Students are required to book their own travel from their home to the Project meeting location. In our detailed Logistics letter, mailed to students about ten weeks prior to the start of their Project, we will provide details on the project meeting location (usually the arrival airport—especially for international projects), along with instructions on how to meet up with the instructor and the student team. Our domestic projects often meet at a youth hostel or similar location, and again, instructions are provided in our logistical packet on where to meet and how to get there. It is very important that students arrive at the meeting location on time. In some cases, we will recommend that the students arrive the evening before, stay in a designated youth hostel, and meet with the team early the next morning. All our travel and meeting information is provided in detail in our logistics packet, emailed to each student approximately ten weeks in advance of the project start date. We are happy to include parents in this email, and if you would like a copy of the Logistics letter, please just let us know.
With all of our projects, we recommend that your student book their travel plans with STA Travel, our preferred travel agent. STA Travel is a student travel agency that is very familiar with our projects and travel requirements. We recommend STA Travel particularly because they have contracts with airlines for student fares, and special arrangements with the airline for flight or date changes with a very small penalty (usually $50 to change your flight), so if your student decides to travel after the project, or needs to return home quickly, STA Travel can work with them even while they are on the project. In addition, STA Travel can provide many other services, such as travel insurance that is required for our international programs. We provide detail about travel and meeting times, and travel insurance, for specific projects in the logistics letter that is emailed to each student approximately ten weeks in advance of the project.
Regardless of how your student’s travel is purchased, Wildlands Studies is not responsible for reimbursing travel expenses, non-refundable airline tickets or other penalties that are incurred as a result of any program cancellation or rescheduling. We always ask students to wait to make any flight reservations or travel arrangements until they have received our Logistics email. We also strongly recommend choosing refundable flights when possible, and purchasing travel insurance that will cover those rare incidences.
Many students choose to travel before or after our projects, either by themselves or with friends they have made on the project. Students who choose to travel on their own before or after a Wildlands Studies Project do so at their own risk. Our instructors will escort students to the airport on the last day of the project, or depart from them at the final accommodation location on the last day if the student is staying on. Once our instructor has departed at the termination of the project, it is important to note that each student is responsible for themselves.
For international travel, students need a current passport that does not expire until six months after their departure from the host country. Wildlands Studies will ask for a student’s passport information during the application process (for an international program), including name on the passport, passport number, date of issue, and date of expiration. Many countries require this information for reservations. In addition, Wildlands Studies often registers students with the Department of Security/US Embassy in the country of travel. For this, we need the student’s passport details.
Wildlands Studies always recommends that each student make copies of their passport information to leave at home with a family member, and that they scan the passport details in an email to themselves. This makes it much easier to replace their passport should they lose it while on the project and need to have it replaced.
Many of the countries where Wildlands Studies projects are held require entry visas. We do not use student visas as they require a direct association and formal relationship with a university abroad. Wildlands Studies is an educational partner with a US-based university, Western Washington University, and is not formally hosted by a university abroad. For this reason, we use tourist visas for our international projects. Students are responsible for obtaining the correct visa before departure. Instructions will be sent to students in the Logistics letter for their project approximately ten weeks in advance of the project start date. When applying for their tourist visa, students should request and receive enough time for their entire stay, especially if they plan to travel before or after the project.