, including airport pickup & drop-off
- All lodging costs in San Ramón & during travel elsewhere
- Lodging, entrance fees, translation, & accompaniment for all field study
- Travel & medical insurance (by reimbursement, with a deductible)
- Personalized pre-departure planning & advising
- Computer & internet access in San Ramón & at most field-sites
- Some meals during field study travel (1+ meals per day)
- In-country orientation & cultural activities
- Local personal, logistical & emergency support
- Additional volunteer opportunities
- Written course materials

Participants are responsible for purchasing international airfare, some meals during program travel, and any personal expenses or travel not associated with the program. Participants may also wish to acquire extra health insurance (above & beyond what is included). For most participants, personal costs average approximately $75/week. Scholarship money is available from other organizations that specialize in funding study abroad (see costs), and most financial aid can be applied to offset program fees.

Academic Credit (optional)
Three (3) units of academic credit are available from the University of San José in Costa Rica as BCB 120 (Educación para Desarollo Sostenible) for an additional cost of $300. As with all EEI offerings, current students must have a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 in order to participate. See a tentative syllabus here (pdf Adobe Acrobat file).

Top of page Application
Application for this seminar is to be made directly to EEI. See the 'Admission' page for details. Please note the application deadline of 28 September, 2012.

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