Construction of a Bamboo Shelter in Costa Rica

Ref: 10003162


Third year BSc in Architectural Technology students enrolled on Technology and Environment Studies (ARCH3054), as well as second year BA in Architecture students enrolled on Architectural Design Studio 3 (ARCH2060) are eligible to participate in this opportunity. The maximum number of places on this opportunity is 30 and the minimum the trip will go ahead with is 15. DMU staff will be accompanying the group.

DMU students are only eligible to receive one academic-led trip bursary per year. Please check our eligibility criteria for further details.


In Mastatal, a rural village in the rain forest of Costa Rica, the community felt challenged to run an elementary school whose qualities foster sensory stimulation to encourage children’s physical activities. This has led to propose a 50 sqm of covered space built with a bamboo frame to serve as an open-air classroom. The structure will deals with the recovery and revaluation of a proper material belonging to the country’s vernacular architecture, at the same time enabling a low ecological footprint.

The primary aim is to provide participants with the basic knowledge and skills needed for building with bamboo. During the construction, process participants will interact with skilled builders and bamboo construction experts. Participants will learn how to design and construct an experimental, low-cost, climate-responsive house made of bamboo. Part of this experience will focus on expanding self-awareness, exploring how “inner” space relates to the world we construct “outside”.

The seven – day hands on experience at Mastatal will offer the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of bamboo construction, as well
as aspects of sustainable living, from local and international team of mentors.

During the study trip, the students will learn 3 pillars of sustainability: human, social and, environmental and how they affect the state of
local communities. The students will experience the importance of these pillars in holding up a successful community and will learn how
interconnected they are.

Cultural activities

The study trip includes a walking tour into the rain forest, a visit to one permaculture centre and a visit to the City of San Jose.

Travel and accommodation

Travel and accommodation will be booked by the faculty for this opportunity, and students will be expected to pay the remaining amount following confirmation of their place. The #DMUglobal bursary will be deducted from the cost of the trip.

Contact details

Visa information

To take part in this trip you must meet Costa Rican immigration requirements. The #DMUglobal team will provide documents as required but you must ensure you apply for your visa as soon as you have been formally accepted for this opportunity. You are responsible for checking processing times and meeting all application requirements so you receive your visa before departure. Please be aware that immigration decisions are made by individual embassies.

Most British citizen passport holders will not need a visa to visit Costa Rica, but check entry requirements on the website. Students from outside the UK will need to contact the Costa Rican Embassy in London to find out if they need a visa.

Key Information

  • Departure date: Saturday 30 November 2019
  • Return date: Saturday 7 December 2019
  • Estimated cost of travel, transfers, accommodation and programme fees/materials: £1150-1350
  • Students will also be required to pay for any other additional cost food & drink, visa and vaccinations (if applicable)
  • #DMUglobal bursary: £400
  • Deadline for application: Wednesday 29 May 2019 9am