Docstoc

cr_travel_newsletter

Document Sample
cr_travel_newsletter Powered By Docstoc
					Travel
Newsletter
Costa Rica Semester 1 2011
                                                                                                                                                          January 7, 2011


Contents                                                                                                        Checking In for Your Flight
Last-Minute Reminders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1                      You should plan to arrive at the airport three hours before
Checking In for Your Flight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1                      your international flight. This should allow you enough time
Running Late? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1            to check in, go through security and make it to your gate.
Baggage and Backpacks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2
Packing Your Carry-on Bag . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2                        You must check in for your flight. Otherwise, the airline can
Security Check . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2             give your seat to someone else.
Host Family Packing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2                  Ask if your domestic carrier has an agreement with your
In-flight Comfort . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3              international carrier. If so, the domestic airline may be able
Customs Forms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3              to check your bags all the way through to your final desti-
Clearing Customs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3               nation. If your bags can’t be checked through to your final
Lost Luggage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3           destination, you’ll have to leave the gate area, claim your
Currency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3       luggage, check your luggage and get a boarding pass at the
Phone Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3             international airline desk in the check-in area, then go
Hotels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3   through security to re-enter the gate area.
Getting to Orientation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
Luggage Storage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4                Get to the gate in plenty of time so you don’t miss your
Last-Minute Tips and Suggestions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4                               flight.
Contact Us . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
Orientation Packing List . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5                     Running Late?
Updated Program Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6                           If you are running more than an hour late and it looks like
                                                                                                                you might miss a flight, you'll need to make alternate travel
                                                                                                                arrangements and then call IFSA-Butler to let us know.
Last-Minute Reminders
Before you get on a plane, make sure you have your pass-                                                        You must call us at 800-858-0229 to let us know about your
port and acceptance letter from your host university with pro-                                                  change in plans. We will then inform our IFSA-Butler office in
gram dates. If you don’t have your passport with you, immi-                                                     Costa Rica of any delays on your behalf.
gration will turn you away at the airport.
                                                                                                                Be sure to leave your name, location, airline, old flight num-
You may need to show your acceptance letter from UNA                                                            bers, new flight numbers, and departure and arrival times.
with program dates at the airline counter to confirm your                                                       Also include the name, number and room of the hotel if you
return date.                                                                                                    have to stay overnight. Then call your parents to let them
                                                                                                                know about your flight change.
Make sure you have paid your program fee and/or taken
care of your financial aid. We can’t place you in housing if                                                    We monitor messages on flight days, so if no one answers
your program fee isn’t paid.                                                                                    the phone, leave a message. Be sure to call IFSA-Butler on
                                                                                                                our general line at 800-858-0229 to ensure that the correct
Send in your travel notification form if you haven’t already                                                    person gets the message. Please do not leave a message
done so. We need to know when to expect you so that we                                                          about travel problems on your program advisor’s voicemail
have a way to track you down if you don’t turn up on time.                                                      or e-mail.
If you miss a flight or change your plans, call IFSA-Butler at
800-858-0229 and let us know.
Costa Rica Travel Newsletter                                                                                                    2

Baggage and Backpacks                                            •   Metal knitting needles (plastic needles are acceptable)
Check with your airline to ensure that you have not packed       •   Lighters
more than your baggage allowance. Most airlines allow two        •   Metal scissors (plastic scissors are acceptable)
checked bags and one carry-on.                                   •   Baseball or softball bats
                                                                 •   Golf clubs
If you exceed these limits, the airline can require you to buy   •   Pool cues
new luggage and repack right there in the airport. Do not        •   Ski poles
overpack. You may be required to pay a fee for extra or          •   Hockey sticks
oversized luggage.
                                                                 You can get the most up-to-date list of prohibited items
Do not lock your luggage. If your bag is searched, officers      from the Transportation Security Administration website at
may cut the lock off, damaging your bag in the process. If       www.tsa.gov (click on “Travelers and Consumers” and then
you use a lock, make sure it is Transportation Security          on “Air Travel”).
Administration-approved in order to lessen damages to
your luggage.                                                    Airports have implemented very stringent security meas-
                                                                 ures and any items described above will be confiscated and
We recommend that you do not bring sports equipment              not returned. Remember that metal objects, even pocket
such as bikes or surfboards. If you feel you must bring your     change and pen caps, can set off the airport’s security
own, contact your international and domestic carrier for         alarms.
additional baggage fees.
                                                                 All carry-ons are subject to inspections. You may bring an
                                                                 umbrella on board, but only if it has been inspected at the
Packing Your Carry-on Bag                                        airport. If you need to take a syringe and/or injections on
Did you pack:                                                    the airplane, you must have documented proof of medical
• Your passport                                                  need.
• Your tickets or e-ticket confirmation
• Preparing to Study Abroad Costa Rica                           If you intend to bring a laptop computer, iPod or a hand-
• This newsletter and the acceptance letter from the host        held electronic game, follow your airline’s instructions for
   university                                                    use.
• List of contact names, addresses, phone numbers, fax
   numbers and e-mail for:                                       Security Check
   • Academic advisor at your home college
                                                                 Security is likely to be tight at all airports. Do not joke about
   • Study abroad advisor at your home college
                                                                 hijacking, weapons or explosives—you can be arrested on
   • Parents
                                                                 the spot and sent to jail. Be patient and cooperative with all
   • Relatives
                                                                 airport personnel.
• Academic documents
   • Updated transcript (it’s useful during registration)        You may be required to turn on electronic equipment to
   • Course descriptions from home college                       prove that it works. Be sure that your equipment is fully
   • Rules of transfer credit from home college                  charged and include the power cord and/or batteries in
• Letter/statement from your physician or counselor if you       your carry-on.
   have special needs for assessment or learning
                                                                 Host Family Packing
You might also want to bring:
• Travel-size toiletries that meet airline specifica-            You might want to pack a small gift for your host family.
   tions/restrictions (i.e., liquids in containers no larger     Past students have found that chocolates, professional
   than 3.3 ounces, all sealed in a clear, quart-size plastic    sports goods, calendars and products from their home
   bag).                                                         regions all make good gifts.
• Something to read                                              You’re likely to meet a lot of children in Costa Rica (whether
• Something to listen to                                         in your family or in the neighborhood), so you might want
• Spare clothes in case your luggage is lost                     to bring some small toys or games (coloring books, crayons,
   (it happens all the time)                                     etc.).
• Any medications and prescriptions
• Your spare glasses or contacts                                 Remember, you will have two host families, one for orienta-
• Snacks                                                         tion in Monteverde and your regular host family in Heredia.
• Camera
According to FAA regulations, you are not allowed to bring
in your carry-on the following items:
• Knives (including pocket knives)
• Cutting instruments of any kind
Costa Rica Travel Newsletter                                                                                                      3

In-flight Comfort                                                    (Your Name)
For comfort during the flight, wear loose-fitting clothes and        c/o Teresita Camacho Víquez
comfortable shoes. Your feet might swell during the flight.          Programa IFSA-Butler
You’ll probably find that the cabin feels cold, so don’t give        Universidad Nacional
away your blanket.                                                   Hotel Bougainvillea
                                                                     San Luis de Santo Domingo
                                                                     Heredia
Customs Forms                                                        Costa Rica
As your plane descends into Costa Rica, your flight atten-
dants will hand out a few forms with customs and agricul-         If your luggage is scheduled to arrive after noon the next
tural declarations (declaraciones). They limit the amount of      day, give this address:
alcohol and cigarettes that you can bring into the country.           c/o Teresita Camacho Víquez
Do not bring explosives or flammable fluids. Remove the               Programa IFSA-Butler
price tags and wrappings from any new purchases; you                  Universidad Nacional
don’t want to pay customs charges on new items.                       Instituto Monteverde
                                                                      Puntarenas
If you have a question about declaring goods, declare                 Costa Rica
them. It’s not a problem to declare something you don’t
have to. However, if you neglect to declare something cus-        You can call:
toms considers dangerous to agriculture or against the law,       8888-2600         IFSA-Butler Costa Rica cell phone
they may fine, deport or imprison you.
                                                                  Please note the airline may charge approximately $100 to
                                                                  deliver your luggage to Monteverde.
Clearing Customs
When you go through customs, the officials will ask the           Currency
purpose of your visit. Tell them that you are a student from      You can exchange currency at the airport. If you arrive late
Universidad Nacional and present your passport and                at night or on a weekend, you should definitely exchange a
declaraciones (from the airplane). They may also ask to see       small amount of your currency at the airport. Banks give a
the acceptance letter from your host university, so have it       better rate of exchange, but they are not open on week-
with you also.                                                    ends or holidays. You can also exchange money at the ori-
If you are bringing any prescription medications with you,        entation hotel for a fairly reasonable rate. See Preparing to
bring your doctor’s prescription and have it ready to show        Study Abroad Costa Rica for more information about
to the customs officers. Usually officials don’t ask about        exchanging money.
medicines, but have the prescription ready just in case.
                                                                  Phone Home
Passing through customs is usually a quick procedure, and
                                                                  Call home as soon as you get to Costa Rica. Your family will be
our students have never had serious trouble getting
                                                                  worried about you. Check with your long-distance carrier
through. We recommend you dress casually but conserva-
                                                                  for instructions on calling home from Costa Rica (and any-
tively (don’t wear shorts or miniskirts), blend in with the
                                                                  where else you plan to travel) before you leave. You can also
crowd and be as cooperative as possible.
                                                                  purchase calling cards at the orientation hotel when you
If the official asks for your address, give him or her the        arrive.
address of our orientation venue:
                                                                  Let your parents know that you’ll be very busy during ori-
     c/o Teresita Camacho Víquez
                                                                  entation and might not call during that time. We will con-
     Programa IFSA-Butler
                                                                  tact them if any emergencies arise, but it’s likely you won’t
     Universidad Nacional
                                                                  have time to call. You can call the United States collect by
     Centro Comercial Plaza Heredia
                                                                  dialing 001 or 116 (with the assistance of an operator).
     Junto a la biblioteca Tierra y Mar
     Heredia, Costa Rica
                                                                  Hotels
Lost Luggage                                                      If you arrive before the program start date, you’ll need to
If your luggage doesn’t come out of the carousel, see the         make hotel or hostel arrangements. Check your Lonely
airport officials to file a lost luggage claim before you leave   Planet or Rough Guide travel guide for information about
the customs area.                                                 hotels and hostels.
If your luggage is scheduled to arrive before noon the next
day, give the following address:
Costa Rica Travel Newsletter                                                                                                  4
In Heredia, we recommend the Hotel Bougainvillea:                  Luggage Storage
    Apartado 11-3100                                               IFSA-Butler does not have luggage storage facilities. If you
    Santo Domingo                                                  plan to arrive in Costa Rica before orientation, you are
    Toll free from U.S. and Canada: 1-866-880-5441                 responsible for finding accommodation and luggage stor-
    Phone from U.S.: 011-506-2244-1414                             age. Remember, neither IFSA-Butler nor your host family
    Fax from U.S.: 011-506-2244-1313                               can store luggage for anyone who arrives before the first
    E-mail: info@hb.co.cr                                          day of orientation. If you arrive in San José before noon on
    Website: www.hb.co.cr.                                         your program start date, the hotel can watch your luggage
                                                                   until time to check in.
Getting to Orientation
All students must arrive at the Hotel Bougainvillea on your        Last-Minute Tips and Suggestions
program start date (see your program calendar). Check-in           •   Sign up for frequent flyer miles.
begins after noon. See “Hotels” above. You will share a room       •   Reread the host family and health insurance sections of
with two other students chosen at random (two double                   Preparing to Study Abroad Costa Rica.
beds per room). All students will need to pick up an infor-        •   Photocopy your passport and tickets and give a copy to
mation sheet at the hotel reception desk.                              your parents.
Tell the hotel staff member, “Estoy con el grupo de la UNA.”       •   Bring your authenticated background check and birth
Orientation starts with a welcome breakfast at the hotel at 8          certificate with you; otherwise you cannot register at
a.m. the following morning.                                            the university.
                                                                   •   Give your parents the numbers of your credit cards and
You are responsible for making your own way to the hotel;              traveler’s checks in case they are lost or stolen. Keep a
IFSA-Butler staff cannot meet you at the airport.                      copy of your bank information with you.
                                                                   •   Plan to try new things, taste new foods, and go where
From Juan Santamaría Airport, Alajuela (main international
airport for anyone who flies to San José): Take a taxi from the
                                                                       you never expected to go.
airport to Hotel Bougainvillea. The taxi company name is           •   Buy a travel guide or rent a video of Costa Rica.
Taxis Unidos del Aeropuerto Juan Santamaría, and the taxis         •   Visit La Nación newspaper online at www.nacion.com.
are red. The drive will take approximately 20 to 30 minutes.       •   Read something about Costa Rica before you leave
Tell the driver, “Necesito ir al Hotel Bougainvillea en San Luis       (see page 78 of Preparing to Study Abroad Costa Rica for
de Santo Domingo.” The cost should be around US$22                     suggestions).
(11500 colones). If the driver helps with your bags, you
should tip him US$1–$2. You can contact Taxis Unidos at            Questions? Call us at 800-858-0229, send an e-
2222-6865. For hotel information, see “Hotels” above.              mail to ifsapilas@ifsa-butler.org or check our
                                                                   website: www.ifsa-butler.org.
Orientation
Packing List
Costa Rica Semester 1 2011
Orientation in Costa Rica is a mix of informational meetings, Spanish classes and fun activities. The first part of orientation for
UNA students will take place in Monteverde and the second part in Heredia.
The Monteverde community is located within walking distance of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. This means that
Monteverde can be cold, rainy and windy, even in the summer. The temperature can vary from 59°F to 76°F. Bring an umbrella,
raincoat and clothes that can withstand rain and mud. We suggest you bring clothing you can layer in order to dress for a variety
of weather conditions. Additionally, some roads are not paved and several do not have street lights, so don’t forget your flash-
light!
Keep in mind that orientation in Monteverde consists of various outdoor activities: hiking, horseback riding and walking tours of
nearby communities. Therefore, you should bring shoes and clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty or wet. Don’t forget your
house slippers or indoor sandals because your host family will request that you leave your muddy shoes at the door.
Pack everything you’ll need at orientation into one bag. Students will store their other bag in Heredia at the Hotel Bougainvillea
for the duration of orientation in Monteverde. Luggage will be retrieved upon return to Heredia. Please keep in mind that the
hotel will not store and is not accountable for your laptop computer. If you choose to leave your laptop in Heredia, be sure it is
locked in your suitcase. The hotel is not accountable for damage or theft of property. For more information on packing for the
semester, see page 37 in Preparing to Study Abroad Costa Rica.


Clothes                                                                 •   Umbrella
•   Shorts                                                              •   Sunscreen (SPF 45 or higher)
•   Jeans/khakis                                                        •   Insect repellent (DEET is recommended by the CDC;
•   T-shirts, long sleeve T-shirt and sweatshirt                            make sure you are not allergic to this product)
•   Underwear                                                           •   Basic first-aid kit (band-aids, antiseptic ointment, mole-
•   Warm pajamas and house slippers                                         skin for blisters, aloe vera gel for sunburns, pain reliever,
•   Sun hat                                                                 Lotomil or Immodium, etc.)
•   Waterproof tennis shoes or hiking boots                             •   Flashlight and batteries for night walks
•   Sandals                                                             •   Extra batteries for camera and flashlight
•   Swimsuit/trunks                                                     •   Water bottle
•   Socks (not heavy, thick ones)                                       •   Notebook and pens or pencils
•   Bath towel and hand towel                                           •   Travel alarm or watch with alarm
•   Rain coat                                                           •   Ziploc plastic bags for storing lotions and food
                                                                        •   Sandals or shoes for indoors
Other                                                                   •   Spanish/English dictionary and grammar book
•   Tickets and passport. Keep these on your person! Do                 •   Sunglasses
    not pack them in your luggage. (Be sure to leave a copy
    at home and pack a copy in the bag that’s being stored              Optional Items
    during orientation.)                                                •   Camera
•   Prescription medications (many prescription drugs avail-            •   Guide to Birds in Costa Rica (less expensive in the U.S.)
    able in the United States are difficult to find in Costa            •   Washcloth
    Rica.)                                                              •   Swiss army knife (pack it in your checked luggage; if you
•   Backpack large enough for lunch, water bottle, rain gear,               try to carry it on the plane, security will confiscate it.)
    extra layer of clothing, camera, and binoculars                     •   Paperback book (you can trade it later in book
•   Personal toiletries (shampoo, soap, toothpaste, tampons,                exchanges)
    etc.)                                                               •   Small binoculars
•   Contact lens solution, glasses and lens prescription for            •   Rubber boots
    students who wear contacts
•   Extra pair of glasses and prescription for students who
    wear glasses
Program
Calendar
Costa Rica Semester 1 2011

                                                Universidad Nacional
Costa Rica Arrival*/Program Starts              January 23
IFSA-Butler Orientation and Intensive
  Spanish Classes in Monteverde                 January 24-30
Return to Heredia                               January 30
Orientation in Heredia                          January 31-February 4
UNA Registration                                January 31
Semester 1 Classes Begin                        February 7
Semester 1 Classes End                          June 10
Final Exams                                     June 13-17
Last Day of Paid Housing                        June 17
Program Ends                                    June 18




* All students must arrive in San José on this date.

These dates are correct as of December 1, 2010, but must be regarded as provisional, given the mutability of Costa Rican university
calendars.

Upon arrival at the overseas host institution, students should check the program end dates for changes before confirming return travel plans.
End dates vary from department to department, and students must complete all course obligations prior to departure. In addition, students
should not make plans to travel on the final day of exams since there may be exams on that day.

Program housing is available only until the date listed as “Last Day of Paid Housing” on the calendar.

Exams must be taken where and when scheduled. Under no circumstances may students request that an exam time be changed. In Costa
Rica, exams are taken under formal examination conditions, and changes cannot be made for individuals.

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:19
posted:9/6/2012
language:Latin
pages:6