Providence High School: Welcome to your Spanish Immersion Program!!!

Providence High School: Welcome to your Spanish Immersion Program!!!

We are so excited for your once-in-a-lifetime journey. This is your program hub and where you can find all the important documents. This page will be updated frequently as we get closer to departure.

Follow these steps to get ready to launch into immersion. Bookmark this page & check back frequently!

1. Complete Your Program Registration
Due: 1 week after your program deposit
2. Download, sign & submit your Pre-departure Paperwork which includes:
-Travel Contract
-Travel Liability
-Behavior Contract
-Smart Phone Contract
-Medial Release
-Notarized Consent to Travel with a Minor
-Payment Schedule
DUE: 1 month after you register
Send these in 1 of 3 ways:
– Sign, scan and email to [email protected]
– Snail mail to: Common Ground International. PO box 174, Lafayette, CO. 80026
-Digitally sign and email to [email protected] (you can use the free app Adobe Fill & Sign or any online tool of your choice).
3. Passports:
Apply for a passport if you don’t have one.
– Check your current passport, make sure it’s not expired or does not expire 90 days after your return date to the US.
– Submit a copy of your passport
Give yourself at least 3 months if you need a new passport or need to renew it.
4. Travelers Health & Safety is súper importante!

-Check out what the Center for Disease Control says about traveling to Costa Rica. Pay special attention to mosquitos!
-Make an appointment with your primary care physician
IMPORTANT! Your program includes basic travel medical insurance with trip interruption, delays, lost bags, etc.
If you have any uncertainties about your upcoming adventure, it’s a good idea to consider additional travel insurance coverage .

If you’re looking for a Cancel for Any Reason policy, we suggest you shop for it here and act quickly as it is often has to be purchased within two weeks of your initial deposit.
6. Flights:
We will make group flight reservations in the coming months. Stay tuned.
7. Pre-Departure Preparation Course:
This is a required, online course for all participants. This will set you up for success on your immersion program.

Start this course today and go at your own pace.
Costa Rica Pre-Departure Course (opens in Feb.)
DUE: Must be completed 1 month before departure
8. Attend 3 required meetings with your trip leader

9. Payment schedule: You must be paid in full 30 days before program departure
Due: Must be paid in full 30 days before departure
You will pay the school directly.

10. Get your travel paperwork in order and get packed. Make sure you have a copy of your passport, travel insurance, flight itinerary.

Review the “Before you depart” list ⬇️ ⬇️ ⬇️
Start 2 weeks before your departure date

Before You Depart:

Bank: Inform your bank about the card you will be using out of the country to avoid a “card freeze”
Passport: Make 2 copies of your passport. Keep 1 in your backpack and 1 in your main baggage
Flight Itinerary: Print out a paper copy of your flight itinerary, some immigration officials ask to see the paper proof of your return back to the USA
Travel Insurance: Carry a copy of your travel insurance policy with you.
Cell phone: inquire about an international data and calling plan from your wireless provider
COVID-19 Test: CGI may require you to provide a negative covid test 72 hrs. before departure (it can be an at home test with a witness, a PCR, etc.)
Pack your bags:
-Download Costa Rica Packing List

Super Importante Links

Program Handbooks:
Parent Manual
– Participant Handbook
Program Registration
Pre-departure paperwork
Make Payments Online
Pre-Departure Course: OPENS soon
Costa Rica Pre-Departure Course
Volunteer Sign-up
Coming soon
Program Itinerary: Coming soon.
Packing Lists:
-Costa Rica Packing List

Program FAQs

What are the COVID and other vaccine requirements for Costa Rica?

Costa Rica: No more COVID requirements to enter Costa Rica. Check out what the Center for Disease Control says about traveling to Costa Rica.

Are host families vaccinated?

Costa Rica: most families are vaccinated, you can ask to be placed in a vaccinated household.

Does fully vaccinated mean boosted?


Can you sign up for optional excursions before the program begins?

Yes, in fact if it’s an overnight excursion we actually need you to be registered within 30 days of the trip so that we can properly reserve your hotel space.

Where can I find the pre-departure course?

All of the important program links are found here on the welcome page (the page you’re on now).

For weekday optional excursions, do those interfere with our classes?

No, we will be back in time for your afternoon classes.

Do we submit all paperwork via the pre-departure course or can we email it to someone?

You can email your information to Samanta at: [email protected]

Do we need cash before the trip or is it ok with just our credit card?

You don’t need to take a bunch of local currency with you as you travel. Our suggestion is to have some USD on you and to have both a debit card (for ATM use) and a credit card for everyday expenses.
Be sure to check with your banks about international transaction fees so that you’re aware of your costs to use your cards abroad.

Are we going to have WiFi?

Yes, you’ll have regular access to the internet at language school and in most host homes.

When will I know who my host family is?

We usually send out host family info 1-2 weeks before your trip

When is the best day to buy flights?

There may or may not be a “best day” to buy flights but when you search for flights, try using an incognito browser and/or clearing your browser cache. Some airlines have cookies that adjust pricing based on your activity searching.
Use google flights to track pricing and get historical pricing trends.

What happens / can I come in a day early or a day late?

Yes absolutely you can come in early or late. We just need to know your flight details so that we can plan accordingly with your host family.

What type of clothes should I pack?

We cover clothing pretty well in the packing list info of your pre-departure course but here is a brief summary:
Costa Rica: prepare for rain in the afternoon, not that many layers, something to keep you dry.

Can we bring school supplies as donations?

Yes, absolutely! Local schools and families benefit greatly from school supplies.

What is the laundry situation?

Host families will do laundry for you. You only need around a week worth of clothes cause you’ll be able to wash them.

How buggy is it where we’ll be traveling?

The general rule is that the higher the elevation, the fewer bugs you’ll encounter.
Costa Rica: we’re at around 4,000 feet and the bugs aren’t bad.
Your biggest concern is mosquitos, be sure to have bug repellent and proper long sleeves and long pants for dawn and dusk hours in lower elevations (beach, etc).

Has the date for the Isla tortuga day trip been decided? It says TBD.

Isla Tortuga is a one day trip that can easily be scheduled for any day during your visit. 

Is it possible to get a street map of the area where we’ll be in Costa Rica?

You can google “Santo Domingo de Herdia, Costa Rica” in your browser and click on maps and it’ll give you a rough idea of where we will be.

Where do I sign up for excursions and what is the deadline?

We need you to be registered within 30 days of the trip so that we can properly reserve your hotel space. You can find them here:

Are rooms shared during excursions?

Yes, usually rooms are either double or triple (each person has their own bed). 

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