Costa Rica - Winter Break

  • Winter Break Minimester
  • Open to all majors

The Design Process course introduces students to creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship, within the specific context of the Texas A&M Soltis Center in Costa Rica. Students are exposed to sites, materials, and methods ideal for the exploration of sustainable creations, innovations, and inventions appropriate to the local, social, economic, environmental, and technological reality.


Night view of the dormitories


The Soltis Center lies on 250 acres of rainforest at an elevation of 1,500 feet with an average rainfall of 14 feet per year. The Soltis Center is located in San Juan de San Isidro de Penas Blanca, three hours northwest of San Jose, Costa Rica, and adjacent to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve and the Children's Eternal Rainforest. The local economy depends on eco-tourism and subsistence farming. The Soltis Center offers eight bungalows that can accommodate sixty guests, a recreation field, and an academic building with laboratories, infirmary, cafeteria, and lounge.

Activities, in addition to the 3 credit hour Ecodesign Seminar, include multiple guided hikes into the rainforest, a visit to the Arenal Volcano, a relaxing break in hot springs, a zipline tour of the Cloud Forest, river rafting on the Penas Blancas, and a visit to the town of La Fortuna.

For more information about this program, please visit, or contact Katy Dunn at

ENDS 101. Design Process. Credit 3.

Fundamental design processes, issues and theories relevant to design resolution and the creation of new ideas; creative thought processes from the formation of ideas through incubation to final product and future impact on the physical environment and society.

CARC 485. Directed Studies. Credit 1 to 6.

By permission, if needed for honors student scholarship requirements.