What is FutureVets?
FutureVets is an exclusive once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for high school students to experience real veterinary medicine right now. Students will shadow veterinarians as they treat, diagnose and rehabilitate small and large animals (oftentimes in their natural habit), view surgeries and emergency medicine as it happens, and participate in rotations, clinical lab, research, anatomy, nutrition, including pathology (experiences reserved only for 3rd and 4th year veterinary school students here in the United States).
What can a high school student gain and experience by taking part in FutureVets?
The hands-on learning students will experience in these two weeks will give them an undeniable competitive advantage over other students interested in pursuing a career in the field of veterinary medicine. This is one opportunity that will make them significantly stand out when applying to colleges, writing admission essays, and more. At the same time, students will receive a substantial increase in self-confidence, having experienced a rare opportunity like this one.
These students will have a truly remarkable hands-on and face-to-face approach to veterinary medicine they cannot get anywhere else. Students will also be given the opportunity to experience a different culture, as well as build long-term friendships with those students who share their dreams and passions – other young people who want to make a difference in the world and devote their future to elevating and protecting the health and well-being of animals.
Will this All Access Veterinary Program help a student get into college and/or veterinary school?
FutureVets is designed to give passionate and driven high school students an opportunity right now to see, touch, and feel veterinary medicine in a way they never imagined possible at this point in their lives.
This program is designed to motivate and inspire students to work harder and with greater focus and dedication. It will give them a newfound confidence. This will allow them to mold themselves into stronger candidates for admission to any college or veterinary school.
Why choose Costa Rica as a location for FutureVets 2019?
The National Leadership Academies has relationships with veterinary organizations and leaders in the education fields in Costa Rica, which allows students this superb access and experience. The veterinary school is located in Coronado, which is a safe, rural suburb of the capital city of San Jose. The students and chaperones will be staying in the modern, Americanized city of San Jose. Costa Rica is a very popular destination because of the country’s uniquely rich biodiversity.
The National Leadership Academies’ relationship to prestigious universities and faculties in Costa Rica allows an elite level of access and cooperation for attending students.
While physician and veterinary student mentors will educate the students in English, basic English is spoken throughout San Jose, and less so outside of the city. Students will have the opportunity to truly immerse themselves in life in Costa Rica.
All FutureVets activities will take place at the San Francisco de Asis School of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery and its affiliated hospitals and facilities.
Who will chaperone students during the program?
Students will be chaperoned by a team of staff experienced in managing student programs. Chaperones accompany students on the international flight, stay in the same overnight accommodations near students, and accompany them on cultural excursions off-campus in order to be available 24/7 to students.
Also, Dr. Gary Richter, MS, DVM, CVA, CVC, GDVWHM will be on site in Costa Rica and participating with students during the program as our special guest. Dr. Richter is an award-winning veterinarian and expert in both conventional and holistic treatment methods, and the international best selling author of “The Ultimate Pet Health Guide.”
Dr. Richter is the owner and medical director of the Montclair Veterinary Hospital and Holistic Veterinary Care, both located in the San Francisco bay area. Both hospitals have been the recipients of more than 20 local and national awards including “Best Veterinary Hospital,” “Best Veterinarian,” “Best Canine Therapy Facility” and “Best Alternative Medicine Provider.”
Where will students stay during the program?
Students and chaperones will reside in a local hotel in San Jose during the program, with daily transportation to the veterinary school. The hotel will be safe and comfortable with modern amenities. Student accommodations will be single-gender, double occupancy.
Strict curfews will be enforced on students throughout their stay, who again will be assigned a specific chaperone to report to. Students will be chaperoned at all times when outside the care of staff at the veterinary school facilities. Parents may contact chaperones directly if they cannot reach their child for any reason.
Will students be split into smaller groups during the program?
Students will be split into smaller, more intimate groups for the program itself so they can participate in more activities throughout these intensive two weeks, as well as experience a more hands-on approach. English-speaking physicians and current veterinary school students from the host university will guide students in their areas of expertise through each rotation. Experienced National Leadership Academies chaperones will travel with the students to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.
How will students “get around” during the program?
Students will travel daily with chaperones to and from the veterinary school campus via private, scheduled transportation. Private motor coaches will be arranged for any excursions or activities that take place outside the area.
What is the tuition for FutureVets, and what does it include?
The tuition per student to participate in FutureVets is $6,250.00. A payment plan may be offered; please contact our Admissions Office for more information.
FutureVets tuition includes all program costs, international air travel, accommodations, chaperones, three daily meals, your personalized Achievement and Leadership Certificate (mailed to you after the program), as well as any necessary local transportation. All international travel plans and accommodations will be arranged by the National Leadership Academies team, and are included in the tuition payment.
Tuition does not include recommended trip cancellation insurance, domestic airfare to the departure location for international travel (or other domestic transportation methods), required visas or passport fees, required vaccinations, health records or tests, spending cash for souvenirs or snacks, or airline baggage fees.
How does a student arrange U.S. domestic travel?
The specific times of departure and arrival will be confirmed upon enrollment. Exact travel details, including flight numbers and travel times, will be provided to the student no later than four months before the departure date.
Again, all international air travel, local transportation, and hotel accommodations will be arranged by the National Leadership Academies and are all included in the tuition payment. Students’ international flights will be reserved as a group, along with the flights for the National Leadership Academies team members, who will accompany students on flights from the U.S. to Costa Rica and back.
What is the refund policy for FutureVets?
Enrollment may be canceled for a full refund of tuition paid if a request is made in writing within 30 days of the first or full payment. Refunds can take four to six weeks to process. Beyond 30 days of the first or full payment, tuition is non-refundable and non-transferable, including all deposits and payments paid and unless the Program is canceled by the Academies, no monies shall be refunded to the Student. The Academies strongly encourages families to purchase travel insurance to cover travel and tuition expenses in case of an unforeseen cancellation.
Do students need a visa to enter Costa Rica?
At this time, citizens of the U.S. do not require a visa to travel to Costa Rica if they are staying for fewer than 90 days. The National Leadership Academies will alert students and parents if visa requirements should change in the future. Students will need a current and valid U.S. Passport for entry into Costa Rica, valid through the last date of the scheduled trip.
What vaccinations or immunizations will a student need?
All students’ routine vaccinations must be up to date. A complete list of other recommended vaccinations will be provided well before departure and in time for proper administration prior to the program.
If students are taking any prescription medicines, they should pack enough for every day they are away from home (16 days), along with an additional three to four days’ supply. Students are required to keep all prescription medications in the original prescription bottles and to always carry those bottles in their carry-on luggage. Be sure to check TSA guidelines if the medicines are liquids.
Does a student need to register with the U.S. Embassy?
All students’ stays will be enrolled by the National Leadership Academies in the U.S. Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program or at the U.S. Embassy in San Jose, Costa Rica. By enrolling, students and families can receive the embassy’s most recent security and safety updates during the trip. Enrolling also ensures that we can reach parents or any parent-designated emergency points of contact during an emergency. The U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica is located at:
U.S. Embassy, Costa Rica
Calle 98 Vía 104, Pavas
San Jose, Costa Rica
Telephone: (506) 2519-2000
What about international safety?
As with travel to any international destination, general awareness, staying within the group as required by program policies, and trained leadership from program staff will greatly reduce the likelihood of any safety concerns. All students will be trained on safety and security measures as well as plans of response should a safety concern arise, either locally or elsewhere within the country.
What about weather in Costa Rica at that time of year?
August falls during Costa Rica’s long rainy season, but is often regarded as an ideal time to travel to Costa Rica as the mornings as clear and sunny, and the temperatures are in the high 70s or low 80s. The majority of the rain falls in the afternoon or overnight throughout Costa Rica, but it is still smart to be prepared for all types of weather. Prior to departure, a suggested packing list to prepare for the summer weather will be provided to ensure safety and comfort.
What if a student becomes ill or injured while on the trip?
Should a student become ill on the trip, injure himself or herself, or require medical treatment, the chaperone to whom the student is assigned will bring the student to the emergency room and remain with him or her while parents are contacted immediately.
The National Leadership Academies requires all students to submit emergency contacts and disclose medical conditions, allergies, dietary restrictions and/or special needs, prescriptions, etc., before the trip so that if it becomes necessary for the student to go to the hospital for any reason, our team has all this important information on hand.
What can students bring with them (laptop, iPad, cell phone, etc.)?
Students can bring all of the above. As with any travel, students will be reminded to be cautious about using their devices in public and to avoid being distracted by devices while in public settings.
What is the dress code for FutureVets?
Students will be asked to wear scrubs for all sessions at the veterinary facilities. For weekend excursions and off-time from the hospital, students should pack comfortable/casual clothes. Students are welcome to bring any personal items and spending money for the duration of the program. We recommend students also pack a small first-aid kit and any over-the-counter personal hygiene items they might need because many personal items we are used to getting easily are not as easy to get in another country. Students will receive a suggested packing list prior to departure to help them pack everything they need for this adventure.
Are there any other expenses for which students will be responsible? What is the currency used in Costa Rica?
FutureVets tuition includes all program costs, international airfare, accommodations, local in-country transportation, and meals, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. NOTE: Students with special dietary restrictions are asked to submit this information with the required emergency contact, medical conditions, and prescription medication paperwork before the trip.
Students may want to bring pocket money for their own personal expenses, shopping, personal care items, etc. ($250-$300 should be more than adequate). Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted in Costa Rica, followed by American Express, and Discover Card is rarely accepted. Parents should ask their credit card companies about their international transaction fees and alert them of the student’s international travel plans beforehand to avoid security holds.
Costa Rica’s currency is the colón. Currently, 1000 Costa Rican colones equal about 1.75 USD. U.S. bank ATM cards can also be used in Costa Rica to obtain colones and U.S. dollars, and U.S. dollars are accepted at many vendors in Costa Rica. Students should check with their bank about foreign ATM transaction and conversion fees. To avoid additional fees, students may bring U.S. dollars that can be used at some vendors or can be exchanged for the local currency, which the National Leadership Academies’ staff can facilitate on-site for students.
How will parents and students be able to communicate?
The National Leadership Academies staff will provide parents the email addresses, Skype accounts, and local cell phone numbers of all team/chaperone leaders. We suggest families open a free Skype account at www.skype.com to enable them to communicate internationally for free via a laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
If you have any questions that are not answered here, and you would like to speak directly with an Admissions Counselor, please call us toll-free at (888) 986-6563 or send us an email at Admissions@AllAccessVet.com.
Participants in FutureVets will receive their very own personalized Achievement and Leadership Certificate upon completion of the program.