Location
  • Costa Rica
    • San José
    • Monteverde
Length
1 - 4 weeks
Need-based funding, General grants/scholarships, Payment plans, 529 Plan eligibility, BIPOC funding

Program Details

Timeframe
Summer
Housing
Hotel Lodge
Age Min.
14
Age Max
18

Pricing

Starting Price
4995
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Meals Transportation
What's Not Included
Airfare Travel Insurance
Oct 19, 2023
Sep 30, 2022
6 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Costa Rica is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world; in fact, you can find nearly five percent of all known plant and animal species in its world-famous national parks and wildlife refuges.

This three-week program is perfect for students who want to learn more about the environment and interact with the marine and land animals of this eco-friendly nation. During this wildlife adventure, we visit some of Costa Rica’s most iconic regions, ranging from breathtaking cloud forests to pristine beaches to lush rainforests. We assist local park rangers, scientists, and conservation experts who are committed to protecting the wildlife of this beautiful country and enjoy adventures such as ziplining, and waterfall hikes.

Video and Photos

Diversity & Inclusion

BIPOC Support

ARCC Programs believes that social responsibility is an essential aspect of our programming and business operations. We strongly believe that cultural immersion, cross-cultural conversations, and reflection on these experiences can increase self-awareness, promote empathy, and foster growth. We recognize that our staff, student, and participant body is not as diverse as we would hope. We also recognize that there are inherent imbalances in access, particularly when it comes to international travel and outdoor experiences. Recognizing the current imbalances and accessibility issues within the world and more specifically within experiential/outdoor education/gap year programs, we are able to move towards a more just and inclusive world.

ARCC is committed to increasing accessibility for our programs and supporting socioeconomic diversity within our community. ARCC’s Voyagers Scholarship provides up to five scholarship opportunities per semester to students who identify within the BIPOC community. These scholarships can range anywhere from $5,000-$8,000, and also includes gear lending and mentorship support throughout the gap year experience. The Voyagers Scholarship can also be combined with ARCC Financial Aid. If you are interested in applying, please reach out to gap@arccprograms.com.

LGBTQIA+ Support

ARCC Programs believes that social responsibility is an essential aspect of our programming and business operations. We strongly believe that cultural immersion, cross-cultural conversations, and reflection on these experiences can increase self-awareness, promote empathy, and foster growth. We recognize that our staff, student, and participant body is not as diverse as we would hope. We also recognize that there are inherent imbalances in access, particularly when it comes to international travel and outdoor experiences. Recognizing the current imbalances and accessibility issues within the world and more specifically within experiential/outdoor education/gap year programs, we are able to move towards a more just and inclusive world.

Neurodivergent Support

Our Essential Eligibility Criteria outlines the requirements for participation in our programs to determine if our programs are a good fit for each student. While ARCC Gap is not a therapeutic program, we do provide an inclusive environment for students with neurodivergence. We have had students with various diagnosed neuro-differences (such as dyslexia, ADHD, ASD, TS, dyspraxia, dysgraphia, etc) find success on our gap semester programs.

During our interview process, we have open communication with students and families about the support ARCC instructors are able to provide students while on program. For students needing some additional support, we ask them to complete a “Plan of Action” with their at home support system. These plans may include additional information about communication/support preferences, coping strategies, and/or specific requirements to encourage the student to engage with the program effectively. Once on the program, our instructors will periodically check in individually with each student, help the student stay accountable to their Plan of Action, and provide general support to all participants.

Accessibility Support

ARCC Gap Travels to locations around the world that have varying levels of accommodations for students needing accessibility support. For this reason, please see our Essential Eligibility Criteria to see if our gap programs are a good fit for you.

Whenever possible (determined by specific location and program - ie. infrastructure, access to specific health care facilities, dietary options available, etc), we have successfully assisted students with anaphylactic allergies, chronic medical conditions, and other accommodations on programs. We recommend that you reach out with specific concerns to your Gap Director to find the right fit for you.

Impact

Sustainability

At ARCC Programs we recognize that all human action impacts our physical environment and the living beings on the planet. Everything on Earth plays a role in supporting life and we believe that it is our responsibility to have a net positive impact with our actions. We strive to balance the impacts of our programming by partnering with communities and organizations with similar goals toward bettering our planet for future generations.

Ethical Impact

ARCC believes that we (as an industry) need to shift the way we think about international service. We (as a society) have now come to realize that international volunteers often benefit from their service experience, while the impact on the community can be short-lived or even harmful. We at ARCC are taking the years of experience that we have in the international service learning realm, have reflected on previous mistakes, learned from our in-country partners, and have made changes. Our goal is to live, work, and learn alongside community members while also making a positive impact. We are committed to partnering with local community-driven organizations to focus on reciprocity while contributing to established long-term projects. It is our responsibility to engage in mutually beneficial community-driven projects and teach fair trade learning principles to our students.

Program Highlights

  • Assist Scientists with Jaguar Research in the Rainforests of the Osa Peninsula
  • Work Alongside Biologists Patrolling Beaches During a Sea Turtle Conservation Project
  • Help Cloud Forest Researchers Tag and Release Tropical Songbirds
  • Zipline Through the Treetops of the Monteverde Cloud Forest
  • Snorkel Through Vibrant Coral Reefs and Watch for Humpback Whales at Isla del Caño

Program Reviews

2.00 Rating
based on 1 review
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  • Growth 2
  • Support 1
  • Fun 1
  • Housing 4
  • Safety 4
Showing 1 - 1 of 1 reviews
Default avatar
Virginia
2/5
No, I don't recommend this program

ARRC - Probably okay unless you are different.

Our grand daughter is unique. She was shunned and made fun off during so called "private" (i.e. without counselors) meetings of the campers. This was very unfortunate but she focused on the opportunities rather than the other camper's bullying of her and came back not unhappy about what she learned about the country she was visiting and about the kindness of its people. We, however, (and she) were very hurt to learn how she had been made fun of, called "the ugliest camper" and about the way in which some of the campers used the confidences she shared with them, against her.

Pros
  • Our teenager was happy to learn about the country, its culture and the people.
Cons
  • The counselors are not always there. The campers meet "in secret" and denigrate the peers that are different. There is not a strong and emphatic "anti-bullying" ethic. We (and our teenager) were totally hurt to learn that our teenager was made fun of.
60 people found this review helpful.
Response from ARCC Programs

Thank you for taking the time to provide this important information. This is, unfortunately, the first we have heard about the behind-the-scenes treatment of your granddaughter and we, too, are very disappointed to know that this occurred. We commend your granddaughter on not only her ability to persevere in the midst of a difficult situation but to even walk away with an appreciation for her experience despite the challenges you mention. As a program, one of our goals is to facilitate meaningful relationships among students by way of ice-breakers, games, leadership activities, and the shared experiences of traveling to new places. Our hope is that this helps to create a solid foundation for the students to operate within throughout the program. We are sorry to hear that some students did not align with the ethics of our program and used time, when not directly supervised by our leaders, to mistreat your granddaughter. We only wish we would have known about this while your granddaughter was still on the program so we could have taken steps to remedy the situation. We are always looking to grow and improve as an organization and remain motivated by this experience in our continual efforts to combat bullying and exclusive behavior. Please feel free to reach out to us directly to provide any additional feedback.

Questions & Answers