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Surfing Science: Kinesiology 497 in Costa Rica

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 
  • 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 & Guest Talk from Local Guide
  • Community outreach efforts at local schools
  • Volunteerism with Surfing Nosara Foundation at scheduled soccer game
  • Rio Nosara SUP river tour to deserted black sand beach with Local Guide

Academic Calendar:

May 22- June 2, 2023

Academic Focus:

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

Language of Instruction:



  • Open to upper-division Kinesiology majors only
  • GPA:  2.75 and above; good academic standing to departure
  • Proof of current COVID-19 vaccination (at least the initial vaccination(s) plus at least one booster if eligible) is required to participate in any of CSUSM’s international travel programs.  Due to the increased risk of contracting COVID while travelling, as well as the increased likelihood of having serious complications from COVID if you are not vaccinated, exemptions (religious or medical) are not currently accepted for our travel abroad programs; COVID vaccination is a required pre-requisite. 


Participants will stay in shared rooms at local lodges:  5 nights in Nosara, 3 nights each in Play Negra and Playa Grande.  Wifi access will be available, though connection speeds are considerably slower than U.S. standards.  Bathrooms are shared.

Students will be offerered two locally prepared meals a day.  Some meals will take place in town at the student's expense.

Estimated Cost: 

$3,550 + $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).

Faculty Led Cancellation Policy

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.


An adult passport book with at least 6 months validity until expiration is necessary for overseas travel.  First-time passport book applicants can expect processing times up to 4 months.  Plan to submit your passport applications early if you enroll in this program as withdrawals due to passport delays will not be refunded.  Non-US travelers are responsible for researching entry requirements and possible visas through their country's consular pages.

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  by December 12, along with your $500 non-refundable depositSpace is limited!  Online payment preferred through Transact.  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 via the Cashier's Office in Cougar Central, but must include this deposit form to track the payment.Summer in Costa Rica: Surfing Science Application
  3. A second payment of $1,000 is due by noon February 17 via Transact 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 31. 
  5. Submit your flight details to Global Education here:  Flight Information Form
  6. 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.

Attend an Upcoming Info Session!

Day Time Location
Thursday, October 13 12:00-1:00 pm UNIV 439
Monday, October 24 3:00-4:00 pm

Register on Zoom:  

Tuesday, November 8 3:00-4:00 pm UNIV 439
Wednesday, November 16 12:00-1:00 pm

Register on Zoom: 

Thursday, December 1 12:00-1:00 pm UNIV 439