Programs : Brochure
- Locations: Avellanas, Costa Rica; Nosara, Costa Rica; Playa Grande, Costa Rica
- Program Terms: May Session, Winter Break
Cities: Avellanas, Nosara, Playa Grande
Dates: January 3–14, 2019
Program Fee: $4,920
Estimated Total Cost: $6,465
Surfing is one of the world’s most popular cultural phenomena. While the number of actual surfers is relatively small, the sport’s reach has historically extended far beyond the wave-riding community, with surfing influencing fashion, music, film, photography, tourism, and even corporate marketing.
Wondering how surfing got to be so popular? We’ll spend a couple of weeks in Costa Rica, a premier surf destination nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, exploring the history of modern surf culture. From nineteenth-century Hawai'i to twenty-first-century Central America, we'll take a deeper look at how this pastime has driven and been changed by a number of major global developments.
As part of the program, you'll learn to surf! We'll spend two weeks in a number of coastal destinations (Nosara, Ostional, Playa Negra, Playa Avellanas, and Playa Grande). In addition to surfing, you'll visit a turtle reserve, learn about local sustainability efforts, and take a stand-up-paddleboard (SUP) river tour to a deserted black sand beach. You'll also have the option of doing the world's longest zip line.
Earn 4 credits in Hist 3313: Global Surf Culture, which is approved for:
This course fulfills the Global Perspectives Liberal Education requirement
This course will combine traditional class instruction with outdoor education. We’ll visit community sites and natural areas, and we'll study the development of surf tourism. A prereq for this course is the ability to swim—as you’ll have the opportunity to learn how to surf! We’re confident this will be a very interesting experience and likely one of the more memorable courses you will take as a college student.
Scott Laderman is a Professor of History at UMD. Born and raised in California, he has been surfing for more than 30 years. He is the author, among other works, of Empire in Waves: A Political History of Surfing (University of California Press, 2014).
Scott Laderman, Ph.D.
UMD College of Liberal Arts
Department of History
316 Kirby Plaza
Study Abroad Coordinator
Lyndsey Andersen is the Associate Director of Study Abroad and coordinates all short-term faculty led programs.
Estimate | Winter Break 2019
Estimated Program Fee: $4,920
Estimated Out-of-Pocket Expenses: $1,545
Estimated Total Cost: $6,465
Final cost estimates posted closer to program departure. Costs vary each year.
*Estimated out-of-pocket costs are dependent on items such as current airfare costs and individual spending habits.
If you do not see a cost estimate for the semester/term you intend to go abroad, the cost has not yet been determined. Please note cost estimates and fees may change depending on international economic factors. UMD Study Abroad delays the posting of final fees until enrollments, inflation, and exchange rates are determined in order to provide students with the most accurate pricing. We strive to post final fees by October 1 for Spring programs, March 1 for May/Summer programs, and May 1 for Fall and Academic year programs.
View the 2018 breakdown of costs (available upon Board of Regents approval.) These estimated costs do not include the $50 application fee. Financial aid only applies to students who take at least 6 credits total during May and Summer session combined. Credits taken on study abroad programs cannot be used in tuition banding. Scholarships are available!
A passport valid for 6 months beyond the end of the program is required.
Know the following program information to provide on the online application:
Center Name: UMD Study Abroad
Education Abroad Term: May Session
Country: Costa Rica
Program Name: Short-term: Costa Rica: Global Surf Culture
Apply early as space is limited and the program will fill first-come, first-serve. An essay and an unofficial transcript is required. A $50 non-refundable application fee will be billed to your One Stop account upon submission of an online application.
If you decide you cannot participate, you must login to the online application system and submit a "Cancel Request."
UMD 138 Kirby Plaza, 1208 Kirby Drive, Duluth MN 55812
Email | (218) 726 8764 or (877) 755-4200
Program health and safety information is available at GO SAFE: