Application Process

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To apply for admission to DANTA's courses, please complete the followings steps in the Applicant Checklist. Please contact DANTA's office if you have any questions. Call 304-963-0954 or email conservation@danta.info We suggest that you print out this page and check the boxes as you complete each step.

Applicant Checklist

  1. Complete and submit the DANTA Application Form.
  2. Pay $100 application fee. Checks should be payable to "DANTA: Association for Conservation of the Tropics"
  3. Submit one reference, to be completed by a professor or academic advisor who is well acquainted with your academic performance.
  4. Submit a Statement of Interest. Each student is required to submit a concise, one-page statement of interest that outlines information on academic background, reason for taking the course, and the goals that you hope to achieve by taking the course.
  5. Send application and supporting materials to:
    • DANTA: Association for Conservation of the Tropics  |  304 12th Avenue W, Huntington, WV 25701-3039

Once your application is received, DANTA staff will contact you confirming the receipt of your application. It generally takes one to two weeks to review your application. Upon acceptance into our program, you must provide the following three documents. Send all of these to the address above.

1. Statement of Health:
This is a statement signed by your physician that indicates that you are in good physical health and are fit to be exposed to the rigors of a physically demanding tropical field course. If you have not had a recent physical exam, we advise that you have one prior to completing and sending this statement.

2. Certificate of Insurance:
All students must provide proof of medical insurance in order to participate in our programs. Consult your insurance carrier regarding specific coverage. Be aware that many health insurance policies have limited to no coverage outside the United States, Canada or Europe. Low cost medical and travel insurance can be purchased specifically for students traveling abroad. One such company is Student Travel Association. Be sure to bring your insurance registration forms with you to Costa Rica.

3. Liability Release Forms:
Please download the two Liability forms. The forms should be read carefully and signed by the student and spouse (if married). For liability reasons, all participants in DANTA courses MUST be 18 years of age.

Rapid Application Assessment

1. Send all application documents (completed application form, statement of interest and letter of reference) electronically to conservation@danta.info with the course title in the subject line.

2. The $100 application fee must be paid electronically via Paypal. Our account is conservation@danta.info.

Health and Safety

The health and safety of our participants (students, faculty and staff) is our number one priority. We will take every precaution to minimize risks during your stay in Costa Rica. However, as this environment is unfamiliar to most of you, you must exercise common sense and follow the safety rules of the field station at all times. These rules will be given to you the first day of the field course. We understand and respect that your parents and loved ones will be concerned for your well-being. Please provide them with contact information for Amigos de Osa.

So, is it safe for me to travel in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is a very safe place for Americans and Europeans to travel. It has the longest history of peace and democracy of any country in Latin America. Costa Rica has very close ties with the United States. In fact, several towns in Costa Rica are English-speaking because they were founded by American Quakers seeking to settle in a region of long-standing peace.

Theft is a worldwide phenomenon and, of course, also occurs in Costa Rica. Generally these crimes are non-violent. Use common sense and the same caution that you would exercise in any location where you are a tourist. Do not wear expensive jewelry, do not flash your money around, watch your belongings, and do not voice any criticisms that you may have of local facilities (this is not only an arrogant thing to do within a relatively poor nation, but is also likely to anger local people). Button or Velcro your pockets with valuables in crowded locations in order to prevent pick-pocketing. Keep your money in 2 or 3 locations and make copies of valuable documents (passports and insurance registration). Always be alert of your surroundings!


Further Preparation


Passports

You are required to have a valid passport to travel to Costa Rica. U.S and Canadian citizens do NOT need a tourist visa. This may not apply to citizens from other countries. Please check with your local travel agent or embassy for more information. It typically takes 6 - 8 weeks to obtain a passport.

Vaccinations

We highly recommend that you consult your doctor or local health care service in preparing for travel to any foreign destination. Your health care professional will check the current recommendations for your destination country and then provide the appropriate vaccines and medications for such things as malaria prophylaxis. Although the incidence of malaria is very low in Costa Rica, a prophylactic drug is recommended. Please do not use larium. Although many U.S. physicians are prescribing this drug, or its equivalent, there are serious side effects.

International Flight

Arrange your international flight through a travel agency or online travel website. Remember to shop around, as different agencies will offer deals through various carriers. The Student Travel Association is a student-based travel agency and often has inexpensive fares. Your destination is Juan Santamaria Airport in San Jose, Costa Rica. The letter acronym for this airport is SJO. Lastly, make your reservations early and inform DANTA of your travel plans!

Do I need to know Spanish?

Spanish is the official language of Costa Rica. However, all DANTA courses will be taught in English. Although knowledge of the Spanish language is not necessary for our program, you will learn much more about the local culture if you attempt to pick up a few words and phrases. If you have taken Spanish in college or high school, practice a little before coming to Costa Rica. It can only enrich your travel experience!

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