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!

Recordings of Ecuador Pre-Trip Meetings

May 1st


May 23

June 6

Recordings of Costa Rica Pre-Trip Meetings

May 1st


May 23

June 6

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
Ecuador Backpacking WAIVER
DUE: 1 month after you register
Send these in 1 of 2 ways:
– email to [email protected]
– Snail mail to: Common Ground International. PO box 174, Lafayette, CO. 80026
3. Passports:
Apply for a passport
– 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!
– Submit your Covid-19 vaccination card (mandatory)
-Check out what the Center for Disease Control says about traveling to Costa Rica &Ecuador. Pay special attention to mosquitos!
-Make an appointment with your primary care physician

SUBMIT your COVID-19 Vaccination Card. Take a picture of it and send it in!
IMPORTANT! Your program includes basic travel medical insurance with trip interruption, delays, lost bags, etc.
If you you have any uncertainties about your upcoming adventure, it’s a good ideas 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.
5. Submit your 2 character reference letters
*Cardinal Gibbons participants you do not need to submit these.
Email to [email protected]
6. Flights:
– Check in with Leslie Foster about group flights first.
– If you are flying independently, please email Leslie to get arrival and departure information.

Lisa Lowrance Group: stay tuned for more information about Group Flight

Cardinal Gibbons Trip: We will make group flight reservations in December. Stay tuned

Confirm we have your correct flight info. here
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 Jan.)
Ecuador Pre-Departure Course (opens in Jan.)

Complete your language school placement exam
DUE: Must be completed 1 month before departure

**Parents get this information in your Parent Manual
Costa Rica Parent Manual
Ecuador Parent Manual
8. Attend 3 required online meetings with your trip leaders

Meetings take place in the spring.

Ecuador Meetings:
Sunday, May 1, 2022 5pm ET
Monday, May 23rd, 7pm ET
Monday, June 6th 7pm ET

Costa Rica Meetings:
Sunday, May 1, 2022 6:30 pm ET
Monday, May 23rd, 8:30 pm ET
Monday, June 6th, 8:30 pm ET

Meetings will take place on Zoom.
Find link here:

9. Suggested payment schedule: You must be paid in full 45 days before program departure

1. Deposit at time of registration
2. Payment # 2: Dec. 1st, 2021
3. Payment #3: March 1st, 2022
4. Payment #4 : May 1st, 2022

Schedule for Cardinal Gibbons Participants:
1. Deposit at time of registration
2. Flight Payment: Jan. 20, 2022
3. Payment #2: Feb. 20, 2022
4. Payment #3 : April 20, 2022

Due: Must be paid in full 45 days before departure
Link to pay

Costa Rica Optional Activities:
1. Surf lesson (2,3,4 week participants)
2. SkyTrek Zipline Tour (2,3,4 week participants)
3. Toucan Rescue Ranch (2,3,4 week participants)
4. Isla Tortuga Catamaran – Snorkel (3,4 week participants)

Cardinal Gibbons:
1. Surf lesson (the rest of the optional activities are included)
10. Get your travel paperwork in order and get packed. Make sure you have a copy of your passport, travel insurance, flight itinerary.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
Pack your bags:
Download Costa Rica Packing List
-Download Ecuador Packing List

Super Importante Links

High School Spanish Immersion Programs
Program Registration
Pre-departure paperwork
Make Payments Online
Character Reference Forms
Pre-Departure Course: OPENS in January
-Costa Rica Pre-Departure Course
-Ecuador Pre-Departure Course
Volunteer Sign-up
Costa Rica Volunteer Document
Program Itineraries:
-Costa Rica Program Itinerary
-Ecuador Program Itinerary
Packing Lists:
-Costa Rica Packing List
-Ecuador Packing list
Parent Manuals:
Costa Rica Parent Manual
-Ecuador Parent Manual

Program links while on program:

Participant Itinerary
Flight Document
Volunteer Sign-up
Make Payments Online
Student handbook
Costa Rica Parent Manual
Ecuador Parent Manual
– Costa Rica Packing List
– Ecuador Packing list

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