In just 12 days, venture all across Costa Rica and explore this diverse country just like field biologists and marine conservationists do.
|June 26 - July 7||HS||12 days||$3,980||Available|
|July 10 - July 21||MS||12 days||$3,980||Available|
|July 24 - August 4||HS||12 days||$3,980||Available|
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 documented community service hours. It’s what we call “Earn & Learn,” and it’s what you’ll take home as evidence of your many accomplishments.
On the Costa Rica Field Biology 12-Day Adventure, students earn 15 hours of documented community service.
This course is a survey of field biology and wildlife behavior, threats and conservation. While the specific focus will be on rainforest reforestation and wilderness field study in Costa Rica, we will also concentrate on other species that live all over the globe. Coursework will consist of both academic discussions and field work designed to introduce students to the methods and equipment that scientists and researchers commonly use.
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. In Costa Rica, team up with local conservation organizations to collect data on flora and fauna that will contribute to ongoing research and development.
After arriving in San Jose and spending the first day in Alajuela, we’re off to Las Tumbas to begin our journey as field biologists. We’ll settle into our rustic, hillside cabins nestled in the jungle then go explore the local flora and fauna on a nature hike with the tropical sounds of the local wildlife as our soundtrack. Jump right into the adventure with a thrilling rappel down Baru Falls, a 130 foot waterfall that’s guaranteed to get your adrenaline pumping. Go for a swim in the refreshing pools below, and get ready to begin your conservation work in the days ahead.
Prepare to be serenaded by the unique sounds of birds in the trees as you travel through the jungle and past remote villages on your way to the nature reserve outside Chirripo National Park. This reserve is home to an abundance of life, and its fertile grounds make it a hot spot for field biology research. Professional scientists will demonstrate the importance of reforestation and we’ll volunteer our time helping to transform an old cattle pasture back into a lush cloud forest. Set up a ‘camera trap’ and hope to catch a glimpse of the elusive ocelot, puma or tapir, and learn about how biologists are using the camera data. At night, kick back and relax in a hammock or take a turn making dinner using the skills you learned in your cooking class. Even go to a trout farm where you’ll catch, grill and eat your dinner. The work you do here is meaningful, not only to long-term rainforest conservation and ongoing research projects, but also to wherever your interest in field biology takes you next.
For the second half of the program, we make our way to Drake Bay on the Osa Peninsula, where over half of Costa Rica’s 500,000+ animal species reside. A short boat ride through the mangrove forests takes us to a remote island location on the coast that is a wildlife wonderland. Humpback whales, dolphins, anteaters, sloths, spider monkeys, toucans ‘ you name it, Drake Bay has it. Work alongside scientists collecting data on birds and see how many of the 367 species found in Corcovado we can identify. Spend three days on boat learning what it’s like to be a marine biologist while collecting data on local wild dolphin species. Learn about their physiology and behavior while experiencing real-world science that has an actual effect on the conservation of the species. Take a break to explore tide pools and snorkel at Cano Island, then prepare to head back to San Jose for the journey home.
I learned so much more than I thought I would. This way of learning was engaging, so interesting, and everyone loved it. I’ve grown in so many ways and experienced things I’ve never experienced, even after going on so many of these trips. It’s great for both experienced and inexperienced people. You do so many different activities, will NEVER be bored and get so close to amazing people so fast. I have nothing to complain about!
This trip was life changing! I learned a great deal of information, met amazing people, and had a once in a lifetime adventure. We didn’t just fly to another country, but we practically lived in another country. Broadreach is a wonderful program that allows young teens like myself to get a glimpse of the real world and all of the wonderful things that are open to us. Thank you Broadreach for putting together a safe, informational, and unforgettable trip that I will be talking about for the rest of my life!
Broadreach is great. Even if you are shy, this is your opportunity to be a new person and whoever you want. We grow together.
I had a great time on this trip. Originally, I figured it would fly by fast and I would get to do a bunch of cool things, but it was much more than that. I met genuinely nice people and we got along right away. I also had experiences with wildlife that I’ll never get again in life. We got to hold turtles, lizards and frogs. I learned so much through all the lessons as well. I really believe I’ve improved as a person.
It was great and it gave me opportunities that I couldn’t have gotten on any other program. Perfect balance of fun and structure
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.
Airfare is not included in the program tuition cost, mostly because students join our programs from all over the U.S. and other countries around the world. Some programs also have internal flights which are not included in the program tuition, and we’ll provide details on exactly how to book those once you are enrolled.
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.
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.
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.
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 $319-379 based on the program duration. For more specific coverage details, please call our office.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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 requested by about 3 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).
We provide an extensive packing list for each program that we revise every year based on student and instructor feedback, and most of the items you probably have already. If you’d like to look at a packing list for a certain program, just let us know and we can email the most current version to you.
Our levels are loose guidelines to help families determine which programs might be the best fit. Discovery level programs do not require any prior experience and are great first-Broadreach options. Explorer level programs build on existing skills and knowledge, and often delve deeper into the program focus. Expedition level programs are usually in more remote or challenging locations, require prior experience, and often include more student ownership of the experience.
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 visit www.broadreachfoundation.org for more information and to apply online for scholarships.