Program Details

Students will participate in thirty-two hours of community service in Costa Rica and complete additional written assignments during and after the program, for which they will earn 1 elective credit which may be applied towards the 120 credits for graduati
Location:
San Jose, Costa Rica
Program Type:
Study Abroad
Degree Level:
Undergraduate
Term:
Spring Break

Program Overview

Program Description:
The University at Albany’s Office of International Education, in collaboration with the Department of Residential Life’s Leaders in Service, offers a unique opportunity for students to volunteer with wild animals and young children on an Alternative Spring Break community service trip to Costa Rica. Up to 30 undergraduate students will spend spring break in La Fortuna, a rural city located just four miles from the Arenal Volcano and 75 miles from Costa Rica’s capital, San José. For four days, students will work alongside the bilingual staff members of Proyecto Asis, an organization dedicated to wildlife protection, environmental conservation, and fostering positive cultural exchanges through education and service. Proyecto Asis is an eight acre ecological reserve on the edge of the rainforest, home to monkeys, caimans, wild pigs, parrots, sloths, and more! Students’ service will include helping take care of the animals by feeding them, cleaning their cages, and assisting in repairing or building new cages. For the second half of the week, students will get to know the children at San Bosco Orphanage, which since 1999 has given a home to abandoned children and children suffering abuse. At San Bosco, students may assist the staff with supervision of the children, teach English, play games, and/or help with homework. Students may also complete basic daily chores around the orphanage including cleaning, helping with laundry, and maintaining the property. When not volunteering, students will engage in a variety of cultural activities to better acclimate themselves to Costa Rican life and the area surrounding the Arenal Volcano. Home stays with Costa Rican “tico” families will allow students the opportunity to practice their Spanish, while a visit to a local farm will enlighten them on tico traditions, agricultural exports, and cooking practices. For an adrenaline rush unlike any other, students will zip line through the rainforest’s canopy one day and hike the lava trails at the base of the Arenal Volcano the next. Before heading back to the United States, students will have the chance to relax in natural hot springs heated by volcanic magma.

Students will participate in thirty-two hours of community service in Costa Rica and complete additional written assignments during and after the program, for which they will earn 1 elective credit which may be applied towards the 120 credits for graduation.

Please see our website for more details.
Setting Description:
Housing is arranged by Proyecto Asis. Each participant will live with two other students with families in La Fortuna who are associated with Proyecto Asis and have been carefully screened. Home stays provide students with a unique opportunity to learn about tico culture firsthand from Costa Rican families while also improving their Spanish. Breakfast is eaten with families every day. Lunch is eaten at the volunteer sites all days but the first (included en route from the airport) and last (spent with host families). Dinner is eaten with host families or in the town of La Fortuna. All meals apart from the final dinner in San José are included in the program fee.
Cost:
Our goal is to make study abroad as affordable as possible. Please see our website for more details.

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