International Field Study

W20 Costa Rica – Pura Vida

During this IFS students will be visiting various hospitality and tourism operations while experiencing the local culture, nature, and related tourism attractions. These tourism operations are exceptional based on their focus areas such as environmental sustainability, business practices, selective marketing approaches, creative accessibility solutions, and the rights of wildlife. Students will participate in cultural activities such as Mascaradas y Cimarronas, traditional dances, and Costa Rican cuisine. These activities are all done in cooperation with local community members. Students will visit an organic carbon-negative working farm and ranch in Arenal, where they will learn about interesting properties of plants such as tobacco. Here they will also get their hands dirty by planting their own plants alongside community members.

Day 1|Depart for Costa Rica!

February 23, 2020

Catch your flight booked out of Toronto Person International Airport and relax, soon we’ll be in beautiful San Jose, Costa Rica! After meeting our local guide, we head over to the Holiday Inn Lindora to drop off our bags and settle in. In the afternoon we will visit Real Inter Continental Hotel where students will learn about green operation by a big airport chain hotel and the country’s national Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST) program. After hotel visit, students will experience some amazing Costa Rican traditions. We will be interacting with locals during the cultural tour of Mascaradas y Cimarrona that includes a typical Costa Rican home-made local dinner!

Day 2| Arenal

February 24, 2020

Today we will participate in a guided tour of an organic farm at Rancho Margot and learn about its recognition as the first carbon-negative company in Costa Rica. Some of the main attractions include: sustainable food production, energy production, green roofs, and carbon reduced transportation!

Day 3| Arenal

February 25, 2020

Today we will visit Tabacon Resort and Spa to learn about the range of services at this hot springs destination. During our visit students will learn about this Spa Resort with a sustainable level 5 operation (CST level 5). In the evening students will test their dexterity during a traditional tortilla making class!

Day 4| Arenal

February 26, 2020

Today we will examine wide range of available tourism attractions from the perspective of key market segments, and compatible with the national tourism strategy of Costa Rica. We will have the opportunity to experience a choice of popular tourism activities in Arenal such as hanging bridges, canopy walks, zip-lining, or visit to La Fortuna waterfall! During the afternoon we will take part in plant-a-tree activity which offsets the carbon generated by our flight. We will learn about the importance of nature as tourism attraction.

Day 5| Manuel Antonio

February 27, 2020

Today we make our way to Manuel Antonio. With equal efforts dedicated to wildlife preservation and a beach-getaway atmosphere, Manuel Antonio has surely earned its reputation as one of Costa Rica’s most gorgeous locales. A lively resort town sits just north of a national park, where a rain forest teeming with monkeys resides. Here we will enjoy a sunset catamaran and snorkel the local reefs. Overnight at Best Western Hotel Kamuk, Quepos.


Day 6| Manuel Antonio

February 28, 2020

In the morning we will participate in guided walk of Manuel Antonio National Park to learn about the transitional rainforest and its importance to wildlife, with time to enjoy the white sand beach. We will reflect on the creative approaches demonstrated by Costa Rican sectors of hospitality and tourism, spas, food and beverage, and various attractions throughout our field study, especially when operating amidst sensitive natural resources. In the afternoon we will visit Villa Vanilla Spice Plantation which includes 27 acres of agriculture production and 125 acres of primary and secondary rainforest. Cash crops include the country’s major spice – vanilla, plus true Ceylon cinnamon, cocoa, black pepper, allspice, turmeric, and a variety of exotic fruits, essential oils, and medicinal plants.  We will participate in a Spice Plantation Tour in which students will experience the sights, tastes, and aromas of vanilla, cinnamon, pepper and other tropical spices, essential oil plants, and a wide variety of tropical ornamental plants. Among other attractions of this tour, we will take part in new “Flavors of the World” tasting. The in-house pastry chef will prepare variety of flavorful drinks and gourmet spice treats for us to sample.

Day 7| Manuel Antonio

February 29, 2020

After breakfast we will visit an animal rescue center called “Kids Saving the Rainforest” where students will learn about efforts to rescue wild animals and return them to natural habitat – yet another example of coordinated efforts of managing nature as the country’s key attraction. During the afternoon students will tour Hotel Si Como No Resort & Wildlife Refuge (CST level 5) which is the pioneer of sustainable hospitality and the first Greentique Hotel property in Manual Antonio, established more than 20 years ago. This evening we will have a farewell dinner followed by a Latin dance lesson!



Day 8| Depart for Toronto! 

March 1, 2020

Today we leave for Toronto and reflect on the amazing experience that was Costa Rica!


  • Round-trip Airfare
  • 7 Nights Accommodation
  • Mascaradas y Cimmarrona Cultural Tour with Welcome Dinner
  • Tour of Real InterContinental Hotel
  • Rancho Margot Tour
  • Tabacon Resort & Spa Tour
  • Arenal National Park – Selection of Activity
  • Plant a Tree Activity
  • Manuel Antonio National Park Guided Tour
  • Afternoon Catamaran
  • Coral Reef Snorkeling
  • Villa Vanilla Spice Plantation Tour
  • Kids Saving the Rainforest Animal Rescue
  • Tour of Si Como No Hotel
  • Farewell Dinner & Dance Lesson
  • Daily Breakfast, 3 Lunches & 5 Dinners


Second Payment
Third Payment
Final Payment


$449 +/-



*Price may increase or decrease depending on exchange rates, final vendor quotes and number of participants.

2099+/- ($500 BWR grant applied)

TRIP DATE 02/23/2020



Costa Rica


This opportunity is available to all Niagara College students and alumni within 6 months of graduation. Please note that part-time students are not eligible for the Be World Ready Grant.



Payment Options

When making payment through online banking:

  • Set up Niagara College as the payee and use your student number as the account number
  • Once payment is made, you MUST email [email protected] and provide your name, student number, payment amount and indicate that payment is for Be World Ready International Field Study. Please copy Be World Ready, at [email protected] on the email
  • The following business day the payment will be uploaded to your student account and as long as Student Accounts receive an email from you, the IFS charge will be posted accordingly

Other Important Information

All, full-time Niagara College students participating in an international activity are eligible for up to $500 worth of Be World Ready grants to help offset the cost of their experience. In order to qualify for the grant:

  • Apply to an international experience
  • Attend a mandatory pre-departure meeting (dates to be determined)
  • Complete the online pre-departure component (consisting of Blackboard modules and Risk Management forms to sign)
  • Successfully attend the international experience
  • Upon return, submit five high-quality photos and a 100 word minimum well-written testimonial referencing your experience abroad to the Be World Ready team.
  • Apply online
  • Email a copy/photo of your passport to [email protected]
    • Please ensure all text is legible as this is required to book your airline ticket
  • Pay the deposit (spots for this trip are only secured after a deposit payment has be made)

Students registering for and making initial deposit towards an IFS are considered committed for that IFS.

After the initial deposit for each International Field Study (IFS), Niagara College begins making payments to suppliers (airlines, accommodations, and in-country destination management companies) for these IFS’. Therefore, all students who cancel their participation after their initial deposit will be required to pay 100% of the original IFS cost, and no refunds will be issued.

For students who choose to make payments in accordance to the established IFS payment scheduled and miss a payment, the installment will be charged directly to the students’ account and a late fee will be applied to each missed payment.

For Niagara College students requiring an international country visa, you are required to make your payments as per the payment schedule for your respective International Field Study. You cannot defer your payments until after a decision has been made on your country visa. Niagara College’s international travel insurance policy will allow students to make an insurance claim to receive a refund for fees paid towards an International Field Study if your visa is denied.

Travel and Accommodations

Q: Can I bring a friend?

A: You can bring as many friends as you like as long as they are current full-time Niagara College students or within 6 months of graduation from Niagara College and meet the program eligibility requirements.

Q: Can I bring a parent/friend/child from outside the college?

A: No. At this time we are only able to accept current full-time Niagara College students or Niagara College alumni within 6 months of graduation.

Q: What will the rooms be like?

A: Rooms will vary in style on each trip, they are commonly twin-share (2 people to a room, separate beds) in a central location. Single rooms may be available for an additional room fee provided adequate notice is given to Be World Ready staff. We strive to ensure you have comfortable, affordable accommodations anywhere you travel.

Q: Will it be safe?

A: Your safety is the most important aspect of this trip. Be World Ready and Niagara College will take all possible pre-cautions to ensure you have a safe, enjoyable experience while travelling abroad.

Q: Can I book my own flight?

A: No. The round-trip flights are part of the pricing package and the group is to travel to and from the destination country together. These are our Niagara College International Field Study policies and we cannot deviate from them, as they are part of our risk mitigation and management.

Q: Can I have a one way ticket?

A: No. The round-trip flights are part of the pricing package and the group is to travel to and from the destination country together. These are our Niagara College International Field Study policies and we cannot deviate from them, as they are part of our risk mitigation and management.

Q: Can I change my flight Itinerary?

A: No. We will not be able to accommodate a return flight that is different from the group. The round-trip flights are part of the pricing package and the group is to travel to and from the destination country together. These are our Niagara College International Field Study policies and we cannot deviate from them, as they are part of our risk mitigation and management.

Q: I require a travel visa for the trip I registered for. Can Be World Ready get the visa for me?

A: We cannot get your visa for you, however, we will provide you with all the information that we can and guide you through the process of obtaining all the necessary visas for travel.

Q: I have a NEXUS card, do I still need a passport to travel to the USA with Be World Ready?
A: Yes. All Be World Ready Participants must have a valid passport.

Be World Ready Grant

Q: What is the Be World Ready Grant?

A: The Be World Ready grant is a pre-determined sum of money that is granted to each qualifying student who is travelling on an approved educational trip to offset the cost of their learning experience. Up to $400 of grant money will be ADVANCED and posted to the students’ account which will then be transferred to the International Field Study account as payment. The remaining grant money, up to $100, will be AWARDED at the completion of your trip provided student has met all grant requirements.

Q: How will I know how much the grant will be for the field study I am on?

A: The value of the Be World Ready grant will included in the welcome email you receive after registering for the trip.

Q: What must I do to receive the grant?

A: You must complete the online modules, pre-departure waivers and attend an in person training session to receive the grant.

Q: How will I know if I received the grant advance?

A: The majority of the value of the grant will be deducted from your final payment and then posted to your student account as a payment towards your field study.

Q: How do I receive the remaining 20% of the grant?

A: You must provide a well written, 100 word, testimonial of how your experience on the trip impacted you. You must also submit 2 jpeg photographs that showcase your destination and yourself in destination.

Q: I have been on an International Field Study before and received the Be World Ready grant. Do I need to complete the online training and waivers again?

A: Yes, you must complete the online training and fill in the waivers again to receive the grant.

*Note: if we will be flying through the United States of America, you must have permission to enter and leave the United States. If you require a U.S travel visa it is your responsibility to obtain this document and email [email protected] a copy/photo.

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