Globalization & Community Health »

Combine Social Science and Engineering in Monteverde, Costa Rica. University of South Florida NSF-REU

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Open Enrollment Courses

Globalization & Community Health

Program Overview

This unique program offered by University of South Florida takes place in the highlands of northwestern Costa Rica. Monteverde, the program site, is part of the  famous Monteverde Reserve Complex, an area of preserves protecting over 100,000 acres of endangered tropical forest.


USF partners with the Monteverde Institute (MVI) to offer the Globalization and Community Health Field School. 


The summer field school offers graduate and undergraduate student training in qualitative and quantitative methods used to conduct community-based health related research in areas undergoing changes associated with globalization. In addition to learning the methods, students work in small groups conducting research on issues identified by the local community and present their results to various stakeholders.



By participating in this program students will:

  • Study quantitative and qualitative methods for collecting and analyzing community health data.  
  • Work in teams to design and carry out community-based research on various health topics (e.g., nutrition, reproductive health, environmental health, sexually-transmitted infections, and occupational health).
  • Collaborate with Costa Rican physicians and nurses and conduct a health clinic in a rural community.
  • Learn about the Costa Rican health system and about different projects run by the University of Costa Rica School of Public Health and  Non-Governmental Organizations.
  • Experience cultural immersion through optional Spanish language training and home-stays with Costa Rican families.
  • Present their research findings and learn how to give presentations to different audiences including community members, health researchers, and social scientists.


For more information go to the University of Florida website about this study-abroad program.