Choose your own adventure! On our Costa Rica: Middle School Service Adventure program, work with children in local schools or help to protect the Costa Rica's incredible wildlife, with other students your age who share your passion for travel, volunteer work and experiencing a different culture.
The entire program is designed top-to-bottom with middle school students in mind. So if you're 13-14 years-old and ready to take that first step outside the country to make a meaningful impact on the world, this is your chance to become a real changemaker and travel expert.
WHAT TO EXPECT
We invite you to check out our program page for more details, but here's a taste of what you'll do in Costa Rica on this program:
- Take action through volunteer work that has a lasting, positive impact in your host community
- Explore the beautiful landscapes of another country through exciting activities like ziplining
- Get to know the local culture through educational activities like cooking classes and guided tours
- Spot local animals and wildlife as you experience the biodiversity of another region of the world
- Connect with the local community and learn basic Spanish, or brush up on your skills!
- Explore issues regarding animal welfare and access to education
- Get to know your fellow students in a safe and comfortable Home Base surrounded by lush landscapes
TWO TRACKS, ONE INCREDIBLE EXPERIENCE
When enrolling on this program, you'll get to choose a focus for your experience. The track you choose will determine the community service project you work on and other aspects of your time in Costa Rica.
Choose between inspiring local children through volunteer work in schools on the Children & Community Development track, or help to rehabilitate and ensure the wellness of Costa Rica's wildlife on the Wildlife Conservation track.
Outside of community service and some select activities, regardless of which track you choose, you'll interact with your entire group of fellow students on the program.
AN IMPECCABLE SAFETY RECORD
Safety is our #1 priority. While we believe in the transformative power of stepping outside comfort zones, we remain invested in managing the risks of doing so. We created and heavily enforce our 5-Point Safety System™, a set of rigorous standards, to ensure students' safety and health, and parents' peace of mind.
Exclusive to our new middle school program, our student-to-staff ratio will be 5:1, and our international staff will have professional experience working with students from this age group.
We also provide a 24/7 hotline during the summer, so families can reach us any time, day or night, during the program.
CHAPERONED GROUP FLIGHTS
Make friends before you even arrive!
Students on our Middle School Service Adventure will take chaperoned group flights from the United States to our destination in San José, Costa Rica.
To give our GLA families more flexibility, we will have two options for chaperoned group flights - one departing from Los Angeles, California (LAX), and one departing from Newark, New Jersey (EWR). Both flights are non-stop to San José, Costa Rica (SJO) and have an approximate flight duration of five-and-half hours.
GLA Group Flight Departing From Los Angeles, California:
LAX ✈ SJO
Our chaperoned group flight from Los Angeles will be a red-eye flight departing from LAX the night before the program begins and arriving to Costa Rica early in the morning on Day 1 of the program. All students on this group flight must arrive at LAX airport within the arrival window (your GLA Travel Coordinator can assist with this).
Our GLA flight chaperone will be waiting at LAX the airport to greet each student, and will remain with the group until we have landed safely at San José airport in Costa Rica where your GLA Program Staff will be waiting greet your group and drive you to Home Base.
GLA Group Flight Departing From Newark, New Jersey:
EWR ✈ SJO
Our chaperoned group flight from Newark will depart the morning of Day 1 of the program and arrive in Costa Rica in the afternoon. All students on this group flight must arrive at Newark airport within the arrival window (your GLA Travel Coordinator can assist with this).
Our GLA flight chaperone will be waiting at the Newark airport to greet each student, and will remain with the group until we have landed safely at San José airport in Costa Rica where your GLA Program Staff will be waiting to greet your group and drive you to Home Base.
READY TO ENROLL
If this sounds like the perfect experience for you, your teen, or someone you know, now's the best time to enroll! All sessions of our Middle School Service Adventures still have spots available, but they're filling fast. If you enroll now, we'll save you a space on the program and it's quick and easy to apply.
If you'd like to speak to one of our Enrollment Specialists first, call or text us at +1-858-771-0645 and we can let you know all about our middle school program and answer any questions you might have.
LOOKING FOR HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAMS?
Don't worry! While we're offering this new middle school program, we still have an incredible portfolio of service-learning programs designed for teens ages 14-18 throughout Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. You can explore programs and find the perfect destination for you here. Students who are 14 years of age may have the option of enrolling in either the Middle School Service Adventure or one of our high school programs, depending on what grade they're entering and other factors. Our Enrollment Specialists can help you decide what's the best option for you or your teen.