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GHC Spring Break 2016 Costa Rica Trip

 

Where: UGA Costa Rica campus, Monteverde, Costa Rica

When:  GHC Spring Break, Sunday, March 27-Sunday, April 3

Cost: $1,836.00*

*This includes round trip airfare, ground transportion, lodging, activities in country and most meals. 

Contact person: Dr. Bronson Long, blong@highlands.edu

Factulty/Staff trip leaders: Dr. Sean Callahan, scallaha@highlands.edu, Kathryn Garcia, kgarcia@highlands.edu, Mark Greger, mgreger@hlighlands.edu, Abraham Ortiz, aortiz@highlands.edu   

 

 

 

 

Costa Rica has been ranked “the happiest nation on earth” and is known for its natural beauty, including its lush cloud forests, unique ecology and beaches. How would you like to find out what makes this Latin American country so happy? The GHC study abroad program has a spring break trip in March 2016 that will take a group of students and faculty to do just that at the University of Georgia’s Costa Rica campus. Our trip will take us to the green, mountainous area of Monteverde, Costa Rica. We will stay at the UGA campus and will participate in many fun cultural activities including:

 

  • Zip lining through a cloud forest
  • Coffee farm tour
  • Dance workshop
  • Guided walk through the Monteverde Cloud Forest
  • Several local hikes with naturalist guides
  • Horseback riding
  • A day and a half on the gorgeous Pacific beach of Playa Samara

Concern for the environment is especially important in Costa Rica. As such, we will take a sustainability tour of the UGA campus and will help with reforestation service work at their greenhouse. We will also get to know locals, including sustainability efforts at nearby farms and by spending one night at the home of a local family.

 

Come join us on this fun-filled, learning experience in Costa Rica!

 

 

For a full schedule of the trip, please see the detailed itinerary below:

 

DETAILED ITINERARY

Date

Time

Activity

March 27, 2016

 

 

Sunday

1:00 PM

Delta flight arrives SJO San Jose international airport

 

1:30 PM

Transfer to UGA Costa Rica (private bus)

5:00 PM

Arrive at UGACR, check into rooms

6:00 PM

Dinner at UGACR

7:00 PM

Orientation & Welcome

 

Night at UGACR

March 28, 2016

 

 

Monday

6:20 AM

Cow milking & biodigester tour. Try your hand at milking our cows … then enjoy the milk in your coffee at breakfast! Learn about how our pigs are raised, and how animal waste is converted to cooking fuel in our biodigester. Allow 1 hour.  OR  -

Bird watching. In two groups.

 

7:30 AM

Breakfast at UGACR

8:30 AM

Campus tour and Guided natural history hike. Discover the natural history of the

area with one of our trained naturalist guides. Campus tour will include sustainabilty aspects of UGACR. Allow 3 hours.

12:00 PM

Lunch at UGACR

1:00 PM

UGACR Carbon Offset program. Introductory talk about the program, followed  by

short service work session (1 hour) in our reforestation greenhouse. Allow all afternoon.

6:00 PM

Dinner at UGACR

7:30 PM

Dance Workshop. Learn the essentials of Latin dance, including meringue,  cumbia,

and salsa! Allow 1 to 2 hours.

 

Night at UGACR

March 29, 2016

 

 

Tuesday

7:00 AM

Breakfast at UGACR and pack lunches

 

7:30 AM

Transfer to Monteverde

8:00 AM

Guided walk at Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. First and  most-visited reserve in Monteverde. Well-maintained trails of varying lengths. Expert guides add to your experience by sharing their knowledge of local flora and fauna. Allow 2.5  to

3 hours.

11:30 AM

Picnic lunch at Monteverde Reserve

12:30 PM

Transfer to SkyTrek

1:00 PM

Ziplines at SkyTrek

4:00 PM

Return to UGACR

6:00 PM

Dinner at UGACR

7:00 PM

Night hike. Join our naturalists for a walk in the dark forest. Learn about  nocturnal

species and behavior, and experience the sights and sounds of the tropical forest at night! Allow 1 to 1.5 hours.

 

Night at UGACR

March 30, 2016

 

 

 

 

Wednesday

7:30 AM

Breakfast at UGACR and pack lunches

 

8:30 AM

Depart (bus) for horseback riding tour (2 groups) - 9am and 11am. While one group is riding, other group has free time in Santa Elena.

 

Picnic lunch or lunch on own in Santa Elena

1:00 PM

Return to UGACR

2:00 PM

Homestay Orientation

5:00 PM

Transfer to Rancho de Lelo, Lower San Luis.

 

Dinner at Rancho de Lelo. Lelo’s specialty is fresh-caught tilapia from the  ponds

right on the property. Smoked pork & vegetarian dishes also available. Go early and enjoy a game of soccer or relax around the ponds

8:00 PM

Return to UGACR

 

Night at UGACR

March 31, 2016

 

 

Thursday

6:20 AM

Cow milking OR bird watching. Switch groups from last time.

 

7:30 AM

Breakfast at UGACR and move belongings out of student rooms

8:30 AM

Depart for Coffee and Sustainable Farm tour. Visit a small, sustainable neighboring farm, Learn how coffee is processed and roasted, followed by a chance to taste & purchase locally-grown organic coffee. Allow 2.5  hours.

12:00 PM

Lunch at UGACR

2:00 PM

Depart for homestay

 

Dinner at homestay (students); faculty dinner in Monteverde/Santa  Elena

 

Night at homestay (students); Night at UGACR (faculty)

April 1, 2016

 

 

Friday

7:30 AM

Breakfast at UGACR (faculty).

 

7:30 AM

Students: Pick up at homestays for return to UGACR

8:00 AM

Last minute packing and load bus

8:30 AM

Depart for Playa Sámara (private bus). Approximately 4 hours' drive  time

12:30 PM

Check into rooms at Villas Playa Samara.

1:00 PM

Lunch at Villas Playa Samara (included)

Afternoon

Free time at beach

7:00 PM

Dinner at Villas Playa Samara (included)

 

Night at Villas Playa Samara

April 2, 2016

 

 

Saturday

8:00 AM

Breakfast at Villa Playa Samara

 

 

Free day at beach, activities and lunch on own

12:30 PM

Lunch at Villas Playa Samara (included)

7:00 PM

Dinner at Villas Playa Samara (included)

 

Night at Villas Playa Samara

April 3, 2016

 

 

Sunday

3:00 AM

Depart for LIR LIBERIA airport

 

7:00 AM

Delta departs Liberia airport

 

 

 

To request a student application for this trip, please contact Dr. Bronson Long or one of the faculty trip leaders. For information on how to pay for this trip as well as a detailed itinerary, please see the information below:

 

Paying for the Costa Rica spring break trip

 

 

The GHC Costa Rica spring break trip cost $1,836.00 per student. This includes round trip airfare, ground transportation, lodging, activities in country and most meals.

Students will need to purchase traveler’s insurance, a small amount of spending money and $29 in cash to pay for a Costa Rica exit tax. However, these are minor expenses. The most significant expense is the cost of the trip itself.

How to pay for the trip:

Students should pay for the trip cost at the GHC Business Office, which has locations on each GHC campus. Please be sure to give your name and student identification number when you pay for the trip. Students may pay with a check, electronic check, debit card or credit card, although there is a 2.75% transaction fee for credit cards. Please note as well that debit card transactions take funds directly and immediately from your bank account.

Students may pay for the trip all at once ($1,836.00), or make payments. Payments can be made on the following schedule:

 1st payment: Wednesday, November 18, $459.00

*2nd payment: Wednesday, December 16, $459.00

 3rd payment: Wednesday, January 20, $459.00

 4th payment: Wednesday, February 10, $459.00 or trip balance

 

*Students who have not made any payments by Wednesday, December 16 will be dropped from the trip

 

The Business Office also allows students to debit their checking accounts on a monthly basis to pay for the trip. For more information on that payment option, please see the Business Office.

Students can also choose to use financial aid to help pay for the trip. To choose this option, please indicate it on your student application or contact the Business Office or the Director of Study Abroad

Please note that the Business Office is open until 12:00 p.m. (noon) on Fridays. Students who enroll late in the trip may still make payments, although they will need to pay more and will need to pay in full by Wednesday, February 10.

 

Grants for the Costa Rica spring break trip

 

The college has ten grants of $500 for students for the Costa Rica spring break 2016 trip. The GHC Financial Aid Office will make a brief online application available for students during the fall semester. The college anticipates awarding these grants to students before it closes for the holidays or in early January. Students will receive an e-mail notification of awards. Students will not receive a check, rather the $500 will be applied to their balance for trip. 

 

Paying for the trip with Financial Aid:

 

If you would like to use your financial aid to pay for the trip or some of the trip, please complete the student application and sign the section on the bottom of the second page that authorizes the college to use your financial aid for the Costa Rica spring break trip.

 

Cancellation and Refund policies

 

The college has contracted through UGA Costa Rica for ground transportation, lodging, meals and activities. It also has contracted through a travel agency for airfare for this trip. As a result, the college has to make payments in a timely manner for these services. This requires students to do the same. Students can pay for the entirety of the trip ($1,836.00) upfront. They can also choose to make payments per the payment schedule above. 

Students who do not pay may be dropped from the trip, particularly those who have submitted an application, but have not made any payments by the second payment deadline of December 16. Because the college has to pay for the expenses related to this trip and there is a high demand for the trip with other students who wish to go, it is essential that students who are enrolled meet payment deadlines if they would like to remain enrolled in the trip. Finally, students who cancel their reservations for the trip will be given a refund and possibly assessed a cancellation penalty fee, depending on how late they drop from the trip. For more information on cancelations and refunds, see the schedule below.

If at any time a student who is enrolled in the trip would like to cancel his or her enrollment, the student in question should contact the Business Office or Dr. Bronson Long, blong@highlands.edu, the Director of Global Initiatives and Study Abroad. If students would like to receive a refund for payments they have made towards the trip, it is imperative that they contact the college prior to dates below to cancel their enrollment and arrangement for a refund.

 

Refunds and Cancellations:

Refunds and cancellation penalty fees are based on the schedule below:

 

Cancellation before the first payment deadline (Nov. 20): Full refund

*Cancellation before the second payment deadline (Dec. 16): $150 fee

 Cancellation before the third payment deadline (Jan. 20): $600 fee

 Cancellation before the fourth payment deadline (Feb. 10): $1,200 fee

 Cancellation after Feb. 10: $1,836.00 fee, no refund

 

*Students who have not made any payments by Wednesday, December 16 will be dropped from the trip

 

 

 

 

 

Page last updated: September 4, 2015