Costa Rica: Biodiversity, Ecology & Sustainability
The program begins in the country’s capital, San José, where you learn about Costa Rican history and culture with visits to museums and markets. From there, you will visit nature reserves and national parks, kayak in the Golfo Dulce or along the Osa Peninsula, and take in the splendor of Costa Rica’s coastline. A remote biological station nestled in the rain forest will be your classroom as you learn about Costa Rica’s efforts to protect rare tropical birds, indigenous animals, and plants. After ziplining and hiking your way through the rain forest’s dense canopy, you will visit a cacao farm engaged in sustainable agriculture practices and learn about chocolate production. An experienced Costa Rican naturalist will guide you throughout the program.
You will learn more about Costa Rica’s culture and communities during a twoweek homestay with a local host family. There, you will take Spanish language classes, enjoy nature hikes, eat meals of gallo pinto, and partake in other activities, such as a community service project that focuses on rural development and
ecological sustainability. Following your homestay, you will visit the Ostional Turtle Lodge to learn about the olive ridley sea turtle conservation effort and sail the Pacific on a catamaran. Your Experiment ends with final exploration and reflection in San José.
To learn more about this program, visit experiment.org/CSS.
At the conclusion of this program, students will earn a community service certificate noting the number of community service hours completed.
Your Experiment begins in the northern mountain city of Chiang Mai, home to hundreds of ancient temples. You will visit the city’s famous sites, explore lively street markets, and discover Buddhist temples as you get to know your group. A cooking instructor will help you shop for the freshest ingredients at a local market, then teach you how to whip up traditional Thai dishes with the items you buy. You will stay overnight at a Buddhist temple and learn about the cultural importance of the art of meditation. Introductory Thai language lessons will prepare you to communicate with your host family during your homestays.
As your Thai journey continues, you will live with a Kon Muang family in a lowland northern village in Chiang Mai province, and then with a Lisu family in a hill tribe in Chiang Rai province. Together, you will work on a community service project, such as teaching English to young children, helping build a natural water dam, or assisting with reforestation work. You will continue to develop your Thai language skills as you interact with locals.
The northern region’s lush tropical valleys and highlands will be your backdrop as you embark on outdoor activities such as trekking, zip lining, and visiting an elephant park. You will also visit Sukhothai, the first capital of Siam and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, before traveling to the seaside town of Hua Hin to explore the breathtaking beaches. Your Thailand exploration wraps up in Bangkok, where you will visit sites of cultural and historical importance, such as the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.
To learn more and view a sample itinerary, visit experiment.org/THS.
At the conclusion of this program, each student will earn a language certificate noting the number of hours of community service completed.
Discover the environmental and cultural diversity of Brazil, one of the world’s fastest growing economies. On this high school summer abroad program, explore contemporary opportunities and challenges facing Brazil, particularly in the areas of sustainability and environmental conservation, while experiencing many of Brazil’s different cultures and communities. Visit coastlines, mountains, and forests to see the unique species inhabiting some of the most biodiverse locations in the southern hemisphere.
Cananéia, a historic coastal town founded in the sixteenth century, will be your base for exploring the Atlantic Forest, home to diverse species, many of which are endemic to the area. Visit fishing villages and trek through the forest and pristine beaches of Cardoso Island State Park. Spend time in an indigenous Caiçara community and quilombo communities, originally formed in the nineteenth century by escaped slaves. Learn about conservation and sustainability efforts in the area.
A 13-day homestay, which will allow you to become part of a Brazilian family, will take place in Monte Alegre do Sul, a town nestled within the Mantiqueira mountain range. Share in the daily activities of your host family. Start learning Portuguese and practice your new language skills over home-cooked meals. See colonial architecture while strolling down cobblestone streets and enjoy the view of the surrounding mountains while sipping coffee in local cafés. Visit nearby waterfalls and mountain forests and see toucans and parakeets in their natural habitats. During the program, you and your group will participate in community service projects.