Volunteer Spring Break in Costa Rica

Wondering what you should do this spring break? Try one of our volunteer projects in Costa Rica and make a difference while learning Spanish and becoming immersed in another culture.

Volunteers choose from 4 different and fascinating projects: Wildlife Conservation (freshwater turtle conservation), Childcare and Orphanage Assistance (nutrition centers), Teaching (local schools), or Environmental Conservation (nearby reserves).

Visit our website for more details about the program!

http://worldendeavors.com/spring-break-programs

 

After you are ready to apply, click on the apply tab on the top of the www.worldendeavors.com webpage.

Why You Should Stay With a Host Family

When most people travel abroad, they stay in hotels or resorts and don’t get the chance to immerse themselves in the culture of the country they are visiting. If you choose to do a World Endeavors intern, study or volunteer program that offers a home stay with a native family, you will have the opportunity of a life time. Here are some reasons a home stay is such a great experience.

1. The family will most likely cook local and delicious food for you daily.

2. In some cases they might even do your laundry for you!

3. You can ask them about their culture and gain an understanding of your surroundings and why people have certain customs or how they came about.

4. You can see how people live day-to-day.

5. They can make suggestions for local places to eat. This will give you a chance to go to these places and mingle with the locals.

6. If there are any interesting places to visit in the area, such as caves, beaches or castles that not many people know about, they will probably give you tips on where it is and how to get there.

7. If you have doubts about how to do daily tasks in a foreign country, especially one that speaks a different language, such as catching the bus or setting up your cell phone, they will also be able to help.

8. It’s nice to have a home away from home in a foreign country. Often, you will be able to do activities with them or go on trips with them.

9. You can stay in contact with the family after you leave. This may increase your chances of going back to visit!

10. You can greatly improve your language skills if the family doesn’t speak English.

La Pura Vida in Costa Rica

One great benefit of studying, interning, or volunteering abroad with World Endeavors is experiencing a new culture.

Costa Rica is home to not only a vibrant culture, but biodiversity abound. You’ll learn what it means to live the “pura vida” and eat Costa Rican cuisine- a blend of Spanish, Native American, African and more and spend the night dancing salsa! Your home city will be Atenas, a city known for having perfect, spring-like weather year round. In Costa Rica, you can enjoy tropical beaches, picturesque mountains, an ideal climate and so much more!

When you travel to Costa Rica, you will find yourself immersed in la pura vida. This is a phrase that translates to “full of life”, “plenty of life”, and “it’s going great”. It is used as a greeting, to say goodbye, to describe something, and much more. It is representative of the Costa Rican culture, which is relaxed and laid back. Costa Ricans enjoy better living standards than most of Central America in addition to one of the highest life expectancy levels in the Western Hemisphere!

Living with a Costa Rican family is the one of the best ways to learn about the culture of the country. Watch this video to learn about how World Endeavors’ host families are selected and more about the experiences our volunteers and interns have had in Costa Rica.

Learn about la pura vida and Costa Rica first hand by applying to intern or volunteer there! Don’t forget to apply before November 30th to receive $100 off the application fee 🙂

Summer 2008 World Endeavors Photo Contest Winners! Category: People

Thanks to everyone who sent in photos for the summer 2008 photo contest. We got some great shots, and it was hard to choose the winners (so we cheated and picked two for each category!).  These photos will be featured on our website, www.worldendeavors.com.  To see more World Endeavors photos, check out our new World Endeavors Flickr account.

Here are the winners – drumroll…

For the People category:

Kim Reeves, World Endeavors Ghana volunteer, July - August 2008

Kim Reeves, World Endeavors Ghana Health Volunteer, July - August 2008

Vanessa Bezy, World Endeavors Costa Rica, May-July 2008

Vanessa Bezy, World Endeavors Costa Rica Sea Turtle Project, May-July 2008

Tourist, Student, or Work: Which Visa is Right for You?

The topic of visas (aka entry clearance) can be very confusing for the first-time traveler. And I’m not talking about credit cards! A ‘visa’ is a stamp or sticker that is placed in your passport by an immigration official of another country. World Endeavors’ participants mainly choose 1 of 3 kinds of visas:

Tourist visas

Student visas

Work visas

Tourist visas are usually the easiest and cheapest kind of visa to get. Most of the time, you simply arrive in a country (like Costa Rica or Ecuador) and the customs official stamps your passport as you get off the plane. The stamp is good for a certain amount of days – usually 21, 30, or 90 days. Many times the stamp can be renewed if you would like to visit for a longer amount of time. Some countries, like India, Brazil, Ghana, and Tanzania, require that US citizens get a tourist visa in advance. This usually involves filling out an application form, and sending it along with your passport and a fee to a consulate or Embassy. Yes, you do have to send them your passport in the mail! Don’t worry, they’ll send it back to you in a couple of weeks.

Student visas are required for most semester and year-long study abroad programs and some internship programs. Obtaining a student visa requires that you apply well in advance. Some countries, like Italy, Spain and France, require that you go to the consulate in person. Considering that the consulate for your area may not be right in your city, this is something to consider and plan for. Additionally, student visas may take a few weeks to process. You should start the process of obtaining your student visa as far in advance as possible. This might mean that you call the consulate to make an appointment 2 or more months before you plan to start your program. You may also need special paperwork in addition to your application form and passport, such as: original acceptance letters from a foreign university, a letter from your bank indicating sufficient funds, a round-trip flight itinerary, health insurance, and other documents. Please consult with a World Endeavors representative before you start your application for a student visa – we’ll help you get started!

Work visas allow individuals to obtain a job in a country of which they are not a citizen. Most tourist visas and student visas bar you from getting paid employment. Long-term or permanent work visas aren’t easy to get, and for some countries it is nearly impossible. However, some short-term (6 months – 1 year) work visa options are available to students or recent graduates. Check out programs like BUNAC for more information about getting a work visa. Work visas are required for World Endeavors’ Intern in England and Intern in Australia programs.

In short, visas can be complicated business, but all it takes is a little advance planning! For the best results, if you’re not sure what kind of visa you need for your World Endeavors program, just ask one of our friendly Enrollment Advisors (like me). We have lots of experience and we’re always ready to help.

World Endeavors Summer Photo Contest

Hello to all of our World Endeavors volunteers, interns, and students going abroad in spring/summer 2008!

We are excited to have participants in 16 countries this summer – Costa Rica, Ecuador, Brazil, Spain, Italy, England, Ghana, Thailand, China, Nepal, India, Guatemala, New Zealand, the Philippines, France, and Jamaica! With so many incredible people abroad doing so many incredible things, it would be a shame to not have a way for you to share all of your experiences with each other. And so…

I am excited to announce the first ever World Endeavors Summer Photo Contest! This contest will be a way for all of you to share what you’re up to, as well as to show off your photography skills. We will be collecting photos in 3 categories:
People – Photos of you, new friends, host families, people you work/volunteer/study with, etc.

Landscapes – These can be urban or natural – scenes from the cities, towns, and rural areas where you’re living and traveling.

Food – Who doesn’t love food pictures? I want to see typical meals from your countries, scenes from produce markets, and all of the crazy new things you’ve been brave enough to try (or at least brave enough to photograph!)

Email your pictures to us by July 10 (so you’ve got a few weeks to get out there and take some photos!). You don’t need to submit one for each category – just send in what you’ve got.

I will post all of the submissions right here on this blog, and then you will have a chance to vote for your favorites. The winning photos in each category will be featured on our website!

So if you’ve got some great pictures already, send them in, and if you’ve been shy with the camera so far, get out there and get some great shots! We can’t wait to see what you’ve got.