Study Abroad

The faculty of the Biology Department at UW-River Falls lead two Study Abroad experiences each year. In January, students are invited to do biomedical research in Taiwain with Dr. Huang, and in May, students can visit Costa Rica to experience a wide range of activities with Dr. Bonilla.

Costa Rica

The Costa Rica program hopes to continue in May of 2022!

The Costa Rica program is built around the theme of Sustainability and Eco-Tourism. Costa Rica is the premier international model of a country focused on the preservation of natural resources for the sake of environmentally based tourism, both for the study and intimate experience of tropical biodiversity, but also adventure recreation.

DSC_0967[15788]This study program is a broad mix of activities and travels. Students visit Arenal, Cano Negro, Monteverde, Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, San Jose, Tamarindo, and Turrialba where they are able to experience everything from snorkeling and diving (scuba certification necessary), zipping along cables in the canopy of tropical forests, white water rafting, hiking in preserves and national parks, and horseback riding. Also included are tours to coffee and banana plantations, visits to world-class birding, butterfly, and hummingbird sites, shopping in traditional arts and crafts markets, and visits with traditional families and indigenous representatives.

The Costa Rica Study Abroad course, BIOL 278, was previously offered over J-Term, and will begin taking place as part of the Spring semester in May of 2020. This year's dates are May 15-27. For more information, contact Dr. Fred Bonilla at, or attend an informational meeting at the beginning of December. There is limited enrollment in order to keep the experience as personal as possible yet provide a lengthy trip for a relatively low price.


Biomedical Education Abroad

This program is only open to students who are working with Dr. Cheng-Chen Huang. It is a science-based research/study/ecotourism education abroad J-Term program to Taiwan whose focus is searching for potential heart failure drugs from Chinese medicine and marine species.

Students are able to connect with researchers at universities and institutions in Taiwan as they use zebrafish embryos to explore Dr. Huang's experimental model for heart failure drug discovery. They are also able to experience the rich and unique sources of Chinese herbs and marine species that Taiwan has to offer.

This program provides undergraduate students with opportunities to study not only the foreign culture and language of Taiwan, but also advanced biomedical research utilizing unique sources from the country. It also has the potential to build international research collaboration.

Tentative dates for the next trip are December 26 - January 25, 2020.

Helpful Links

Visit the Office of International Education to see all of the study abroad programs UWRF has to offer, as well as explore various financial and family resources available to students and their families.

Check out events and photos of students studying abroad on the UW-River Falls Education Abroad Facebook Page.

Scholarships and Financial Resources for students considering studying abroad.


Study Abroad Financial Resources

Various scholarships and financial resources are available for students wishing to study abroad at UWRF. The J.E. Butler International Research Scholarship is for students intending to spend a fall or spring semester performing international scientific research. It is available to all qualified students studying science or agriculture who carry out a semester-long, advisor-approved research project while abroad (it is not applicable for the Costa Rica or Taiwan programs). For more information about the Bulter Research Scholarship, visit the Biology Scholarships page. For other study abroad financial resources, visit the Office of International Education.

Contact Us


Biology Department
414 Agricultural Science
611 South 3rd Street

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