August 4 – August 17, 2024 in Coronado, Costa Rica
THE SUMMER PROGRAM THAT TAKES HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS ABROAD TO WITNESS REAL-LIFE VETERINARY MEDICINE, UP CLOSE AND HANDS-ON.
STUDENTS SPEND TWO WEEKS IN A VETERINARY HOSPITAL, UNIVERSITY, AND IN WILDLIFE SANCTUARIES SO THAT THEY CAN EXPERIENCE THE DAY-TO-DAY LIVES OF VETERINARIANS.
2024 PROGRAM INFORMATION
View surgeries from the O.R. with the veterinary surgeon explaining the procedure as it’s happening.
GROSS ANATOMY AND LABS
Work on and study live animals and cadavers.
As they treat, diagnose, and rehab small and large animals, including exotic animals!
WHAT IS FUTUREVETS?
FutureVets is an exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for qualified high school students to experience real veterinary medicine.
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, participate in rotations, clinical lab research, nutrition, and anatomy including pathology.
All of these experiences are reserved for third- and fourth-year veterinary school students in the United States, due to privacy and regulations.
That is why FutureVets can be so essential. We put students into an intense environment where every single day they are taking part in exactly the activities that veterinary students and veterinarians take part in. Allowing passionate and qualified high school students an opportunity to experience right now what previously they’ve only imagined and dreamed of!
Students’ passion, commitment, focus, knowledge, vision for what they want to do with veterinary medicine, and their determination to never give up will be secured.
Meet Gary Richter, M.S., D.V.M., C.V.C., C.V.A.
— Getting into veterinary school is much, much harder than getting into medical school
— Pre-veterinary students need to find a way to set themselves apart with work and life experience
— As a high school student it’s really hard for you to get that kind of experience
— I think that’s where FutureVets really comes in as a shining example
What are the requirements to attend?
FutureVets is for students currently enrolled in high school and graduating in 2022, 2023, 2024 or 2025.
All attendees must have a burning passion to pursue a career in the veterinary field and be prepared to travel on an international adventure with a group of like-minded peers.
Will this program help me get into veterinary school?
The truth is that until students get to veterinary school, they’re just not going to get to do the things that veterinarians do. FutureVets provides students with the opportunity to see, touch, and feel real veterinary medicine in the way that is simply not possible in the United States.
Students will have a truly remarkable hands-on and face-to-face approach to veterinary medicine they cannot get anywhere else.
They come back focused, incredibly motivated, and most importantly, with a fantastic set of experiences and a story to tell in their college applications, medical school applications, and those ultra-critical live admissions interviews.
We recommend that all students watch the video messages from Dr. Richter.
How can I be assured of safety and security?
We take the safety and security of our students very seriously. The program staff is always available to our students. Each student will have a dedicated chaperone as well as other staff members who will be available 24/7 throughout the program. If any student has a problem or concern, we’re always there to help and offer support.
As with travel to any international destination, general awareness, staying with the group as required by program policies, and guidance from our experienced 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 does the Tuition include?
Tuition includes all program costs, international air travel, accommodations for the duration of the trip, chaperones, three daily meals, and your personalized FutureVets Achievement and Leadership Certificate (mailed to you after the program), as well as any local transportation and international health insurance.
All international travel plans and accommodations will be arranged by the FutureVets Team and are included in the Tuition.
Tuition does not include recommended trip cancellation insurance, domestic airfare to the departure location for international travel (or other domestic transportation methods), passport fees, vaccinations, health records or tests, spending cash for souvenirs or snacks or airline baggage fees.
What is the refund policy?
Enrollment may be canceled for a full refund of Tuition paid if a request is made in writing within 30 days of the first payment, regardless of whether that first payment is a full or partial payment. Refunds can take four to six weeks to process.
Beyond 30 days after the first payment, Tuition, including all deposits and payments paid, is non-refundable and non-transferable. If enrollment is processed on or after March 1, 2023, Tuition is non-refundable and non-transferable, including all deposits and payments paid. We strongly encourage families to purchase travel insurance to cover travel and Tuition expenses in case of an unforeseen cancellation.
Will I need immunizations?
It is required that all students be up to date on all routine immunizations stated on the CDC website, including DTaP, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Meningococcal, MMR, and Varicella (Chickenpox).
To access the clinical facilities in Costa Rica, students are also required to have Typhoid and Rabies immunizations. Note: Immunization fees are not included in the Tuition.
If students are taking any prescription medicines, they should pack enough for every day they are away from home (15 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.
Will I need a passport?
Yes. Students will need a passport valid through August 13, 2022 for entry into Costa Rica.
We strongly advise students to check or apply for their passport as soon as possible, as it can take four to six weeks to receive a new passport. Note: Passport fees are not included in the Tuition.
Do I need a visa?
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. FutureVets will alert students and parents if visa requirements should change in the future.
How do I arrange domestic travel?
Specific travel details, including flight numbers, travel times, and international airport departure location, will be provided to students no later than four months before the departure date.
Students will need to arrange domestic transportation from their home to the international airport departure location and home again.
As a reminder, all international air travel, local transportation, and hotel accommodations will be arranged by FutureVets and are all included in the Tuition. Students’ international flights will be reserved as a group, along with the flights for the FutureVets Team, who will accompany students on flights from the U.S. to Costa Rica and back.
What if I get sick or injured during the program?
If a student becomes ill, is injured, or requires medical treatment during the program, the chaperone to whom the student is assigned will bring the student to the emergency room and remain with them while parents are contacted immediately. Students will receive the best possible medical care on a VIP basis.
FutureVets requires all students to submit emergency contact information and disclose medical conditions, allergies, dietary restrictions and/or special needs, prescriptions, etc., before the program begins 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.
Who will chaperone us 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, and accompany them on cultural excursions off campus, in order to be available 24/7 to students.
What will I need to wear?
Students will be asked to wear scrubs and a white lab coat for all sessions at the veterinary facilities.
For weekend excursions and time off from the hospital, students should pack comfortable/casual clothes. Students will receive a suggested packing list prior to departure.
Will we be split into small groups during the program?
Students will be split into small, more intimate groups for the program itself so they can participate in more activities, as well as experience a more hands-on approach.
Can I earn college credit?
Because of the incredible educational value and unique nature of the FutureVets program, students who attend have the opportunity to earn three college credits offered by Bottega University. These optional credits are available for an additional cost and upon completion of required coursework.
The credits may be transferred to the college or university the student ultimately attends, subject to that university’s transfer of credit policies. Students wishing to transfer Bottega University credits to another institution should check first with that institution regarding its policy on transfer credit.
Additional information about earning college credit can be found here.
Are there any other expenses I will be responsible for?
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.
Where will we 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 and double occupancy.
Strict curfews will be enforced for students throughout their stay. Each student will be assigned a specific chaperone to report to. Students will be chaperoned at all times when outside the care of the staff at the medical center and hospital. Parents may contact chaperones directly if they cannot reach their child for any reason.
Why choose Costa Rica?
FutureVets 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.
FutureVets’ 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.
Meet Alexis (on the left of this photo). Alexis is one of our Alumna who raised over $6,000 on her own. Alexis is so passionate about “paying forward” her experience with FutureDocs Abroad, she’s coached dozens of students on how to pay for their trip.
Here are her Top 5 Tips to pay for the Tuition…
STRATEGY #1: TALK TO YOUR SCHOOL
Your school community wants to support the endeavors of its students. It’s great publicity for your school if they have students doing amazing things like traveling abroad for a medical internship. So, start with your administrators to see if they have ideas for fundraisers and publicity.
STRATEGY #2: CANVAS YOUR TEAMS AND CLUBS
Like your school administrators, your extracurricular clubs and teams are usually more than happy to support their members. Whether it’s setting up an informational and donation booth at a volleyball game, getting a portion of football ticket sales, or simply asking a club for donations, if you’ve been involved with a group for a long time, they love to support what you’re doing.
STRATEGY #3: FLYER DAYS
Many chain restaurants offer what’s called “flyer fundraising.” If you talk to the manager, you’ll be able to hand out coupons for a local restaurant for one night. A portion of the profits from that night’s sales will go toward your trip. Doing a flyer night one night a week could potentially pay for your entire trip. Here’s a list of 54 restaurants that offer fundraising opportunities.
STRATEGY #4: LOCAL BUSINESSES
Alexis shares that her strategy was to always explain how the trip would benefit the community as a whole. She talked about her dream of becoming a doctor and would tell local business owners, “One day the life I save may be yours.” She approached local businesses for support and sponsorship of her trip. As you know, physicians have a tremendous impact on their communities, so local business will often be happy to support you and your dream.
STRATEGY #5: A PART-TIME JOB
Getting a job in high school or college is not only a great way to earn money for your trip, but the right job can also be a resume-booster. Employers, schools, and programs want to see a pattern of responsibility. You can gain experience while earning money for your trip.