Covid-19 Risk Management & FAQs

After prolonged consideration and months of planning in partnership with our global medical team, industry leaders, and our local community partners we have made the decision due to COVID-19 to limit our 2021 travel to primarily a single destination: Costa Rica’s Pacuare Reserve. By traveling to a single, relatively remote location with the majority of the time spent at a privately managed eco-reserve, we minimize risks associated with COVID-19. Furthermore, in order to adhere to strict COVID-19 safety measures, we will be limiting the number of students that travel with Global Glimpse this summer and only offering travel spots to currently enrolled students.

We’ve updated our current industry-leading approach to safety and risk management with additional pre-trip preparation requirements, in-field management, and response plans, and trained our staff on risk factors, prevention measures, and response protocols to minimize risks associated with COVID-19.

Global Glimpse’s COVID-19 recommendations and policies were developed in partnership with our Medical Director, our Costa Rica program partners, Environmental Project International, and in accordance with the CDC. The Health & Safety Team at Global Glimpse will continue to diligently monitor the global situation and we will adapt programs and policies as necessary. 

ENHANCED RISK MANAGEMENT

The safety of Global Glimpse participants is our top priority, and we have adapted additional procedures to assess and minimize the risks associated with COVID-19.

Our practices address risk management in three critical phases:

#1. Minimize the risk of COVID-19 before the program begins:

  • Establish clear criteria for program cancellation due to elevated COVID -19 outbreaks
  • Request all participants abide by precautionary measures such as physical distancing and use of face coverings during the 14 days prior to travel
  • Require all students to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to departure and emailed to the GG Health & Safety Team 48 hours prior to departure
  • Prohibit participants with COVID-19 symptoms, a positive COVID PCR test, or those who have been in close to contact with someone experiencing COVID-19 like symptoms from participating in the program

#2. Reduce risk of COVID-19 during the program:

  • Conduct daily health screenings
  • Require physical distancing and the use of face coverings
  • Conduct the majority of the program in outdoor settings
  • Limit group sizes and take numerous other precautionary measures

#3. Respond diligently to any COVID-19 incidents:

  • Follow strict Personal Protection Equipment protocols during first aid and care
  • Isolate the participant from the rest of the group
  • Activate our Emergency Response System and secure testing following the directions of local health services and our global Health & Safety Team
  • Create quarantine conditions as necessary

For more details, please see Additional COVID-19 Policies & Logistics FAQs below.

 

GENERAL TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS & PROTOCOLS

Requirements for international travel are still in flux. Global Glimpse will monitor and update Costa Rica travel requirements below and notify participants of major changes that could impact their travel plans.

Following CDC guidance and the Biden Administration’s Executive Order on Travel Safety issued on January 21st, participants must wear masks when using public transportation, in airports, and on airplanes. This federal requirement is in addition to Global Glimpse’s requirement that participants wear masks on the trip. Please see Additional COVID-19 Policies & Logistics FAQs below for more details.

Participants are expected to take precautionary measures to avoid exposure to COVID-19 before and during travel. Global Glimpse Leaders will be traveling with students on group flights and students will be expected to wear masks, practice social distancing and regularly sanitize their hands throughout the duration of the flight and to and from the airport.

Global Glimpse currently does not require participants to be vaccinated before the course.  Participants should discuss vaccination with their health care provider to decide what is appropriate for them.  Participants who are vaccinated will still be required to comply with all COVID-19 risk management practices including mask use, hygiene, and physical distancing as directed by Global Glimpse Leaders and applicable program policies and protocols.

Return Travel to the U.S.

Testing

Effective Jan 26, 2021 the US CDC requires passengers arriving from international destinations to have a negative COVID (Antigen or PCR) test no more than 3 days before their flight to the US departs. Alternatively, travelers to the U.S. may provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel.

Global Glimpse will facilitate this testing in Costa Rica for our students as part of the regular itinerary. A positive result from a single participant may affect the travel for the entire group of participants, in addition to the potential negative health risks to the individual with the virus. For this reason, and for the well-being of all participants, we ask every participant to be prepared to strictly adhere to our COVID-19 prevention practices before and during the trip.

Self-Isolation & Quarantine Post Travel


The Biden Administration’s Executive Order on Travel Safety issued on Jan 21, also directs travelers to comply with CDC guidance on self-isolation or quarantine post travel. Current guidance from the CDC is for a regime of isolation and testing, or isolation for 10 days.

Costa Rica Travel Requirements

Testing

  • A negative COVID-19 test is not currently required for entry to Costa Rica
  • Note: Global Glimpse will require all students to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to departure and emailed to the Global Glimpse Health & Safety Team 48 hours prior to departure.

Insurance

  • Global Glimpse requires proof of US medical insurance for travel on its programs
  • Global Glimpse enrolls all its students in a travel insurance policy through University Health Plans which is included in your tuition costs and satisfies Costa Rica’s travel insurance entry requirements.
  • Visitors traveling to Costa Rica will need to provide proof of a medical insurance policy to cover any COVID-19 related medical treatment or quarantine lodging while in Costa Rica.
  • If the policy originates from an insurer outside of Costa Rica, travelers must request from the insurer a certification issued in English or Spanish, noting:
    • The validity of the policy during the dates of visit to Costa Rica
    • Guarantee of coverage for medicals expenses in cases of COVID-19 related medical treatment in the amount of 50,000 USD
    • Minimum coverage of 2,000 USD for extended lodging expenses due to COVID-19 related illness.
    • It is also possible to purchase a Costa Rican medical insurance policy through the Sagicor of Costa Rica, covering the duration of your stay in Costa Rica.

Health Forms

  • All visitors must also complete an online Health Pass (pasa de Salud) 48 hours prior to travel to Costa Rica
  • The Health Pass can be found at https://salud.go.cr
  • For minor participants, this should be filled out by parents / legal guardian

 Additional COVID-19 Policies & Logistics FAQs

How is Global Glimpse designing Summer 2021 programs in response to COVID-19?

  • Global Glimpse will work on all measures possible to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 but cannot guarantee it. We have developed a thorough response plan in the event of a positive case and will work tirelessly to minimize the spread and ensure access to health care if needed.
  • The Global Glimpse Health & Safety team has developed COVID-19 recommendations and policies in partnership with our Medical Director, Costa Rican program partner, Ecology Project International, and in accordance with the CDC and our trusted global agency network. Due to the fluctuating COVID-19 situation, policies may be adapted in accordance with the most current safety standards and best practices and families will be notified of any updates.
    • Group size will be below 20 participants and will operate in a pod structure.
    • Trips will take place primarily at an ecological reserve and remote mountain lodge which will be away from large cities and participants will have very limited exposure to people outside of their travel group.
    • Lodging capacity will be reduced by as much as 50% and no more than 4 students will be placed in the same room.
    • We’ll increase spacing in vehicles and boats where possible. Face coverings will be required by participants, staff, and drivers while traveling in accordance with current safety standards and best practices.
    • Once on course, we’ll monitor participant and instructor health and well-being daily.
    • We’ll increase cleaning and sanitization of shared surfaces and spaces including vehicles, dining facilities, eating utensils/cookware, bathrooms, lodging facilities, and group equipment.
    • We’ll take advantage of our outdoor classrooms to spread out for lessons, activities, and research. Participants will also wear face coverings in accordance with current safety best practices. We’ll also enforce physical distancing when eating and work with food providers to practice excellent hygiene including but not limited to wearing masks and gloves while preparing food.

What happens if I or someone else tests positive for COVID-19 while on the Costa Rica trip?

  • While we practice transmission prevention methods on our trip, the nature of our travel, activities, and pod-style program model will likely result that the entire group would be considered a “close contact” and be required to isolate in mandatory quarantine for at least 8 days until the local health ministry provides clearance to travel.
  • In this case, Global Glimpse would continue to facilitate logistics, monitor the health and well-being, and support the group until they are able to return home. Costs associated with quarantine and extended stay would be passed on to participants, which is why we recommend and enroll all families in travel insurance that covers the costs of extended trip quarantine and medical care from COVID-19 exposure.
  • If any volunteer produces a positive COVID-19 test, whether or not they are exhibiting symptoms, we will activate our monitoring and quarantine response protocol. Any student with a positive test will be immediately isolated, a detailed record of their symptoms will begin to be recorded, and the Global Glimpse Medical Director will be notified. The student will be given their own room away from other students and a trained staff member will bring them all meals and attend to any need they may have. If safe, they will also be offered the opportunity to get outside and spend time in nature recovering away from other students. At this time, all other volunteers and staff members will also receive a COVID-19 test if they have not already. We will be in close communication with families and our Global Glimpse Medical Director to determine the best course of treatment and clinical environment for each student.
  • COVID-19-positive students will be required to complete an individual isolation according to best practices from health officials and the Global Glimpse Medical Director at the time of the program.
  • In the case of known exposure, families will be notified immediately and be kept up to date with any developments or changes.
  • In the event the symptoms become severe or require medical treatment, the participant will be taken to a vetted private hospital and/or clinic for treatment.

Should I consider traveling this summer if I have a pre-existing health condition?

According to the CDC, COVID-19 can result in a more significant illness in certain populations especially those with underlying health conditions or who are immunocompromised. If you have an underlying health issue of concern, we require you to consult with your doctor about the risks associated with your participation and to submit a supplemental health form with a doctor’s signature to be considered for participation by our medical review team.

What preventative measures will Global Glimpse follow?

  • All Global Glimpse staff and instructors will complete a rigorous COVID-19 prevention and management training.
  • The following practices will also be established to maximize the prevention of COVID-19 exposure:
    • Participants will have hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies available for use at all times
    • Partners and vendors will be informed of the necessary steps to meet additional cleanliness and hygiene expectations
    • We’ll maintain a physical distance from people who are not part of our group
    • We’ll ask partners and vendors to wear face masks and practice physical distancing when interacting with the group
    • We will not be doing activities where exposure to the public or physical distancing with the public cannot be adequately managed. This may include eating in restaurants, certain conservation or research activities, and recreational activities.
  • A negative COVID-19 test is not currently required for entry to Costa Rica, however, all participants are required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to departure and emailed to the Global Glimpse Health & Safety Team 48 hours prior to departure.
  • Participants with COVID-19 symptoms, positive COVID PCR test, or those with close contact with those experiencing COVID-19 like symptoms, will not be able to participate in the program.
  • We will ask all participants to practice physical distancing and use of face coverings during the 14 days prior to their trip departure

What happens if I am on a Global Glimpse program and the situation becomes unsafe due to the spread of COVID-19?

In the unfortunate situation that Global Glimpse must suspend programs and relocation is not possible, participants will return home early. In this case, refunds will be available minus any costs incurred up to that point in the program.

What if someone develops COVID-19-like symptoms on course?

  • By monitoring the health of all participants daily, we aim to catch any potential communicable disease quickly.
  • Once detected, we will take the following steps:
    • Immediately isolate the participant from the rest of the group
    • Activate our emergency response system and initiate a plan to get the participant tested for COVID-19 following the directions of the local health services
    • Maintain the isolation of the participant until test results are received
  • If positive, we will activate our monitoring and quarantine response protocol and we’ll follow the directions of the local health services and our Medical Director and continue to provide support for the participant and the group as needed. In the case of known exposure, families will be notified immediately and be kept up to date with any developments or changes.
  • If negative, the participant will be allowed to rejoin the group
    • Continue to closely monitor the rest of the group for symptoms
    • Ensure that all hygiene and cleaning protocols are being followed closely and that social distancing practices are being implemented as advised

Will I need any additional vaccinations?


Global Glimpse currently does not require participants to be vaccinated before the trip.  Participants should discuss vaccination with their health care provider to decide what is appropriate for them and review current CDC recommendations.

What if I have a Covid-19 vaccination already? Do I need to adhere to the same COVID-19 protocols as other participants?

Participants who are vaccinated will still be required to comply with all COVID-19 risk management practices including mask use, hygiene, and physical distancing as directed by Global Glimpse Leaders and applicable program policies and protocols.

What happens if I test positive for COVID-19 before departing for my Global Glimpse program?

If a participant tests positive for COVID-19 within 72 hours of departure, they cannot participate in the program. Instead, they can elect to transfer their participation to another summer or spring option offered by Global Glimpse or request a refund.


Costa Rica Summer Program FAQs

Who is Ecology Project International (EPI) and why is Global Glimpse partnering with them?

We have always relied on strong partnerships to deliver our international travel programs. In this case, we are working directly with EPI to deliver a high-quality travel experience for our participants. EPI is a non-profit organization with a 20-year history of providing transformative travel programs for youth focused on conservation, ecology and leadership. They have exclusive access to a spectacular private reserve called the Pacuare Reserve in Costa Rica. We’ve always admired their work – especially their commitment to community-based conservation and providing local students with access to their programs. Learn more about EPI and their incredible work at the Pacuare Reserve.

How do I know if this trip to Costa Rica is right for me?

This trip is designed to introduce participants to people, projects and places that will develop their empathy, agency, and global perspective. In Costa Rica, we focus on conservation and environmental justice; critical issues for the health and sustainability of our planet, and Costa Ricans living in one of the most biodiverse countries on earth. Participants will engage in meaningful service and rainforest immersion and explore the intersection of environmental, racial, and social justice and begin to define their own purpose and vision for a better world. The majority of the program takes place in a remote setting at a rustic eco-reserve with basic access to amenities and students will be unplugged from all electronic devices (except cameras!). Students will thrive on this type of program who have an adventurous, flexible attitude and open-mind to new experiences and ways of living in close contact with nature. Please see our Costa Rica Program Guide for more information and check out photos of the Pacuare Reserve and facilities here.

Where will participants be staying? What about meals and dietary needs?

The majority of the Costa Rica program takes place on the Pacuare Reserve which is a scientifically managed wildlife reserve on Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast. Home to the most important leatherback nesting beach in Costa Rica, the reserve hosts a range of scientists studying sea turtles and other rare wildlife such as the jaguar and agami heron. Fundamental to its model of community-based conservation is the belief that students and teachers must be involved in the scientific study and preservation of wild habitats. Participants will experience life as field researchers and will stay in comfortable but rustic cabins with bunk beds and shared bathrooms. All accommodations have running water, but not all accommodations have hot water or electricity.

We can usually accommodate special diets if given advance notice. If you have food restrictions, please notify us so that we can make any necessary adjustments. Feel free to also bring any snacks to supplement your meals.

What does a typical day look like for this program?

Most days participants will experience a combination of different exciting academic themes, field-work, group reflections, guest speakers, and action-packed fun outdoor activities. Highlights include:

  • Meet extraordinary resident researchers and staff from the Pacuare Reserve and learn about their lives, purpose, and passion
  • Learn about sea turtle biology, rainforest ecology, and conservation issues
  • Explore the amazing wildlife of lowland tropical ecosystems
  • Collect data from the turtle hatchery
  • Assist newborn sea turtles on their journey to the ocean
  • Please see our Costa Rica Program Guide for a more detailed sample trip itinerary.

Can participants swim during their time in Costa Rica?

Sometimes participants are surprised that we don’t do any swimming. There are strong rip tides at the beach site and crocodiles in the canals, so we like to play it safe and stay on dry land.

Is Costa Rica safe?

Costa Rica is one of the safest countries in Central America and they welcome foreigners and travelers. Costa Rica has also enacted some of the strongest safety and sanitation requirements across the globe, which they’re implementing consistently across the country.

Our travel partners at EPI have a large network and access to the best hospitals, physicians, and transportation providers. EPI has more than 20 years of safely delivering life-changing travel experiences for thousands of participants, teachers, and families in Costa Rica.

Who will participants travel with? Who will be on the trips?

Participants will travel in pods of roughly 15-18 and two Global Glimpse Leaders. Once in-country, they will be joined by two EPI Instructors who will support leading the trip. These pods will have limited exposure to outside people. The travel pods will be composed of rollover students who went through our rigorous application process in 2020 and attend a mix of different Global Glimpse partner high schools.

Do you need to be fluent in Spanish to participate?

By no means. Our program is available to participants of all language abilities. The Spanish language is very important in the US today and we encourage everyone to practice Spanish and continue their studies, but we provide translation for all activities and we do not limit participants based on language ability.

What happens if a participant needs to come home early from a trip?

We take the health and safety of all our participants very seriously and will send a participant home if the entire Health & Safety Team and Global Glimpse Leaders agree that the safety of that participant or any participant in the group is at risk.

We have a zero-tolerance policy for drinking alcohol, drugs, or abusive behavior, and participants who do not follow these rules will be sent home immediately. We will never send a participant home without speaking with their parents/guardians.

How will I get in touch with my student?

All parents/guardians will receive a safe arrival call once participants land in-country. Due to the short duration of the trip and the nature of The Reserve and mountain lodging, this is a low-tech trip. This helps participants engage in the program and be fully present. However, Global Glimpse will always have access to reach any of our participants or trip leaders on the ground in case of an emergency.


Application FAQs

Is there an application process? Can any participant apply?

Due to capacity, we are only offering the summer 2021 Costa Rica program to our 2020 rollover participants. We will ask rollover students to update their health form and we will ask all families to re-sign a participation/liability document.

My passport is or will expire before the summer, can I still travel?

All participants who will be traveling to Costa Rica need to have a passport with 6 months validity from the date of return back into the US. If you are a green card holder you must travel with it and ensure it has 6 months validity from the date of return back into the US as well.


Costa Rica Summer Program Refund FAQs

What is the refund policy if I decide to stay enrolled and travel to Costa Rica this summer?

In light of the uncertainty surrounding the ongoing COVID-19  pandemic, Global Glimpse is offering a modified refund policy for rollover students who would like to continue to stay enrolled and participate in our Costa Rica summer program:

If you decide to cancel your enrollment in a summer 2021 program prior to trip departure for any reason your program tuition payments are fully refundable minus a $50 non-refundable deposit up until the following dates.

  • Up until May 1st – You may cancel for any reason and receive a full refund minus the $50 non-refundable deposit
  • After May 1st and up until May 15th – You may cancel for any reason and receive a refund of 50% of all payments made minus the $50 deposit.
  • After May 15th – You will not receive a refund unless you qualify for the Late Cancellation Policy due to COVID-19

What if I have to cancel my trip last minute due to COVID-19?

We recognize that COVID-19 creates uncertainty around travel. Even with careful planning, an individual’s ability to participate may be impacted in the days leading up to trip departure, and we understand that in some cases a late cancellation is unavoidable. For this reason, a participant may qualify for our more flexible COVID-19 Late Cancellation Policy if they have known exposure to COVID-19 or if an institutional or government policy that restricts travel goes into effect.

  • Cancellation between May 1st and trip departure due to COVID-19: 50% refund OR a voucher valued at 100% of tuition payments made to date for Spring 2022 programs.

In order to qualify for the COVID cancellation policy, a participant must meet one of the following criteria:

1. A positive COVID-19 test result or COVID-19 symptoms accompanied by a doctor’s verification

2. Known exposure to COVID-19 that is documented by a contact tracer or requires a health department mandated quarantine

3. Proof of school, district, municipal, or state restricting travel due to COVID-19

 

If Global Glimpse cancels a program, will we get our program tuition refunded?

  • Yes, you may receive a full refund (minus the $50 deposit). However, you can also:
  • Decide to go on a later in-person program this summer (space permitting)
  • Receive a voucher valued at 100% of your tuition payments made to date for a Spring 2022 program (we will hold a program spot for you)
  • Donate part or all of your tuition payments to the Global Glimpse Endurance Fund