A Summer Travel Program In Costa Rica

Experiential Pre-Med Learning For High School Students!

Be inspired and inspire others. On this service trip for teens, contribute to the efforts of improving public health through clean water projects and educational outreach.  Learn from physicians and healthcare professionals and gain practical field experience in beautiful Costa Rica. Get your adrenaline pumping with a zipline canopy tour and connect with the Costa Rican people.



This is an experiential program for aspiring pre-medicine high school students and future healthcare providers. Note that students do not need previous medical or public health experience or study to attend the program. Students fly into the capital of San Jose, Costa Rica and drive via private bus to a lodge based on the outskirts of the city.   We get started right away with initial education about the Costa Rica health care system and orientation activities and excursions. We volunteer with our project partner which provides health services to immigrant families in Costa Rica, who don’t have access to the public health system. Volunteer activities are subject to the COVID-19 situation at the time of travel: If assisting with kids’ health education classes, observing doctors in the clinic, and supporting with patient intake are not possible, we will instead work on projects such as improvements to the facilities and discussions with physicians.


Over the next few days we complete a Wilderness First Aid (WFA) course with an instructor.  This course focuses on first aid and medical skills such as patient assessment, effective first aid treatment, and evacuation decision making in the outdoors.  When not participating in the course, we visit a nearby organic dairy farm, and take excursions into the cloudforest where we can spot a myriad of flora and fauna. We also have time for a thrilling zip-line canopy tour with SKYTREK at Arenal volcano.


Travel to the mountain town of Monteverde, known for  it’s incredible access to the Monterverde Cloudforest Reserve. Home to many alternative health practitioners and artists, here we learn about reflexology, yoga, acupuncture, and plant therapy. In addition, we participate in a pottery making class a with a representative from a local women’s cooperative.


Time to hit the beach! We travel to the Pacific Coast, famous for its unique combination of rainforest and ocean settings. We spend two full days taking surf lessons, taught by professional instructors. The wave conditions on this beach provide the perfect opportunity for all levels to hang ten!


We have a celebratory dinner and closing reflection upon our last three weeks together.

Global Works arranges chaperoned group flights for these programs. Airfare is not included in the tuition. Please visit our Flight & Travel Arrangements page to book flight reservations and for more information about travel days.

Please note that, given the unprecedented nature of travel currently, this itinerary is subject to change.

Participants may be subject to additional expenses related to entry requirements to your destination and/or re-entry to your home country. Global Works does not cover these expenses. Additional costs may include, but are not limited to, COVID tests, insurance, or other. See our Covid-19 FAQ’s for more information.   The most up to date requirements can be found via links on your login page on the Flight and Travel Day Instruction form after enrollment.

SESSION 1 and 2 are almost full! Sign up now to secure your spot!

Community Service Projects

Public Education

Planning and implementation of public health and safe drinking water campaigns

Health Initiatives

Work with local health care non profit on various projects in support of their mission to provide health care access to immigrant families

Clinic and Physician Support

Meet and assist medical professionals

Adventure & Cultural Activities

Engage in education projects with school children

Zip-line through the rainforest canopy

Become familiar with medicinal plants and alternative health practices

Participate in Wilderness First Aid Course




Global Works Costa Rica participant spends the first and final days of the program in a small and comfortable lodge located in the mountains surrounding the capital of San Jose. The lodge is locally owned and specializes in hosting student groups. It is dorm style with 4 to 6 students sleeping in bunk beds; each room has a private bathroom with hot water showers. Large group spaces located on the property are an ideal spot for group orientation, dance lessons, and ice-breaker activities.


In the La Fortuna area, we stay in a comfortable lodge located in a mountain valley. The lodge is locally owned and specializes in hosting teens and student groups. Rooms are 2 to 4 student ; each room has a private bathroom with hot water showers. Large group spaces located on the property are an ideal spot for group orientation, dance lessons, and ice-breaker activities.


Our two cloudforest lodges are located within the boundary of the largest private reserve in the country, The Children’s Eternal Rainforest. To reach the lodges, students complete an attainable hike through primary cloud forest and are rewarded with rustic yet comfortable eco-lodges built to exist in harmony with the natural surroundings. Both lodges offer large rooms with bunk-beds and private bathrooms. A large balcony affords expansive views of surrounding volcanoes and the hammocks provide an unbeatable spot to sip coffee and relax after a long day of service work.


Participants stay at a hotel in the Guanacaste area in northwestern Costa Rica located just steps from the beach. Accommodations are traditional hotel-style rooms shared by two to four students. The lodge is styled with an onsite swimming pool, hammocks, and common areas.


Reviews & Testimonials

The trip was so incredible that I can’t describe it in words. I loved every bit of it, and never got homesick because I was enjoying myself so much.

- Jasmine, Pre-Med & Public Health Participant

This trip was truly the highlight of my life… I never thought that, as a high school student, I would be allowed to shadow a doctor, nurse, secretary or even become a pharmacist!

- Emma, Pre-Med & Public Health Participant