How do I apply?
Please complete our online form. We’ll contact you within 2 business days to set up a phone call. There’s no fee to apply!
What are the eligibility requirements?
In order to participate, you must be a U.S. citizen, a high school graduate, and 18 years or older by the program start date.
What are the dates and duration?
PLease see the “About” page for our upcoming program dates. Typically we offer the program in early January and during the summertime.
Where will I be staying?
Accommodation at quality, affordable hotels, hostels, and cabanas is included throughout the program. Rooms will be multi-shared (same sex).
When should I book my flights?
We will send out detailed information on flight booking 6-8 weeks prior to the trip start date. In some cases we may give you the “green light” to purchase flights earlier than this if we have the minimum group size required to move forward.
How is transportation within Costa Rica handled?
All in-country transportation is included in your program. We will use private transportation (bus or shuttle) for the group. At some points, public transportation might be used.
Who will I be traveling with?
While participants may come from all around the U.S. (and sometimes beyond), they share an interest in learning how communities around the globe are embracing sustainable practices, particularly when it comes to environmental concerns. Participants are typically between 18 and 25 years of age and may be joining the program during a summer or winter break from college, as part of a pre- or post-college gap year, or as an alternative spring break. Groups range in size between 8 and 15 travelers.
We aim to form strong group dynamics through intro activities, discussions, and shared adventures.
Who is leading the program?
Experienced group leaders with education and international program leadership backgrounds will be with the group from start to finish. They will facilitate all group activities, and you’ll get to know them before you depart.
How hard are the physical activities like hiking? How will I know if the physical activities are suitable for me?
While we will not be trekking extensively, your itinerary will contain strenuous and physical activities (across varied terrain and in different weather). It’s important that you’re open to and comfortable with this type of physical activity. If you have any doubts as to your physical ability to participate on the program, we welcome you to contact us.
In addition, this is a fast-paced program and we’ll be keeping busy (and having a huge amount of fun). Be ready to stay engaged so you can make the most of our eight days!
Will I have assignments to complete?
We’ll be sending you some short readings and videos before and after your program, which will make for a more enriching in-country experience. While we won’t be collecting “assignments” or providing grades, the program works better when everyone participates to the fullest. While in Costa Rica, we expect you to put your best foot forward when it comes to group activities and discussions.
How does the program fee break down?
As a nonprofit organization committed to creating accessible intercultural experiences, InterExchange sets pricing carefully. In addition to everything listed under What’s Included, your program fee covers the costs of program design, site visits, application review, one-to-one advising, and other program administration.
Is my flight included in the program fee?
No, the cost of your flight is not included in the program fee.
How do I book my flight?
You can book your flight using your choice of online or other booking services. (We do not book group flights.) We’ll provide windows of time in which you must arrive and depart from SJO airport. We can assist you with booking your flights, should you need.
Do I need to know Spanish to participate in the program?
No language skills are required for participation, but you’ll have opportunities to practice along the way. And it never hurts to learn a bit before you go!
Does the program include insurance?
Your program fee includes international medical insurance, including accident, sickness, and emergency evacuation coverage. This covers all activities included on the program.
However, we strongly recommend purchasing trip cancellation insurance at the time of paying your initial deposit to hedge against any unforeseen circumstances that could come up on your side.
What if I have dietary restrictions?
Please let us know if you have dietary restrictions. We’ll work with you to understand if your dietary needs can be met throughout the length of the program.
Will there be opportunities to practice my Spanish?
If you’re hoping to improve your Spanish we can help you arrange an additional week (or more) of Spanish immersion before or after the program in San José or at the beach in Manuel Antonio, through our friends at another great agency. Ask us for details! During the Sustainable Action program itself, most activities will be conducted in English but along the way you can practice here and there with our guides and community representatives.
Can I spend more time in Costa Rica either before or after the program?
Of course! If you plan to arrive in Costa Rica early, you must still meet the group at SJO airport or make your own way to the group accommodation at a specified meeting time. Let us know if you have any doubts about doing so. If you plan to continue traveling after the program, you are welcome to do so.