Study Abroad

Study Abroad

With the UPEACE Centre for Executive Education, located at the University for Peace, established by the United Nations

With the UPEACE Centre for Executive Education, located at the University for Peace, established by the United Nations


The University

The University for Peace (UPEACE) was established by the United Nations General Assembly in December 1980 as a Treaty Organization. As determined in the University’s Charter, our mission is to:

“Provide humanity with an international institution of higher education for peace with the aim of promoting among all human beings the spirit of understanding, tolerance and peaceful coexistence, to stimulate cooperation among peoples and to help lessen obstacles and threats to world peace and progress, in keeping with the noble aspirations proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations.”


Building upon that mission, UPEACE offers MA programs related to peacebuilding, the environment, human rights, International law, and peace education. In each area, we are committed to analyzing the underlying causes of conflict at a community and global level.

Why Costa Rica? Find Out Here.

The Students

The university attracts students from around the globe, creating a diverse campus with representation at the student and faculty level from over 50 different countries per year.

The Campus

Located within the University for Peace, the UPEACE Centre for Executive Education (the Centre) was created in 2007 to offer a platform for students to engage with the University for Peace without undertaking a 1-year, onsite master’s program.

The Changemakers

The Centre works with leaders and changemakers from around the world to offer transformational educational experiences that are dynamic and engaging, inspiring our participants to make a positive impact in our increasingly interconnected world.

The Centre

The Centre specializes in the development of customized, faculty-led programs for universities. We aim to provide every institution with the appropriate program for their unique learning objectives.


Our program offers a multifaceted approach to education, focusing on cultural immersion, critical thinking, and hands-on field experience. By delving into local cultures, fostering critical analysis of sustainable development, and providing practical opportunities for global engagement and community collaboration, students will not only gain valuable skills but also experience personal growth, empowering them to contribute meaningfully to the promotion of sustainability, peace, and justice.

Cultural Immersion

Encourage students to immerse themselves in the local culture, gaining insights into traditional practices and perspectives related to peace education, sustainability, and social entrepreneurship.

Critical Thinking

Promote critical thinking skills by analyzing the complexities of sustainable development issues and evaluating the effectiveness of various strategies and policies.

Field Experience

Provide hands-on experience and fieldwork opportunities to apply theoretical knowledge in real-world contexts, such as sustainable agriculture, renewable energy projects, or conservation efforts.

Global Awareness

Develop a global perspective by comparing and contrasting strategies and challenges in different geographical and cultural contexts.

Cross-Cultural Communication

Enhance cross-cultural communication skills, preparing students to work effectively with diverse stakeholders in a variety of fields.

Community Engagement

Encourage students to engage with local communities, understanding their challenges, and collaborating on sustainable solutions that respect and enhance local livelihoods.

Personal Growth

Encourage personal growth and a deeper understanding of one’s role in promoting sustainability, peace, and justice, fostering a sense of responsibility and empowerment.

Program Examples

University of San Francisco

MA Public Health Global Health

Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey

Mexico Innovation Week

Georgia State University College of Law

Children’s Human Rights

Saint Leo University

MBA program International Business Management

Western Washington University

Global Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Chapman University

Peace Communication

Lynn University

Citizenship and Social Responsibility

San Jose State University

MA program Counselor Education

San Jose State University

Doctoral Programming Educational Leadership

College of the Desert

Early Childhood Education Practicum

Course Format

Working hand-in-hand with the faculty and administrators, we design high-impact experiences that combine engaging, classroom learning on the awe-inspiring UPEACE campus with targeted field visits. The combination of the academic preparation, followed by powerful field-based experiences and thoughtful debrief processes provides for a truly transformative learning experience.

Our goal with university programs is to expose all participants to working examples of the themes they are studying in a Costa Rican context. Important topics such as social justice and sustainability are woven into every program, while in-depth preparation with the lead faculty from the visiting institution allows us to steer learning outcomes toward the institutional goals they present. Courses also include fun ‘Costa Rican’ experiences, such as trips to the cloud forest or beach, a coffee tour or visit to a local volcano, or any number of other options to let students fully experience the country. Within just one to two weeks, we can provide students with life-changing experiences and real-life examples of positive work in process.

In order to achieve the goals set by the visiting institution, the UPEACE Centre strives to make study abroad easy, covering all logistics from airport pick-up until airport drop-off at the end of the trip. We set and confirm all field visits, handle last-minute changes, arrange hotels and transportation, and can arrange meals as needed. Furthermore, a Centre representative accompanies the group throughout the entire program, providing language and cultural interpretation to help students and faculty alike get the most out of the trip.

Contact the Centre at

Why choose Costa Rica?



Many of our partners are English-speaking, though a little Spanish goes a long way.



The International Airport in San José is easily accessible, often only a 6-hour non-stop flight from the US.

Easy Visa Process

Easy Visa Process

US Passport-holders don’t need a separate Visa to enter Costa Rica, and automatically qualify for a 90-day tourist Visa.

Beautiful Location

Beautiful Location

Costa Rica is known for its majestic views and landscape. Come see why!

Low Crime Rate

Low Crime Rate

Crime can happen anywhere, but Costa Rica has a stable political environment and low crime. Feel confident that your students will be safe on their trip.

Why choose the UPEACE Centre for Executive Education?


We have worked with dozens of colleges and universities from the US and around the world to develop life-changing and catalytic learning experiences.


UPEACE CEE has a vast network of partners, throughout the sustainability, social entrepreneur, and sustainability sectors.


As a part of UPEACE, you can be sure that your students will learn to examine conditions and systems that can lead to a more peaceful world.


As a not-for-profit learning institution, we’re passionate about equipping justice-minded leaders and entrepreneurs, so if price is an issue, let us know! Chances are, we can work it out.

Ready to plan an experience that your students will never forget?

Get in touch!

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