Costa Rica Rainforest Canopy Bridge

Welcome to the PRO Costa Rica Accepted Student Information page!  Navigate the tabs below for everything you need to know before your epic adventure!

To navigate back to your portal for payments, forms and due dates, click the My Account button above.

Stay Informed

Click here for the pre-departure master checklist! (link coming soon)

Stay on track for your summer adventure with the pre-departure checklist.  Print it out, share with your parents and cross off items as you complete them.  Please note some items may only apply to specific locations, and this is noted where applicable.


Are flights included in the program fee?

International airfare is not included in your program fee.  You have several options when booking flights:

  • Purchase one of the recommended group itineraries
  • Book your own flights on any itinerary that is most convenient for you (be sure to note your arrival/departure dates and times as this may affect your airport transfer)

All flight details can be found in the flights section below!

Will LeadAbroad staff be on my flight?

Since our staff will already be abroad preparing for your arrival, we will not have any staff at the departure airport or on flights to Costa Rica.  However, a student will be taking attendance at the gate and helping students connect with each other before the flight.  Should you have questions or problems with your flight, we strongly recommend you speak with an airline representative at the airport as they will be able to assist.  Our on-call, U.S. based staff is available for any itinerary changes that will impact your arrival into San Jose.

I am not arriving on the group flight. Will someone meet me at the airport in San Jose?

It is extremely important that you arrive as close as possible to the group flight.  Any delay in your arrival will cause you to miss very important orientations and training on the ground.  If your scheduled arrival is anytime AFTER the group is scheduled to land, you must book and pay for your own transportation to the hotel.  We will reach out if this applies to you and assist in arranging this transportation.

If you arrive on the official start date and within the group’s landing time (usually about one hour BEFORE the group flight lands), we will meet you at the airport and provide transportation to the hotel.

What happens if I miss my flight or it is canceled/delayed?

  • Step 1: Do not stress. These things happen!
  • Step 2: Work with an airline rep at the airport to be rebooked.
  • Step 3: As soon as you have a new itinerary, complete the new flight plan form linked in your pre-departure newsletter.  We will be in touch to confirm any details.


Where can I find a packing list?

Click here to jump down to the packing section of this page for all the details!

Do I have to bring my laptop?

No, a laptop is not needed on the program.  We actually encourage you NOT to bring your laptop to eliminate the risk of losing/damaging while abroad.

Should I pack sheets/linens/towels/hangers?

No, our hotels provide all of the above; however, some students prefer to bring their own pillow and light blanket.  Additionally, it’s always a good idea to pack an extra beach towel or microfiber travel towel (medium to large size).

Budgeting & Finances

Are meals included?

Breakfast is included in all of our accommodations.  During the professional development portion (first five days), lunch and dinner will also be provided.  The rest of the program, lunch and dinner will be on your own.

How much spending money should I budget for the trip?

Click here for a budgeting worksheet.  You should have a realistic conversation with your parents in the application process to discuss spending habits and budgeting while you are abroad.  While spending can vary widely, LeadAbroad recommends $40/day as a baseline budget for meals and incidentals.  We will also send a price breakdown for optional adventures in Samara Beach and La Fortuna in April 2020.  This will help you plan your budget!

Should I bring U.S. cash? Debit cards? Credit cards?

All students are required to bring a debit card and credit card abroad.  ATMs are easily accessible in all locations during the program.  It’s important you notify your bank over the phone or online regarding your international travel plans so they do not flag your card for fraud when you try to use it abroad.  The same should be done with your credit card.  Most restaurants and vendors in Costa Rica accept Visa and MasterCard.  American Express is usually accepted as well but not always.  It’s important you have at least a Visa or MasterCard.

The local currency in Costa Rica is the colon; however, USD is accepted most places in $20 bills or less.  Do not bring USD in bills larger than $20.  It’s also wise to ensure your cash is not excessively worn or torn; businesses may reject it if that is the case.  If you use USD in Costa Rica, you will receive change in colones.

In previous years students prefer to use their credit card wherever possible, have a small amount of cash on them in case and will go to the ATM to get more cash if needed.

Health & Safety

Is travel insurance included? What about health insurance?

LeadAbroad offers two trip protection plans.  Click here for details and instructions for purchasing.

All students will be covered under LeadAbroad’s health insurance for the duration of the program.  Details can be found in the Health & Insurance section below.

Do I need shots before visiting Costa Rica?

Review CDC guidelines for travelers to Costa Rica here:

No specific shots are required; however, LeadAbroad recommends visiting your family doctor before departure to ensure you are up to date on routine vaccines including Hepatitis A and MMR.

Can I bring my prescription medication to Costa Rica?

If you pack prescription medication, be sure it is in the original prescription bottle. We also recommend researching the medication to better understand any restrictions in Costa Rica. Your doctor will be a great resource in finding this information.

Pharmacies in Costa Rica will not accept foreign prescriptions. If you anticipate needing a prescription refill while abroad, speak with your doctor about getting enough medication for the duration of your trip. Alternatively, our staff can assist with a local doctor’s visit to receive a local prescription.

Other FAQs

Can I receive a letter of recommendation from the physicians I work with abroad?

Yes!  This is a MAJOR benefit of the trip.  Before departure, you can complete a form to request a letter of recommendation after the program.  This pre-departure form will collect basic info that the doctors like to know beforehand.  It also allows them to keep track of your progress during the workdays.

There is a fee for a letter of recommendation.  You must pay $95 in your LeadAbroad portal no later than April 30th.

Do I need a visa to enter Costa Rica?

U.S. citizens are not required to obtain a visa to visit Costa Rica if you stay for 90 days or less.  When entering Costa Rica, you will be considered a tourist and not a student since you are not enrolling in a foreign university.

If you are NOT a U.S. citizen, be sure to research entry requirements based on the country that issued your passport.  You may be required to obtain a visa.

For more information on visa and passport requirements, review the passports section below!

Can I use my cell phone abroad?

Yes!  We strongly recommend you contact your carrier to understand how international data works on your plan.  Because this is a shorter program, most students prefer to enable an international plan while abroad or strictly use their phone when connected to WiFi.  WiFi is available in all hotels; however, speed varies greatly.  Another option for cell phone use abroad is purchasing a local SIM card.  Not many students choose this option, but please let us know if you’d like more information about this process!

When will I know my roommate assignment? Can I request a roommate change?

We can change roommates up to 30 days before departure.  Roommate requests are entered on the roommate form linked in your portal.  If you’ve already completed this form and would like to change your request, please email

Final roommates will be released 30 days before departure.  No changes can be made after this time.

Can I receive packages/mail while abroad?

Because of the extent of our travel in Costa Rica and our remote accommodations, you should not expect to be able to receive mail or packages while abroad.  If you urgently need something that may normally be sent from home, our program staff will work with you to identify a solution on acquiring that item in Costa Rica.

What is the best way for friends/family to contact me while abroad?

Check out the Communication Abroad section below for details.  WiFi is also accessible in our dorms.

If there is an emergency in the U.S. and your family needs to contact LeadAbroad, please have them call our emergency response line at 404.720.5657 and dial extension 710.

This tab features a running series of announcements from the LeadAbroad team as you prepare for an incredible summer!  You can expect an update about once a month.  As we get closer to departure, updates will become more frequent.


December Newsletter – December 9, 2020

February Newsletter – February 10, 2021

60 Days to Departure Newsletter SESSION 1 – 
60 Days to Departure Newsletter SESSION 2 – 

45 Days to Departure Newsletter SESSION 1 – 
45 Days to Departure Newsletter SESSION 2 – 

30 Days to Departure Newsletter SESSION 1 – 
30 Days to Departure Newsletter SESSION 2 – 

10 Days to Departure Newsletter SESSION 1 – 
10 Days to Departure Newsletter SESSION 2 – 

1 Day to Departure Newsletter SESSION 1 –
1 Day to Departure Newsletter SESSION 2 – 

Connect with fellow students online!

Get Ready to Take Off

To make a payment online, log in to your customer portal.

The PRO Costa Rica program fee is $3,700 for session 1 and $3,400 for session 2. Please refer to your customer portal for your custom due dates based on when you were accepted to the program. Further information on all payment policies can be found on our policy page.

Credit cards (Visa, MasterCard and Discover) are accepted for payment online; however, we do not accept American Express. Please remember that a 4% processing fee will be added to all credit card payments. Payment by eCheck is also accepted. eCheck payments do not have a processing fee. Paper checks will not be accepted.

This section is for SESSION 1 dates ONLY

The LeadAbroad team will support you every step of the way when planning your flights!  Please review the sections below as well as the flights FAQ section above for information on the official group flight and tips for booking flights independently.

Important dates for PRO Costa Rica Session 1:

  • Monday, May 10 – students depart U.S. for San Jose; program begins
  • Friday, May 21 – program ends; students depart San Jose for U.S.

For steps on booking flights, please review the sections below:

Recommended Itineraries (SESSION 1)

LeadAbroad recommends waiting to book your flights until official itinerary recommendations are posted.

For students who are ready to book before we post official group travel recommendations, please consider these guidelines for your best chances at coordinating your travel with our planned group transfers:

Program Start
Arrive into SJO airport: Monday, May 10 by 12:30pm

Program End
Depart from SJO airport: Friday, May 21 any time after 12:00pm

Airport greeting and group shuttles (SESSION 1)


  • Students arriving before May 10th are responsible for securing and paying for their own airport transportation and accommodations until the official program start date.
  • Greeting students at the airport
    • All students arriving on the group flight will be greeted at the airport.
  • Group shuttle
    • If you arrive on a recommended flight or before 12:30pm, we will include you in the group transfer.
    • If you are scheduled to arrive after the group lands, you are responsible for your transportation cost. LeadAbroad will assist you in arranging this transportation.


  • Group shuttle
    • On the morning of May 21st, we have a three hour drive back to San Jose. All students will be transported to the airport and will arrive around 9:00am. It’s extremely important you book an afternoon flight.

This section is for SESSION 2 dates ONLY

The LeadAbroad team will support you every step of the way when planning your flights!  Please review the sections below as well as the flights FAQ section above for information on the official group flight and tips for booking flights independently.

Important dates for PRO Costa Rica Session 2:

  • Monday, May 24 – students depart the U.S. for San Jose; program begins
  • Friday, June 4 – program ends; students depart San Jose for the U.S.

For steps on booking flights, please review the sections below:

Recommended Itineraries (SESSION 2)

LeadAbroad recommends waiting to book your flights until official itinerary recommendations are posted.

For students who are ready to book before we post official group travel recommendations, please consider these guidelines for your best chances at coordinating your travel with our planned group transfers:

Program Start
Arrive into SJO airport: Monday, May 24 by 12:30pm

Program End
Depart from SJO airport: Friday, June 4 any time after 12:00pm

Airport greeting and group shuttles (SESSION 2)


  • Students arriving before May 24th are responsible for securing and paying for their own airport transportation and accommodations until the official program start date.
  • Greeting students at the airport
    • All students arriving on the group flight will be greeted at the airport.
  • Group shuttle
    • If you arrive on a recommended flight or before 12:30pm, we will include you in the group transfer.
    • If you are scheduled to arrive after the group lands, you are responsible for your transportation cost. LeadAbroad will assist you in arranging this transportation.


  • Group shuttle
    • On the morning of June 4th, we have a three hour drive back to San Jose. All students will be transported to the airport and will arrive around 9:00am. It’s extremely important you book an afternoon flight.

In order to arrive in country rested and ready to go, consider the following tips to make your flight experience as enjoyable as possible:

  • Print ALL of your flight itineraries for the trip and have them easily accessible.
  • Do not start your trip stressed. GET TO THE AIRPORT EARLY. For most international flights, we recommend that you arrive at the airport at least three hours prior to departure.
  • Weigh your bags before you leave home. Check baggage size and weight restrictions for ALL AIRLINES you might be flying during the program.  Smaller budget airlines abroad usually have stricter baggage policies than the larger U.S.-based carriers.
  • Pack the following items in your carry-on.  If your checked baggage takes an adventure of its own, having these items with you will create less stress and allow for a more comfortable plane ride:
    • Two days worth of clothes
    • Medications/contacts
    • Laptop, cell phone, chargers, other electronics
    • Water bottle/Nalgene
    • Headphones/earbuds
    • Blindfold and ear plugs if you are sensitive to light/sound when trying to sleep on planes
    • Journal/books/Kindle/magazines
    • Program director’s phone number
    • Dorm address
  • Be comfortable on the plane. Dress in layers so that you can easily adapt to the temperature.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluid while in the air. It is easy to become dehydrated when flying.
  • Know where your passport is at all times. When checking in at the airport, you will have to get your passport in and out of your bag several times; at each stop, be sure to take a moment for a passport check.
  • Reset your watch. As soon as you board the plane, reset your watch to the local time.  Costa Rica observes Central Standard Time (two hours behind Eastern US Daylight time and one hour behind Central US Daylight time)
  • Make special meal requests if necessary. If you have any special requests, be sure to contact the airline at least 72 hours prior to departure.
  • Make sure you have a pen for any immigration forms.  Flight attendants usually distribute arrival forms shortly after take-off.  On these forms, note that you are a tourist, not a student.

To apply for a U.S. passport, click here.  If you are not a U.S. citizen, be sure to thoroughly research passport and visa requirements for citizens of your home country.

If you already have a U.S. passport, check to confirm the following:

  • the expiration date is 2022 or beyond
  • the passport has at least one blank page
  • Your name is spelled correctly

If your passport does not have all requirements above, you must renew your passport before traveling abroad.

All students are required to submit passport information via the passport form in the LeadAbroad portal 60 days before departure.  Please do not submit a passport that is expired or in the process of being renewed.  When your new passport arrives, you can then submit your form.

For more information on documents for travel, visit the Department of State passport website or their Students Abroad section.

Students are REQUIRED to watch all LeadAbroad orientations and submit corresponding forms in the online portal.  Videos and due dates are linked below.

Pre-Departure Orientation: All Programs (Coming Soon)

  • Due date: 60 days before departure
  • Form to submit in your portal by due date: Pre-Departure Form
  • For a slides-only version, click here! (Coming Soon)

Pre-Departure Orientation: PRO Costa Rica Specific (Coming Soon)

  • Due date: 30 days before departure
  • Form to submit in your portal by due date: Orientation: Program-Specific Form
  • For a slides-only version, click here! (Coming Soon)

To ensure we have the tools to support you before and during the program, we have several short forms that must be completed 60 days before departure.  Please access your customer portal for all required forms and due dates.

Click here for the packing list!

Suggested Donations for Costa Rica
Most Wanted (in order of need)
  1. Allergy Medications for Children and Adults: (Cetirizine (Zyrtec), loratadine (Claritin), diphenhydramine (Benadryl), Fexofenadine (Allegra))
  2. Anti-fungal creams: Clotrimazole, Terbinafine, Tolnaftate, Ketoconazole
  3. Hyrdocortisone 1% cream
  4. Acetaminophen for Children (suspension, chewable, droppers)
  5. Naproxen (Aleve 200mg)
Other Needed Donations
  • Cough syrup for Adults and Children (Dextromethorphan, Guafenesin, Ambroxol)
  • Gastic: Antacids (Tums), Ranitidine (Zantac)
  • Children’s and Adult Multivitamins
  • Antibiotics for Adults and Children: Azythromycin, Amoxicillin, Ciprofloxacin
  • Vaginal Infection Treatments (Monistat, Myconazole, Nistatin (Nistat), Metronidazole (Flagystatin))
  • Strips for Glucometer Brand: FreeStyle Optium ONLY

Here is a formal letter for soliciting donations. Feel free to download, print and distribute it when seeking donations on behalf of ISL.

Below are the directions for bringing donations safely into Costa Rica.

1. Please print out two copies of the Customs Letter on the next page.

2. Keep one copy of the letter in your suitcase on top of your donations (place your donations in the bottom of your main suitcase under your clothing), and keep the other copy of the letter with your passport and ticket, in case you are asked about your donations.

3. To avoid unnecessary delays when going through customs, do not offer the Customs Letter to an official unless they go through your bags and request an explanation. (If you offer the letter to them, you will eventually be cleared, but they will be obligated to check every piece of your luggage and possibly that of other team members as well.)

Here is a letter for customs when you arrive in Costa Rica if you are bringing donations.

Strengths Assessment

One of the first workshops you will participate in is examining your “signature strengths.” All students must complete this assessment before departure.

Click here for a link to the assessment and your unique access code


  • Only begin the assessment when you have 20-30 minutes to complete in one sitting. You will not be able to log back in or restart if you exit out.
  • Print your results and bring it with you abroad.
  • Submit your top 5 strengths on the Strengths Assessment Form in your portal

If you do not see your name on the list of access codes, please email to request your code.

Apply here!  DUE DATE: March 14, 2021!

What are program leaders?
On the LeadAbroad team, the program staff are the coaches and program leaders are the team captains – they set the tone and encourage other students by creating a strong sense of community through service projects, social outings, group chats and creative stories. They are the peer leaders who step up when needed and make other students feel included. Whether you’re joining us on GO, LEAD, DIRECT or PRO, our program leaders will help make your experience abroad impactful and lasting.

Why should I apply?
The more you put in, the more you get out. That’s why we have two awesome leadership opportunities on your program abroad. Whether you are your squad’s go to party planner, you’re passionate about giving back or you’re a wizard with video editing, we’d love to invest in you and your talents!

We have two types of program leaders on PRO, so there are multiple ways to plug in on the ground.

Community Leader (apply online through your portal): Do you love connecting with new people and making sure others aren’t left out? Our community leaders are our program “ringleaders” who help make a big program feel a little smaller. Our Community Leader (CL) program is an awesome way to make the most of your summer experience, meet others and build your resume. CLs will experience an extra level of investment from our staff (and fun invites), opportunities for social media highlights and a connection with other like-minded students on the program.

Media Leader (apply online through your portal): “If its not on camera, it didn’t happen” is your mantra. Are you someone who makes videos for every trip you go on? Do you have a “fancy” camera for special events or have an interest in photography? Are you already planning out your end-of-program video or following local photographers on Instagram? Sign up to be a media leader & put your skills to use!

Ready to dive into this leadership role?  Apply on the link above, or navigate to the “Community Leader Application” in your LeadAbroad portal!

In-Country Details

Coming soon!

We will introduce our summer program staff in February!

Check out our accommodations below!  On your luggage tags, be sure to write the FIRST address of where we are staying in Costa Rica.

La Dehesa Inn
San Joaquín de Flores, Heredia

Hotel Samara Beach
Main Street, Via Arriba
Guanacaste Province, Sámara, Costa Rica
Phone: +506 2656 0218

Hotel Las Colinas
150 mts sur del BNCR
Provincia de Alajuela, La Fortuna, Alajuela, 21006, Costa Rica

Click here for roommate assignments (posted 30 days before departure)

To request a roommate, please submit the roommate form in your online portal.  Roommate forms are due 60 days before departure.  Final housing assignments will be posted about one month before departure.  Once roommates are posted, we cannot make any changes.  If you’ve already submitted your roommate form but wish to make a change to your request, please email no later than 60 days before departure.

All students will receive an invitation to join the program itinerary on Trip Plans.  Please follow the instructions as soon as you receive this email (expected mid April).

For a sample itinerary from last year, please click here!

There are many ways to stay in touch while traveling abroad. Wireless internet is available throughout our hotels.  Please note that internet speeds can fluctuate depending on traffic. Internet can be slow and unpredictable, especially when all students are trying to upload pictures or watch videos at the same time. We ask all students and parents to be patient with the internet. Students will have more success using the internet if they use it at off-peak times.

LeadAbroad requires students to have cell phones while abroad for risk management purposes. Students can:

  • Bring an unlocked phone and buy a local SIM card upon arrival
  • Add an international package to current phone plan

With Wi-Fi available in all locations, you are encouraged to utilize internet texting apps (iMessage for iPhone to iPhone, GroupMe, WhatsApp, Google Hangouts) to communicate with program staff and family and friends at home.

In addition, we integrate technology into our communications and risk management strategy to keep students safe. Therefore, we require students to download the following applications on their phone prior to departure:

  • GroupMe
  • Find My Friends
  • State Department Smart Traveler
  • Facebook

If there is an emergency at home while you are abroad, our team will support you and your family in every way possible.  Should any friends and/or family need to contact LeadAbroad, please have them call our U.S.-based domestic team at 404.720.5657.  For emergencies, dial extension 710 when prompted.  Our on-call team will assist with the situation and get in touch with your program staff as needed.

Click here for a budget planning worksheet.

This worksheet will allow you to understand costs outside of the program fees and airfare.  Review this section in detail and email us at with any further budgeting questions.

Before you leave, call your bank and credit card company to notify them that you will be traveling abroad. Give them the dates and countries of your itinerary, including any layovers. Debit and credit cards can been blocked after transactions abroad because your bank may assume it is a fraudulent transaction. 

To access funds, debit cards are the best way to access cash overseas. ATMs are available everywhere we travel. Debit cards with Visa, MasterCard, Cirrus or Plus signs are the most widely accepted. There may be a transaction fee for using ATMs abroad; therefore, it’s important to understand the fees associated with using your cards overseas. Keep a record of your debit card and PINs with someone at home.

Credit cards can be used similarly to debit cards at restaurants and shops abroad. Most major credit cards are honored abroad (i.e. MasterCard and Visa). Similarly to debit cards, credit card companies use the current exchange rate for your transaction. Call your credit card company to understand the fees charged per transaction.

Costa Rica also widely accepts USD as a currency. We recommend that students bring some cash (in bills less than 20s) with them to Costa Rica. Note that having large sums of cash can make students unnecessary targets, so a few hundred dollars is plenty. Students can use their debit card to get additional cash.

The program fees cover most of the costs of being in country, but you will need to provide additional funds for:

  • Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner are included during the service portion of the program (first six days). Breakfast is included in the remaining locations.  A final program dinner is also included.  All other meals will be the student’s responsibility.
  • Incidentals: Laundry, taxis (though our accommodations are in very walkable areas)
  • Free time: Independent evenings and additional adventure outings
  • Gifts and souvenirs

Budgeting can be a challenging and personal process. On average, if you eat all the group meals, eat something casual for lunch, go out for dinner, drink mostly water and keep additional activities to a minimum; you will spend between $20 and $30 per day.  Know yourself and your budget plan to avoid any surprises. Here are some sample local costs to help you plan:

Meals: Costs for dining out are less expensive to those in the US; typically, prices for dinner range from $8-$15. Most people spend about $10-20 per day on food. Costa Rica has a range of restaurants from five-star dining to casual chain restaurants. Food is part of the Costa Rican culture and should be enjoyed, but having causal nights out can help students stay on budget.

Internet/Cell Phone: Students are encouraged to bring their phone with them from home so they can reach the Program Director in an emergency. In addition, students will have access to wifi at the hotels and in local restaurants and cafes.

Taxis: Students will be in towns that are walkable and will not need taxis to go to dinner.

Laundry: Students can pay to have their laundry done at La Dehesa before leaving for La Fortuna.  Laundry is also available in La Fortuna at the end of the program.

Other Activities: As we get close to departure, we will post optional activities below

To charge your electronics abroad, you will not need an outlet adaptor since the outlets are the same as the U.S.

We encourage students to be mindful of their electronics while traveling. It is wise to conceal electronic devices when walking around as iPhones and laptops can be attractive for theft.

LeadAbroad strongly encourages students to be mindful of their health prior to departure and while abroad.  Living in a new environment, eating different cuisine and adjusting to a new schedule can impact one’s immune system.  Before you travel overseas, students should examine the factors that contribute to their physical and emotional wellbeing so that they can stay healthy and get the most out of their trip.

    1. Read and understand the CDC recommendations for your upcoming travel. The CDC website includes information on vaccines, medicines, packing lists as well as information to prepare students to stay healthy and safe.
    2. Make an appointment with your university’s travel clinic, dentist and other medical professionals. Students can proactively eliminate many potential health issues by ensuring they are in good health prior to departure. Additionally, during these visits, make sure your health records and prescriptions (including eyeglasses) are up-to-date. If you are taking a prescription medication, please ensure that you have enough for the whole program and that the medication is in the original container. If you self-inject prescribed medication, please carry needles and syringes with you. It’s important to understand that LeadAbroad will not distribute any form of prescription or nonprescription medication to students. We recommend every student travel with a medical kit.
    3. Be honest with yourself regarding your emotional health. Students that are concerned about their emotional stability or use of alcohol/drugs should address it honestly before making plans to travel. Contrary to many people’s expectations, travel does not minimize these problems; in fact, it can often exacerbate them.
    4. Contact us directly at with any specific medical issues we should be aware of at least three months prior to departure.  Our team is better equipped to support you abroad if we know your health history and emotional health. Please share this information with us prior to departure.

Click here to view LeadAbroad’s health insurance policy.

Basic medical insurance is included in all students’ program fee. Please review the policy to become knowledgeable regarding the types of medical conditions and situations that are covered while you are participating on a LeadAbroad program.  If you are injured or ill while you are abroad and need medical attention, you will likely need to pay for the treatment upfront, and if covered the money will be reimbursed by LeadAbroad’s insurer after submitting your claims form.  If for any reason you need to seek medical assistance while abroad, a LeadAbroad staff member will accompany you to the doctor. Please contact us first if you have any sort of emergency.

It’s important to note that this medical insurance is not ‘travel insurance’ and therefore does not cover the cost lost or stolen luggage or cancellation of the trip. Students may purchase travel insurance independently through an outside provider. For more information on the different types of travel insurance you can click here.

LeadAbroad’s Emergency Response Protocol provides a system for coordinating the management of emergency services for all participants in our study abroad programs. In-country staff are the first point of contact for students on the program in the event of an emergency and assume leadership of the emergency situation until other resources (e.g., local police, etc) are available. However, in the event that the staff are unavailable, the following guidelines are provided here in case you, as a participant in the program, need to handle an emergency.

  1. Ensure safety: Your first priority is to safeguard the safety and well-being of yourself and other program participants. Do whatever is reasonably necessary to ensure safety.
  2. Seek medical care: Obtain any emergency medical care for affected participants as soon as possible.
  3. Control emotions: Remain as calm as possible. Do your best to diffuse any growing anxieties that may be occurring among participants.
  4. Communicate (as applicable). Depending on the nature of the emergency, it may be necessary to contact medical or emergency services, police or local law enforcement or the US embassy.
  5. Ongoing support: Continue to monitor, aid, and communicate status updates as the situation progresses.
  6. Debrief: Meet with LeadAbroad staff to discuss the situation, how it was handled and steps that were taken to resolve the emergency.

Reducing Risk Abroad

LeadAbroad takes many steps to reduce risk abroad.  You will be registered with the U.S. State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. The benefits of STEP include the following:

  • Receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country, helping you make informed decisions about your travel plans.
  • Help the U.S. Embassy contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest or family emergency.
  • Help family and friends get in touch with you in an emergency.

You will be given a keychain with emergency contact numbers and the address of our accommodations.

Please review the following resources to ensure that you are informed on how to have a safe and healthy trip abroad:

CDC recommendations on preparing for a healthy trip
State Department travel recommendations for student travelers
State Department recommendations for women travelers

All students are required to be familiar with all program rules.  Please click here to review on our policies page.