We are back from an amazing trip to Costa Rica with EF Tours. Although I thought the previous trip was good, this was, hands down, my best student trip to date. (You can read about my previous trip in 2009 here.) The students we took were respectful of the Tico culture, enthusiastic and well behaved. A couple of women who worked in a hotel in La Fortuna told me they were the best behaved group they had ever seen & wished all groups were like them. That is pretty high praise! Unfortunately, I know what they might be used to dealing with. The week we were there, EF alone had 56 groups on tour!!! There were 3 other groups we kept running into, and most of the teens were well behaved, but a few were making a bad impression... yelling & running in hotels, going out after dark by themselves, walking out during dinner time...
New to me on this trip was the Don Juan's Organic farm.
This former Costa Rican educator runs a farm with very little waste. His presentation captured our students' attention and kept them engaged. The farm was beautiful, and the ecological concepts are well worth adapting.
The trip was action packed.
Ziplining, kayaking, horesback riding, hiking, white water rafting...
Students practiced Spanish of course. They would barter when buying handicrafts. They also had an opportunity to visit with an elementary school in the Arenal region, and despite the rain, played and talked with the children.
We saw a LOT of wildlife! We started off by visiting a biodiversity park a few minutes away from San José. We saw plenty of animals on our hikes, and we also took a crocodile tour.
This was a life time learning opportunity for many of my students, and I know they enjoyed themselves and learned a lot. I appreciate all the time and planning that went into this trip by our tour leader (and my department chair) and the EF guide.
Have you traveled with students before? Any tips or suggestions?