Chat with us, powered by LiveChat
  • Medicine
  • Central America
  • HS

Costa Rica: Medicine & Eco Adventure


Want to learn more about the world of medicine? Learn the basic concepts of health care and public health by practicing it first-hand in the heart of Central America.

This program gives students interested in medicine unparalleled real-life healthcare experience in a country whose favorite phrase roughly translates to "full of life." Learn the basic concepts of medicine and public health by witnessing them in action. Experience a holistic approach to medicine as you explore traditional medicine, nutrition and wilderness medicine while making an impact at the same time. Assist medical professionals while they care for patients, chart patients' vital signs and develop health education initiatives. Work in a pharmacy, observe clinical interactions with professional medical staff, assist psychologists and practice your Spanish face-to-face with doctors and patients.

Beyond the clinic's doors, take in the full range of Costa Rica's outdoor adventures. Go whitewater rafting, surf the sunny coast, and hike some of the most breathtaking trails on the planet. In just 20 days, get a world of experience that no classroom can offer.

June 24 - July 13 HS20 days$5,480Available
July 16 - August 4 HS20 days$5,480Available
Earn & Learn
Costa Rica: Medicine & Eco Adventure Earn & Learn

Earn & Learn

Broadreach combines your thirst for fun and adventure with tangible skill development, real-world educational opportunities and a genuine commitment to service. While on program, you’ll earn internationally recognized certifications and documented community service hours and even college credits. It’s what we call “Earn & Learn,” and it’s what you’ll take home as evidence of your many accomplishments.

Costa Rica Medicine and Eco Adventures offers 3 health science credits through Lesley University. Additionally, students earn 25 hours of documented community service and may pursue 2 certifications.


Course Description

This 20-day service intensive program immerses students in the world of medicine as they volunteer at a nonprofit clinic. To experience both the clinical and health education aspects of community medicine in Costa Rica, students will teach nutrition and hygiene at a soup kitchen, observe clinical interactions with professional medical staff, chart patients’ vital signs, establish medical record systems, work in a pharmacy and assist psychologists. Students also take a whole foods processing workshop, dive into traditional medicine studies and earn certifications in CPR and First Aid.

Course Objectives
  • Gain firsthand exposure to the practice of medicine through clinical interactions, working in a pharmacy and community service
  • Assist with patient intake, recording vitals and completing medical records
  • Gain an understanding of the goals and challenges of healthcare in Costa Rica
  • Prepare health education initiatives for local children. Possible health education topics may include nutrition, sanitation, water contamination and hygiene
  • Study basic concepts in medicine – from ethics to wilderness medicine
  • Learn about diabetes prevention, healthy habits focused on exercise, dental hygiene and art therapy
  • Earn CPR/First Aid certifications
  • Explore wilderness medicine and holistic medicine through workshops


During this Costa Rica adventure students partake in intense learning in hopes of receiving two well deserved certifications:

  • CPR certification
  • First Aid certification


Through service, gain a more meaningful connection to the cultures and communities you explore while taking an active role to address important global issues at the local level. While in Costa Rica, work with clinics in the local community on health education campaigns and specific projects that are dictated by the needs of the community at the time. The projects give you the opportunity to use the methods you learn in class to make real life contributions to the health of the local community. Possible community service projects include:

  • Assist with patient intake, recording vitals, and completing medical records
  • Work a pharmacy rotation in the clinic
  • Volunteer at the soup kitchen
  • Assist with art therapy and movement classes

2 Certifications

25 Service Hours

3 College Credits

Costa Rica: Medicine & Eco Adventure Itinerary



The adventure begins in Alajuela where we get acquainted with the country and one another. Venture to Turrialba and experience Costa Rica through its rivers and jungles. Whitewater raft down the Pacuare River until you arrive at a cozy set of platform tents, your home for the night. Wake up to the colorful sounds of wildlife before heading back to the river to finish the excursion.


Experience Arenal, the perfect place to uncover herbs known for their healing properties and detoxing natural hot springs. Learn more about Costa Rican culture through traditional medicine workshops. Travel through a luscious jungle, famous for its volcano backdrop.


Travel to Mastatal – where the mountains and the forest reach the white-sand beaches of the Pacific – and hike some of the most beautiful trails in the world. Learn about whole foods processing, practical medical techniques and gain an introduction to wilderness first aid while earning your First Aid and CPR certifications. Bask in the gorgeous rainforest mist as you hike to a waterfall and soak in the sounds of chattering monkeys and birds.


Gain hands-on experience volunteering at a nonprofit clinic and help serve the medical needs of Alajuelita. Assist with patient intake, establish record systems and chart patients’ vital signs. Develop health education initiatives on topics ranging from nutrition to hygiene and teach mothers, teens and children at a local soup kitchen. Observe clinical interactions with professional medical staff, work in a pharmacy and aid psychologists with art therapy.


Celebrate your hard-earned accomplishments with a trip to Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast! Grab a board and learn to surf the waves alongside a professional surf instructor. After a couple days of hanging loose, head back to Alajuela for you final goodbyes before boarding your flight home.

  • Trip Highlights

  • Earn valuable CPR & First Aid certifications
  • Shadow doctors at a local clinic and participate in patient rounds
  • Engage with local communities in health initiatives
  • Volunteer at a local soup kitchen and help with a nutritional education program
  • Embark on a whitewater rafting adventure
  • Study traditional medicine and practice techniques
Costa Rica: Medicine & Eco Adventure Reviews & Testimonials

Reviews & Testimonials

Emma C. from Raleigh, NC

The clinic was such an interesting and new way to see the medical world. It gives you opportunities to experience medicine first-hand as a high school student. This trip made me excited to do more traveling in the future!

Rebecca D. from McLean, VA

I was expecting to just learn about medicine, which we definitely did, but we also explored cultural differences and even a little history. Costa Rica was one of the best experiences of my life and I’ll never forget the people I met, the places I visited or the things I did.

Annette Davis from Los Angeles, CA

Shane had the most amazing time at this program in Costa Rica. He has bonded for life with 11 other kids from around the nation, and has matured in a way that I could not have imagined. It was such a wonderful experience for him in every way, specially because he was terrified before he made the trip. This was the first time he’s flown by himself, or been in a different country by himself. So thank you all for making him feel safe, happy and just a little bit out of his comfort zone, so that he can see that new adventures may be a little scary at first, but the eventual experience is priceless. Thank you again and look forward to more Broadreach programs for both my boys.

Grace S. from Elkhorn, NE

My favorite place was the clinic and shadowing the doctors. I learned and talked to the community and I was able to get a better understanding of what I want to do in the future.

Colleen Martin from Richmond Heights, OH

The trip was a once in a lifetime experience and we really bonded over our community service in the clinic and our interest in the medical field. It was something that I will never forget.

Katherine Unger

I’ve never been among so many different people and cultures. The new adventures, experiences, medicine and people I interacted with I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Sophia Donovan

The trip was a really great experience for me. There were lots of fun new things to do/try here and the culture is amazing. Costa Rica is a gorgeous place and 10/10 will come back. My favorite part was clinic work and exploring the new culture.

Costa Rica: Medicine & Eco Adventure FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

What is included in the tuition cost and what additional expenses should I expect?

Tuition is all inclusive for instruction, food, accommodations, and activities from the time you arrive in country. However, you are responsible for your airfare, spending money (we suggest about $150-200 depending on the program), any required textbooks, and student expenses such as medical fees. Some trips require scuba gear which can be rented, purchased or in some cases borrowed from Broadreach. Finally, for our high school trips that offer college credit, you can elect to receive an official Lesley University credit transcript for approximately $180 per credit hour. For more information about expenses that might apply to your program, click here.

How does travel work?

For most programs, we have a few recommended flights and an arrival time range, and we usually give you the option to book flights on your own or through our travel agency partner. A few programs have required group flights, which we set up in advance. Students travel independently, but often meet up along the way, and we collect student itinerary details. Broadreach instructors will be waiting in the arrivals hall of the destination airport to greet each student, and they’ll be wearing special shirts and holding a Broadreach sign. We also mail students Broadreach shirts to wear while traveling which makes it easy for them to identify each other. Typically, making travel arrangements and the actual travel days go very smoothly.

How many students are in a group? What is the male/female ratio?

The majority of programs will have a maximum of 14 students in a group. Some programs are limited to 12 or even 10 students in a group. We aim for a balance of males and females, but in our experience, the gender ratio plays a small role in the success of each program.

Do most participants come alone or with friends?

Most participants come alone, so there is no need to be concerned if you don’t know anyone else on your program. It’s normal to be a little nervous about not knowing other students in advance, but within a day of starting your program you’ll be laughing and sharing exciting adventures with new friends.

How does Broadreach address safety?

Safety is our top priority, and it is something we evaluate from every angle throughout the year. We’re very proud of our safety record over the past 26 years of running international programs for students. There are so many ways to address how we handle safety, including the extensive experience and training of our instructors, the specific locations we choose to visit, the relationships we have established with our local partners, and the 24/7 support we provide our groups. We have extensive program-specific risk management plans and safety standards that we adhere to. We’d be happy to talk about safety in more detail for the program you’re considering if you’d like to call our office.

Do I need to purchase travel insurance?

We require that students have at least $100,000 of emergency evacuation coverage and some kind of international medical coverage, as well as coverage for scuba diving for programs that include diving. We offer two different policy options, or if you already have a policy that meets this criteria, we would just collect those policy details after enrollment.

Our Tuition Protection policy covers cancellations for medical reasons up to 100% and for any other reason up to 75% (except for residents of NY state). It’s also a great comprehensive travel insurance policy, including medical coverage, emergency evacuation, travel delay, baggage (loss or delay), etc. The cost of the policy ranges from $339-379 based on the program duration. For more specific coverage details, please call our office.

Will students be able to call home or access the internet?

Students will call home within a few hours of landing in the destination airport to let parents know they have arrived safely and have met up with the group. For most programs, students will have the option to call home once a week, typically on Sundays. Timing for calling home depends on the schedule of the trip and location. Usually, students call home with the in-country instructor cell phones or via Skype if good internet service is available. If you’d like to learn more about our full communication policy, please call our office.

Who will my instructors be?

Broadreach instructors are highly experienced, passionate, energetic and supportive. The average age of our instructors is 28 years old, and depending on the program, they meet specific qualifications (a Master’s degree in the subject area, PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor certification, foreign language fluency, Wilderness First Responder certification, etc).

Do your programs accommodate food preferences or food allergies?

We do our best to accommodate allergies and food preferences but we consider the situation, country and the program to determine whether it will be a good fit for the specific dietary restriction. It’s important that you let Broadreach know well in advance of any food preferences or allergies so we can determine whether your restrictions will work on your program.

Can I contact Broadreach alumni families for more information?

Absolutely! Just call our office and we can put you in touch with past participants who have joined the programs that interest you. Our alumni families are happy to share their first-person experiences.

How does payment work? Is the deposit or tuition refundable?

We require a non-refundable deposit of $1000 to lock in your spot, and then the final balance can be spread out and paid in a few different ways. The final payment is non-refundable and is due about 4 months before departure. Our optional tuition protection plan covers cancellations for medical reasons up to 100% and cancellations for any other reason up to 75% (except for residents of NY state).

Do you offer any discounts or scholarships?

In the fall, we have a few different early enrollment discounts – please call our office for more information. We also offer a 5% discount on the second enrollment from the same immediate family in a summer. This offer is available to an individual student or siblings. The 5% discount will be applied to the program of lesser cost, and cannot be combined with any other discounts.

We do offer some scholarships through the Broadreach Foundation. Please call our office for more information on applying.

Broadreach Journey on Instagram

Never miss a post. Follow the journey on Instagram.