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Updated: May 12, 2020

ARCC’s Approach to Coronavirus (COVID-19) / FAQ

At ARCC, we understand that you may have concerns about the coronavirus (COVID-19) and how it might affect your enrollment on one of ARCC’s upcoming summer programs. As it has been for the past 37 summers, the safety of our students and families is the number one priority for us. Every day new information becomes available, and we are doing our very best to react accordingly in these unusual times.

As COVID-19 restrictions have begun to loosen around the world and people become more comfortable with travel, families have been reaching out to ask about joining ARCC summer programs. This interest has been reinforced by the many enrolled families who remain committed to traveling with us this summer.

Of course travel in the U.S. and around the world has changed dramatically since February. In order to responsibly offer programming, we must completely reconsider where and how we operate our programs, balancing safety, logistics and costs.

As a result, this summer ARCC is offering programs to 7 destinations departing after July 13th that we believe deliver the following:

– Safe and meaningful travel for our students and staff

– State/Country restrictions that do not impact the travel experience

– Limited exposure to local populations that might be compromised by our presence

– Reasonably priced flight options for student travel

The four domestic and three international late summer programs we are offering are:

U.S. Domestic

California: Wilderness Service and Adventure

National Parks: America’s Treasures

Pacific Northwest: Wild Adventure


Costa Rica: Cloud Forest Community Initiative

Costa Rica: Jaguar Conservation Project

Belize: Caribbean Reef Conservation

We have scrutinized all elements of these programs and adjusted them as necessary to ensure that safety for everyone, and we will continue to make adjustments as necessary.

We hope you will consider joining us for one of our late summer departures. While this summer we cannot travel everywhere we’d like, we believe we have some exciting options available to you, and we will continue to do our best to provide a safe and rewarding summer!


How is ARCC monitoring the situation?

As you might imagine, we have been continuously monitoring the ongoing situation very closely. We have longtime partners on the ground around the world and are getting updates from them almost on a daily basis. 

ARCC also receives updates from the State Department travel program, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as well as dozens of news sources. We feel we have a good grasp on the circumstances in the areas in which we operate.

What are our resources on the ground?

Everywhere ARCC operates we have a local partner, on the ground, in that country. Our partners are invaluable resources for us. They provide local knowledge, current information, logistics assistance, and access to resources normally not available to outsiders. They are well connected in their communities and act as an important safety net if an emergency occurs.

Can ARCC change an itinerary once a program has started?

Yes. We can easily make changes to an itinerary. We plan for this and embed flexibility into our programming. ARCC has been dealing with “unusual” situations for almost 40 years. We have dealt with earthquakes, volcanoes, coups, border’s closing, civil unrest, and many other unpredictable events. Our infrastructure allows us to quickly make changes to an itinerary and we have the global resources to effortlessly make these adjustments. As an example, just several days before the beginning of the most recent gap semester in Asia, we seamlessly swapped out our four week China section for a four week section in Nepal.

What is ARCC’s refund policy?

We have expanded our refund policy to allow you a 100% refund if you withdraw for any reason until June 15 (summer) or July 1 (gap).

I’m still uncomfortable. What should I do?

If you still have additional questions, please give us a call at 415-332-5075. Please know that we look at everything we do and everywhere we travel through the lens of student safety and we would be happy to share our thoughts with you.