July 30 - August 13, 2022

You only need to submit this information once, not each time you log in. The only time you will need to resubmit this information is if it changes.


Due no later than December 30, 2021

❒ Upload a scan of your passport photo page
❒ Complete required forms in the portal (personal information, medical release, and medical history)

Due March 2022

❒ Upload a copy of your immunization record to the portal

Due April 2022

❒ Book your domestic travel to and from the designated departure airport within the designated arrival and departure windows
❒ Upload your domestic flight details to the portal
❒ Upload a copy of your COVID vaccination record to the portal

Before Departure

❒ Decide on a way you and your family will keep in touch (Skype, Whatsapp, FaceTime, research international phone plans, etc.)
❒ Decide with your family how you will pay for personal expenses while traveling
❒ Call your bank or credit card company to notify them of upcoming travel
❒ Get currency exchanged to Costa Rican Colones
❒ Purchase stock of FFP2 face masks (18+ extras)
❒ Read COVID guidelines for entry to Costa Rica carefully (this will be updated as changes occur)
❒ Check the weather often prior to departure
❒ Update any special dietary requirements in the portal


All students are required to complete an enrollment packet before they attend FutureVets. If you have not already returned a completed packet to our Admissions Team you may do so here.

Download enrollment packet >


In order to book your international flights, we must have a scan of your passport photo page. Check your passport is valid through August 13, 2022, and upload a scan as soon as you can.

Apply for or renew your passport if you need to. Remember, passports can take up to four weeks to arrive.

Do you have a foreign passport? If you are a citizen of any country other than the USA and require a visa to enter the USA, please be sure to upload a scan of this document in the “OTHER” section below.


Again, you only need to submit this information in full once. But, if you need to update anything, you can resubmit your information anytime.


If you require medical treatment during your time at FutureVets, and you have not fully completed this medical information and insurance form, the hospital may delay your treatment until they receive this information.

Please be sure to complete ALL of this form, including insurance information.


Please ensure this document is from your doctor or travel clinic and clearly states your name. Documentation of immunizations and tests required to access the clinical facilities in Costa Rica must be uploaded no later than March 2022.


Once you receive our international flight information, please plan your domestic travel and submit the information below. We need this information to check that you will arrive on time and so that we can track your flight on departure day.

Student Handbook


As a reminder, you signed the following Code of Conduct Agreement as part of your enrollment:

As a student enrolled in FutureVets, I agree to the following expectations with regard to safety and conduct.

I agree to complete to the best of my ability all aspects of the FutureVets Program and successfully participate both as an individual and a representative of The National Leadership Academies. I agree to conduct myself in such a way that supports my own learning, and supports the learning of my peers, the teaching of physicians, and the guidance of the chaperones.

FutureVets is an alcohol-, smoking-, and substance-abuse-free experience. I agree to refrain from use of these substances as well as any illegal substances.

I agree to not engage in any behaviors that will put my health or life at risk, such as but not limited to departing from the scheduled itinerary and tour, entering restricted areas of host medical school and medical centers, entering financial agreements with locals, inviting strangers into the program or hotel, and providing locals with personal information such as passport information, credit/debit card information (other than secure bank/vendor), home addresses, and phone numbers.

I agree to remain in the assigned hotel or dormitory room as indicated by staff. Any changes or breach of this security precaution could lead to expulsion from the program.

I agree to maintain all required dress code standards as set forth by FutureDocs Abroad staff or requested by participating medical school/medical center policies. I also agree to remain with my assigned mentors, physicians, or other assigned staff at all site visit locations.

I agree to abide by the host university or institution’s standards and requirements.

I understand not complying with the above-mentioned expectations may result in dismissal from the program and return to the United States at my and my parent’s or guardian’s expense.

I agree to make FutureVets administrators and staff aware as soon as possible of any difficulties I may encounter regarding my health, safety, finances, or any other issue that I consider serious or should be disclosed.


[Student First and Last Name] to Attend FutureVets’ Program in Coronado, Costa Rica

[Your city/town, state][Student First and Last Name], a [Grade] at [Your High School] will attend a summer program in Coronado, Costa Rica from July 30 – August 13, 2022.

FutureVets is an exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for qualified high school students to experience real veterinary medicine. The purpose of this internship is to honor, inspire, motivate, and direct the top students in the country who aspire to have careers in the veterinary field, to stay true to their dream and, after the program, to provide a path, plan, and resources to help them reach their goal.

[Insert a great quote from you about what you’re most excited for during your time in Costa Rica. Perhaps about what you’re going to learn and/or experience.],” says [Student First Name].

During the two-week program, [Student First Name] will join students from across the United States and spend time observing surgeries taking place in the operating room, with the surgeon explaining the procedure as it’s being performed.

[Student First Name] will be in the gross anatomy lab with an anatomy professor, learning about the anatomy and proper dissection of cadavers. They will practice dissection techniques and view necropsies.

And [he/she/they] will also shadow veterinarians as they treat, diagnose, and rehabilitate small and large animals (oftentimes in their natural habit), participate in rotations, clinical lab research, and nutrition.

FutureVets is a program of The National Leadership Academies, which was founded on the belief that strong emotional intelligence is the cornerstone of student success and is committed to supporting students in their development. The National Leadership Academies also recognizes that prospective talent must be identified at the earliest possible age and help must be given to these students to acquire the necessary experience and skills to take them to the doorstep of vital careers as leaders and in the fields of medicine and the sciences.

For more information please visit www.thenationalleadershipacademies.com or call (888) 986-6563.


Your passport will need to be valid through August 13, 2022, in order to enter Costa Rica.

If your passport is VALID through August 13, 2022, take a picture of the photo page of your passport and send it to our Admissions Team immediately.

If your passport is NOT VALID through August 13, 2022, visit the State Department website for instructions on how to renew your passport.

If you DO NOT HAVE A PASSPORT visit the State Department website for instructions on how to apply for a passport.

NOTE: The Department of State is experiencing significant delays so please make sure you apply IMMEDIATELY. All students are required to have a valid Passport Book to travel to Costa Rica. Passport cards are not valid for International travel to Costa Rica.

Passports must be full passport books.

Also, confirm that you have signed your passport on the page opposite the photo page. A U.S. passport is only valid once it is signed! If you have NOT signed your passport, use a non-ballpoint pen and make sure the ink is dry before closing your passport.

We recommend that you add your contact information in pencil on the Personal Data and Contact Information page. If you lose your passport, this will give you the best chance of getting it back.


If you are a citizen of any country other than the USA, and require a visa to enter the USA, please be sure to upload a scan of this document along with a scan of your passport photo page.


An upload of a clear ID photo is required. 

  • A recent portrait or headshot photo is acceptable with a clear white background. You may take this photo yourself (it does not need to be a professional photo), so long as it is head-on and clear.
  • Must be in either JPEG or PDF format.

Submit by no later than December 31, 2021.


It is REQUIRED that all students be up-to-date on all routine immunizations stated by the CDC website, including:

❒ Hepatitis A
❒ Hepatitis B
❒ Meningococcal
❒ Varicella (Chickenpox)

You will need to upload a record from your physician that shows you are up-to-date with the above immunizations.

To access the clinical facilities in Costa Rica, students are also REQUIRED to have:

❒ a Typhoid vaccination
❒ a Rabies immunization

Please schedule a visit with your physician’s office or a travel clinic to obtain these immunizations and be sure to request a copy of these immunization records as well as your routine immunization record, as you are required to upload a copy to the portal no later than March 30, 2022.


It is strongly advised that all students traveling with FutureDocs Abroad this summer be vaccinated.  COVID vaccinations are now available to all individuals 5+ within the USA.  Any of the four vaccines available in the U.S. (Pfizer, Moderna, Astra or J&J) are acceptable. 

As of January 31, 2022, people 12 years and older must present their COVID Vaccination card to enter establishments and activities that voluntarily request it. 

COVID-19 Vaccination Finder >

A copy of your vaccination card, in English, should be uploaded to the portal no later April 30, 2022.  Please be in contact with our team if you have questions.


Please note, the information below is based on CURRENT Costa Rican Government guidelines as of June 17, 2022.  These may change as we get closer to departure day, but we ask that you start to prepare within these current guidelines so that you’re ready for departure. 

We will keep you up-to-date with changes and, of course, are available to discuss requirements any time on 888-986-6563.


Costa Rica has ended all Covid-19 measures for entry into the country. Tourists, non-residents and resident travelers will not need to fill out the health pass and will not need to be vaccinated to get into the country. The Costa Rican government has also eliminated the requirement for non-vaccinated guests to purchase travel insurance. (Although this is still recommended for all guests visiting Costa Rica).

Although Costa Rica has lifted all Covid entry restrictions, the University and facilities have requested that our group be vaccinated and test regularly throughout the program.  

You are required to bring 2 at home tests with you. At home, tests are readily available online or from your local pharmacy. 


As of 12:01 a.m. EDT June 12, 2022, the CDC order requiring all persons aged two and above to show a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding a flight to the United States, is rescinded.  Starting at 12:01 a.m. EDT on June 12, 2022, the CDC will no longer order air passengers to show a negative COVID-19 test result, or show documentation of recovery from COVID-19, prior to boarding a flight to the United States


Departure Airport: Miami International Airport (MIA)
Departure Time: 10:49 AM EDT, Sunday, July 31
Flight Numbers: American Airlines 1593
Route: Miami (MIA), San Jose (SJO)
Arrival Airport: Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO)
Arrival Time: 11:52 AM CST, Sunday, July 31

When to Arrive at Miami International: Saturday July 30, 2022 between 3:00 PM and 7:00 PM EDT

Our flight to Costa Rica is scheduled to depart from Miami International Airport (MIA), at 10:49 AM local time. You must book your flight from your home airport to MIA to arrive between 3:00 PM and 7:00 PM EDT on Saturday, July 30.

Due to our schedule of events in Costa Rica, we will be staying at the Sheraton Miami Airport Hotel on the night of July 30 in order to prepare the group ahead of our long day of travel on Sunday, July 31.

We will spend the first night getting to know each other. On the morning of July 31, we will have breakfast at the hotel and depart to the airport at 7:45 AM for check in with American Airlines. Upon arrival in San Jose, Costa Rica, we will travel to Cahuita, on the Caribbean coast (3-4 hour drive) for our first set of rotations beginning on Monday morning.

When considering flights, take into account any change in time zones and that MIA is in the Eastern Daylight Time Zone (EDT). The arrival time into MIA of the flight you are considering will be listed in the local time zone.

Arriving in the specified window on July 30 will give you time to check in before our dinner at the Sheraton Miami Airport Hotel. This arrival time frame also takes into account the time needed to collect your luggage from your domestic flight at the baggage claim and to ride with the group from the airport to the hotel.

Chaperones will be located in arrivals by baggage claim #15 in the Central Terminal ready to guide you to the hotel shuttle, where the group will stay prior to our international flight on the morning of July 31.

Special notes to remember if you are taking a domestic flight into our international departure airport:

  • The night before you travel, check online flight departures for any delays on your domestic travel from your hometown.
  • The morning of your flight, check again for any delays. Apps like flighttracker.com can be used to check delays, or you can type your airline and flight number into Google.
  • If you have any issues at all with your travel plans or disruptions, please call us immediately so we can put the appropriate measures in place ahead of time.
  • Once you arrive at MIA remember to pick up all of your luggage at baggage claim before heading to the group meeting point! Your baggage will NOT automatically check through.
  • Check the weather to determine appropriate dress and any delays you may experience

Group meeting point at MIA:

After you have picked up your luggage from baggage claim, go directly to baggage claim number 15 in the Central Terminal where our FutureVets Chaperones will be located.

FutureVets chaperones will be stationed at this location beginning at 3pm. Please check in with a chaperone for further instructions.

What to do if you can’t find your group meeting point:

Please call the group leader who will be able to direct you to the meeting point. The phone number will be released closer to the take-off date.


Departure Airport: Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO)
Departure Time: 7:03 AM, Saturday, August 13
Flight Numbers: American Airlines 1204
Route: San Jose (SJO), Miami (MIA)
Arrival Airport: Miami International Airport (MIA)
Arrival Time: 12:00 PM EDT, Saturday, August 13

When to Depart from MIA Airport: Saturday, August 13 between 3:00 PM and 8:00 PM EDT

Our inbound flight from San Jose, is scheduled to arrive at MIA, Miami on Saturday, August 13 at 12:00 PM. You must book your domestic flight back to your hometown to depart between 3:00 PM and 8:00 PM from Miami International Airport (MIA).

This suggested domestic departure time has been carefully planned, taking into consideration time to clear immigration upon your return to the U.S., collect your luggage from baggage claim and clear customs. 

Remember, once you have cleared customs you will also need to make your way to Departures on level 2, and follow signs to the airline check-in for your domestic flight back to your hometown. 

Departing after 3 PM EDT will give you a minimum of 3 hours before your scheduled domestic departure. This is to allow for any delays that may subsequently result in you missing your domestic flight and expected time it will take to get through immigration, baggage claim, and customs upon return into the U.S. and to re-check your bag.


Please visit the American airlines website for baggage policies.

NOTE: All students will be traveling in an economy class. American Airlines checked baggage is not included in the airline fare. Checked baggage fees and any domestic airline baggage fees are not included in the program tuition cost and are the responsibility of the student. Be sure to have a plan for how you intend to pay for any checked luggage at the American Airlines check-in counters in the U.S. and in Costa Rica. Check-in desks only accept payment for baggage via credit or debit card so please keep this in mind.

Tips on packing your bags:

  • Keep valuable items with you in your carry-on. Do not pack anything of true monetary or personal value in your checked baggage. 
  • Any laptops, tablets, or electronic items should always be packed in your carry-on bag.
  • Take photos of your hold luggage and contents. This is proof of your belongings and can be used to track your bag if it is lost in transit.
  • Clearly label your bag.
  • Use trackable luggage tags.


To help with booking your flights to and from your hometown, FutureDocs Abroad has partnered with StudentUniverse to assist our students and their families in finding the most convenient routes and affordable prices.

StudentUniverse is the world’s leading travel booking service for students and youth. Their unique pricing and terms are negotiated specifically for this demographic through contracts with dozens of world-class partners and more than 90 airlines. Membership is free.


Domestic flights to and from hometowns

Unaccompanied Minor status is required by some airlines for passengers under the age of 15, and some airlines have other policies and age cut-offs. There is an additional fee for this service through the airline. 

When you book your flights to and from your hometown, be sure to check with your individual airline on their Unaccompanied Minor policy. If your airline requires this, you will be prompted to give information on the name, address, and telephone number of the staff member who will be picking you up at the airport. 

Please contact the Admissions Team before May 31, 2022, if you arrange Unaccompanied Minor status. We will be able to give you the name of the staff member who will be picking you up when the airline reservation is made. 

This name may need to be updated up to 2 weeks prior to travel with a confirmed chaperone who will be assigned to that terminal specifically. You MUST report to the airline this updated name in order for the airline to release you to the FutureDocs Abroad chaperone. Failure to do so will result in the airline’s refusal to release you into the care of the FutureDocs Abroad chaperone. 

NOTE: Unaccompanied Minor status cannot be purchased for flights with connections.


Upon arrival in Miami on July 30, we will be staying at the Sheraton Miami Airport Hotel, prior to our departure to Costa Rica on July 31. 

Students will be staying at two different hotels over the two week program in Costa Rica. 

July 31 – August 3, 2022 – The Goddess Garden Hotel
The address is: Playa Grande, Cahuita, Costa Rica

August 3 – 13, 2022 – Hotel Bougainvillea
The address is: Hotel Bougainvillea, Contiguo a la Escuela, Santo Tomás, Heredia, Santo Domingo, 40302, Costa Rica

Students will be assigned to same-gender rooms with one or more roommates.


All students will receive a hotel key. You must keep this on you at all times in order to get access to your hotel room. The hotel reception is staffed 24 hours a day. Should you need a key reprint you will need to provide a valid ID to receive a new card. With this in mind, please ensure you carry a safety wallet to hold your important items and key card at all times. 

The hotel has a concierge desk available for any questions you may have. Remember, our own team of experienced chaperones will also be available 24/7 should you need any assistance.


There is a laundry service available at the hotel for a fee. Pricing is available in the local currency (colones) at the link below. Laundry bags and laundry forms will be provided at the front desk. Students should fill out a laundry request form and provide the form with their laundry in a laundry bag to Reception. The fee for laundry services is chargeable to the individual. 


Outdoor pool available during specified free periods and when a chaperone is available.


All students have access to the free WiFi within the hotel. 


Only some of the clinical locations where rotations take place within clinics will be air-conditioned. External field visits and rotations will likely take place outside. Note that we will be visiting Costa Rica during its wet season. Somedays will be hot and humid, however there will be a high chance of rain during our stay. Be prepared with a light rain jacket and waterproof boots. 

NOTE: Hairdryers and basic washing goods are provided in the hotel. However, be sure to bring an adequate supply of your own toiletries including but not limited to, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, and deodorant. Also consider bringing any over-the-counter medications you may need during the duration of the trip such as, but not limited to; allergy, anti-itch cream, pain relief medications, etc. 


Breakfast and dinner will be provided at the hotel. A selection of food will be available including authentic Costa Rican fare, and a variety of American classics. Lunch will be provided at the campus cafeteria during Monday – Friday rotations. Meals will also be provided on off-campus activity days and will include BBQ’s and picnic-style lunches.

Be sure you have updated any special dietary requirements on the portal so we can be sure to prep the chef ahead of your arrival. 

Snacks are available for purchase on campus, and at the hotel. Cafes are also located in all of the clinical locations. Trips to the local convenience store can also be arranged with the chaperones upon request.

IMPORTANT: Tap water in Costa Rica is drinkable and, in many areas of the country, quite good. However, if you have a sensitive stomach, it’s recommended to refrain from drinking tap water. San Jose is a modern city so you will be able to purchase bottled water everywhere and chaperones will be available 24/7 to assist students if needed. 


There is one form to be filled out while we are en route to San Jose and prior to your arrival in Costa Rica. ALL foreign citizens traveling to Costa Rica must fill out a Customs Declaration Form prior to their arrival. 

We will distribute this form at the international departure airport upon check-in, or on the aircraft while en route to Costa Rica. The information below is a step-by-step instruction to prepare you on the process ahead of your arrival.


Once we have fully boarded the plane and are on our way, the Program Lead will hand out the form to be filled out. This form is used to declare the contents of your luggage in order to pass through the corresponding customs agencies that control the flow of goods in and out of Costa Rica.

You will need a pen, your passport, and your boarding pass. 

The form will need to be completed before you land in Costa Rica. A chaperone will make their way around the plane answering any questions you may have. However, it is advisable to familiarize yourself with these forms before departure day. 


Juan Santamaria International Airport is a small, well-operated port of entry. Once you de-board the aircraft, Passport Control is a short 5-minute walk away. Our team of experienced chaperones will guide the group from the plane to the Passport Control hall. Each person will go through Passport Control individually. You can expect long delays and time spent waiting in line based upon the volume of travelers. 


In preparation to go through Passport Control, make sure you have:

  1. Your passport in hand
  2. Your Customs Declaration Form filled out
  3. Full name and address of the Hotel in Costa Rica – Hotel Bougainvillea, Contiguo a la Escuela, Santo Tomás, Heredia, Santo Domingo, 40302, Costa Rica
  4. Arrival and departure flight information (airline and flight number will be located on your boarding pass)

Once you reach the front of the Passport Control line, you will speak to an agent in English. The agent will ask questions about the purpose of your visit. Below are some possible questions and suggestions for how to answer them.

Q. How long are you here for? A. Two weeks
Q. What are you doing? A. Summer FutureVets program
Where are you staying? A. Hotel Bougainvillea 

The immigration officer will stamp your passport and hand it back to you along with your Customs Declaration form. Be sure to keep your Customs Declaration form in your hand or in your travel wallet as you will need this again once you have collected your luggage to go through Customs. 


Once through Passport Control, you will be directed by a chaperone to the baggage claim hall. 


Juan Santamaria International baggage claim is a small hall. A chaperone will guide students to the correct baggage carousel where you will need to watch for your luggage to arrive. 


Once all students have collected their luggage, we will walk to the Customs area together.


Each person will go through Customs individually with their own luggage. When you pass through Customs, you may be selected to run your bags through the screening machine. If you are selected for the inspection, don’t worry. The additional screening is a simple procedure and designed to keep everyone safe. 

Follow the instructions of the Customs Agent as you are going through Customs. A chaperone will be on hand at all times should any student need assistance. 

A few notes on Costa Rica Customs and Immigration to prepare yourself before travel:

  • Check the UnitedHealthcare website (which will be distributed via email) for information on importing any medications prior to arriving into Costa Rica.
  • All medications should be clearly labeled and stored in a clear plastic bag along with any liquids. Remember, liquids must be under 100mls or 3.4 oz per container.
  • Bringing fruit, dairy, meat, living or dried agriculture objects into the country is prohibited.
  • You should be able to check ‘no’ in all DECLARING boxes on the Customs Declaration form.  


FutureVets includes all program costs, international airfare, accommodations, local in-country transportation, and meals, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Students may want to bring pocket money for their own personal expenses, shopping, personal care items, souvenirs, snacks, etc. ($250-$300 should be more than adequate). Please also budget for luggage costs with American Airlines ($35 per hold bag, one way).

In advance of your trip to Costa Rica, we recommend you have a discussion with your parents on how you will pay for personal expenses while abroad. You may choose to carry a credit card, withdraw Costa Rican colones using an ATM card, bring U.S. dollars to exchange in Costa Rica, or some combination of these options.

Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted in Costa Rica; Discover and American Express are not accepted as widely. If you plan to use a credit card while in Costa Rica, your parents should ask their credit card company about their international transaction fees and alert them of your international travel plans beforehand to avoid security holds. Check the expiration date on your credit/debit cards and make a separate note in a safe place of their numbers and the service number on the back of the card.

It is also advisable to carry some small denominations of local currency for small purchases. Most purchases have to be over a certain amount in order to pay by card.

Costa Rica’s currency is the colón. Currently, 1000 Costa Rican colones equals about 1.65 USD. U.S. bank ATM cards can also be used in Costa Rica to obtain colones. 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 exchanged for colones in transactions that the FutureVets staff can facilitate on-site for students.



Ultimately, comfort plays a large part in making flights pleasurable. Always wear comfortable clothes, and this includes your travel shoes.

  • Wear layers – You will need pieces that you can easily take off or put on to help you combat the varying temperatures you encounter throughout your journey.
  • Wear something that you can keep on for the next 12 hours – travel time to Costa Rica and to our first rotation destination once in country will be at least 7 hours.
  • Wear clothes that don’t restrict you.
  • Wear natural, breathable fabrics.
  • Wear socks and comfortable footwear.


Students will be asked to wear scrubs and a white lab coat for all sessions at the veterinary facilities.

  • Scrubs can be any color/pattern
  • Lab jackets are required for most rotations
  • Students will be on their feet for long periods while on rotations, so comfortable shoes are recommended. All shoes worn on rotations must be closed-toed. Waterproof walking shoes or boots are advisable during rotations as some rotations are outdoors in rural areas.
  • Students should bring rain gear such as, but not limited to; ponchos, umbrellas, rain-boots/wellingtons, etc to each rotation.


A full day is planned to explore:

  • Wear comfortable/breathable casual clothes
  • Wear comfortable shoes (sneakers are a great option)
  • Bring a sunhat
  • Wear sunscreen


You are welcome to kick back and relax in whatever clothes are most comfortable for you. If you plan on spending time at the pool, be sure to pack a swimsuit.


This will be your last impression when saying goodbye to your Costa Rican hosts. Dress to impress with a business casual outfit.

Ladies: Plan on wearing dresses/trousers/knee-length skirts and shirts with a collar or blouses, and comfortable shoes
Gentlemen: Wear trousers/khakis and collared shirts, and comfortable shoes

NOTE: Absolutely NO athletic wear, NO jeans, and NO shorts

Remember, laundry facilities are available for students at the hotel. Please refer to the Laundry section under ‘Overnight Accommodations’ for more details.


The voltage supplied in electrical outlets as well as the outlet type varies in countries throughout the world, so in order to charge your devices when you visit another country, it’s important to check the voltage and outlet requirements of your host country.

In Costa Rica, the standard voltage is 120 volts, which is the same as U.S. wall outlets. The power outlet types in Costa Rica are also the same as in the U.S. You will find both the 2-prong and 3-prong outlets you’re familiar with from the U.S. in Costa Rica. However, if you are packing any electronics with a 3-prong plug, you may want to pack a 3-to-2 prong adapter in case 3-prong plugs are not available.


In all likelihood, your cell phone plan does not accommodate international texting, calling, or data use. If you use these functions while traveling abroad, you will likely rack up a huge roaming bill – possibly in the thousands of dollars. To ensure this doesn’t happen, be sure to turn off your cellular data and put your phone in airplane mode before we depart on our international flight. You will still be able to connect to wifi where available while on airplane mode. It’s safest to leave your phone in airplane mode for the duration of the trip, and only use wifi for internet access, in order to avoid a surprise phone bill when you get back.


Shared below is a basic packing list for FutureVets. Keep in mind this list is intended to provide basic guidance for essentials. This does not necessarily include every item that you may personally require.

A few things to keep in mind as you pack:

  1. Very important: Do not bring any fruit, dairy or meat and absolutely no living or dried agriculture objects as you cannot travel into another country with these. The same applies for your return trip to the U.S.
  2. Clearly label all of your luggage so it is easily identifiable; remember, many bags look alike!
  3. The hotel does not provide personal toiletries such as shampoo, conditioner, and shower soap/body wash, so these are included in the packing list below.
  4. As you pack, keep in mind that there are laundry facilities available at the hotel for an additional fee.
  5. We recommend you pack any over-the-counter personal hygiene items you might need because many personal items we are used to getting easily in the U.S. are not as easy to get in another country.
  6. If you are taking any prescription medicines, be sure to pack enough for every day you are away from home, 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.
  7. Pack electronic devices and charging cables in carry-on baggage


❒ Passport
❒ National medical insurance card
❒ Print out of your international medical insurance card (this will be given to you at the international departure airport)
❒ A copy of Hotel Bougainvillea address (Contiguo a la Escuela, Santo Tomás, Heredia, Santo Domingo, 40302, Costa Rica)
❒ ID/wallet, including personal spending money

Once you’ve checked in for your flight to Costa Rica, you should add these two items to your travel wallet:

❒ Your boarding pass
❒ Customs Declaration form


❒ Cell phone
❒ Cell phone charger, and chargers for any other electronics
❒ A card with your parent/guardian’s number and the FutureVets Admissions Team number/emergency line in case you need to borrow a phone
❒ A supply of pens
❒ Small notebook
❒ An umbrella and/or other rain gear
❒ Entertainment for the plane ride (headphones, phone, playing cards, book, etc.)
❒ Empty reusable water bottle (you’ll need to fill it up after you get through airport security)
❒ Travel insurance information, if you purchased coverage
❒ 3-to-2 prong adapter (if you are packing any electronics that have a 3-prong plug)
❒ If needed, prescription medications
❒ A change of clothes

❒ Scrubs and white lab jacket for rotations on weekdays
❒ Waterproof boots or walking shoes for rotations
❒ Rain jacket or slicker for outdoor rotations
❒ Boots or shoes you are willing to get dirty are recommended for rotations at the school as you will be working in some farm-like environments
❒ A business casual outfit and appropriate footwear for closing ceremony

Men: Trousers/khakis and collared shirts
Women: Knee-length dresses or skirts, trousers, collared shirts, blouses
Note: No jeans or athletic wear

❒ Casual warm-weather clothing for weekend excursions
❒ Bathing suit
❒ Pajamas/sweats for your overnight accommodations
❒ Light hoodie or jacket
❒ A travel outfit for your trip back home
❒ Socks and undergarments

❒ Toothbrush and toothpaste
❒ Deodorant
❒ Brush/comb
❒ Shampoo and conditioner
❒ Body wash or soap
❒ Sunscreen
❒ Bug Spray
❒ Small first aid kit (Bandaids, Tylenol, Travel Sickness Aid, Antihistamines, Imodium)
❒ If needed, glasses/contacts and contact case/solution


Don’t worry if you experience a degree of culture shock during the first few days abroad – you will be experiencing a different culture! It’s only natural. To ensure that culture shock doesn’t turn into a negative experience, think about how you can turn your lack of local knowledge into a positive.

Open yourself up to learning from local cultures, traditions, and people. Set yourself some goals at the beginning of your trip, and when you feel blue, actively try to achieve them. Connecting with people back home is another way to feel better about being away. Or log onto the WiFi and share your pictures, videos, GIFs, and anything else you come up with!

Writing about your time abroad can also be a great way of capturing your experiences, and can often make for a great record for you to look back on.


NOTE: This is a preliminary schedule and is subject to change.

JULY 30: Travel to international departure airport (MIA) 

JULY 31: Travel to Costa Rica – Travel to accommodations – Rest

AUG 1: Orientation & Rotations

AUG 2 – 5: Rotations

AUG 6: Cultural Tour

AUG 7: Rest day and Shopping

AUG 8 – 12: Rotations

AUG 12: Rotations, closing ceremony, and goodbyes

AUG 13: Departure

REMEMBER TO ENJOY YOURSELF! This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! Make the most of it, be safe, and have fun!