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Surfing Science: Kinesiology 497 in Costa Rica

Note (3/10/2020)

We are very sorry to announce that we anticipate all Summer 2020 Study Abroad related travel to be canceled. See the full announcement for details. For more updates in regard to the COVID-19 incident, please visit the CSUSM Incident Response page.


Costa Rica Shore

Program Highlights:

Travel this summer to Nosara, Costa Rica to gain insight into the sub-disciplines of Kinesiology through the sport of surfing.  Students will learn about research and careers in Kinesiology that are focused on the sport of surfing through daily lectures, readings , class activities, and research projects taking place on some of the best beaches for surfing in the world.  Dr. Sean Newcomer will help bring the curriculum to life as students are encouraged to reflect on curriculum during daily surfing guided by experienced surf instructors.  No prior experience surfing necessary.

Planned excursions include the following:

  • Site visit to Nosara Recycling Center
  • Guest lecture from Safari Surf and surf lessons with local guides
  • Daily Surf/Course Labs
  • Visit to Coastal Preserve Reforestation Project
  • Guided Stand-Up Paddleboarding and river tour of the Rio Nosara
  • Optional ziplining through the rainforest
  • Visit to Ostional Wildlife National Refuge
  • Community outreach efforts at local schools
  • Volunteerism with Surfing Nosara Foundation such as beach clean-ups

Academic Calendar:

May 17 - 29, 2020

Academic Focus:

KINE 497:  Field Research (3 units); Kinesiology majors only

Language of Instruction:



  • Open to all majors
  • GPA:  2.75 and above; good academic standing to departure


Participants will stay in shared rooms at a local lodge.  Wifi access will be available, though connection speeds are considerably slower than U.S. standards.  Bathrooms are shared.

Most meals will be available on-site.

Estimated Cost: 

$3,500 + $252 Extended Learning Fees

Price includes lodging, two local meals/day, health insurance, in-country ground transportation, surf instructors, and several planned field trips.  Does NOT include airfare or personal expenses (estimated at $850-$1,000).

Recommended flights will be sent to you, but in the meantime, some useful airfare search engines:



Please await notification from Global Education before purchasing your airfare.  Ideally, we enjoy holding a pre-departure meeting once the application deadline closes, then participants may plan their travels together, often at the best rates researched by our partner organization, Sea State.  Always read the fine print concerning change fees, taxes, & luggage restrictions before booking.  Whenever possible, book directly with an airline.

To Apply:

  1. Attend an information session led by faculty leader Dr. Sean Newcomer or Sea State personnel.
  2. Fill out the online application materials via the link below.   All application materials must be received to Global Education, Extended Learning Building 5th Floor, Room 588, by noon  February 14, along with your $300 non-refundable depositSpace is limited!  Online payment preferred through CashNet.  Please be advised to choose E-check and enter your checking account details to avoid the 2.65% convenience fees applicable to all non-checking account payments. Cash, checks, and money orders made payable to CSUSM will also be accepted.
  3. A second payment of $700 is due by noon March 1 to the Office of Global Education.  CashNet payment is preferred as outlined above Payment of tuition related expenses ($252) will be billed by Extended Learning and appear on your Student Center, following the payment guidelines set out for Summer session.  
  4. Final payment of program fees is due by noon March 20 to the Office of Global Education. 
  5. A mandatory pre-departure orientation will be held with Dr. Newcomer to discuss arrival instructions and the upcoming course.  Proof of attendance will be recorded.