Logistics


Flights
Each of our groups flies together on a group flight from New York. Loop Abroad staff will be at the airport to help greet students, introduce them to their group, and prepare them for the flight!

You will be expected to get to the airport at least 2 hours before our flight departs. If you are coming from far away and our flight leaves early in the morning, that may require an overnight stay in the airport area. If that is the case, we will help to put students in touch with one another so that they can share rooms, and will put a Loop Abroad staff member at an area hotel so students can check in if they have any problems.

The cost of the flight is not included in your tuition. We estimate this cost to be around $2,000. We will reserve a group flight, and then we will provide you and your parents with the flight information. You will then go online or call and book the flight directly from the booking agent. You can pay for your flight by credit card.

Passport
You must have a passport to travel internationally. If you are a US citizen, you will not need to pre-arrange a visa. You simply need a passport that is valid for at least six months AFTER your trip ends. You do not need a passport to apply for a program, but you do need it to participate in a program. Once you have enrolled, you can apply for a passport at your local Post Office.

If you are a citizen of another country, it is your responsibility to secure any required visas. If you have a greencard, you must present both your passport and your greencard at time of travel.


Vaccines
There are no vaccines required for our programs. We suggest that our students meet with a travel doctor before their program to decide which vaccines, if any, would be best for them. Most travelers have up-to-date tetanus and hepatitis vaccines. Most travel doctors will not prescribe an anti-malarial for travel to Chiang Mai, as it is not a malaria zone.

Meals
We provide all your meals during the program (some exceptions for Young Adult Veterinary Service and Vet School Veterinary Service). We also provide bottled water at meals, and filtered water in all living spaces so that you can refill your water bottle whenever needed. You will have ample opportunities to purchase snacks and non-water drinks with your own money if you so choose.

Breakfast most days consists of Western staples like cereal, milk, juice, coffee, tea, toast, butter, jam, peanut butter, fruit, eggs, bacon, and yogurt.

In Chiang Mai, lunches and dinners will be eaten at local restaurants. The offerings will be primarily Thai. Thai food has many spicy and very unique options, but it also has plenty of non-spicy, simple options that will appeal to picky eaters. We will eat some meals at Western restaurants. Some dinners will be eaten in the market, where you’ll be given money to purchase dinner and can find anything from fried chicken to chocolate waffles to corn on the cob.

At the Elephant Nature Park, lunch and dinner are served buffet-style and include many Thai and Western options. Even picky eaters will not go hungry. All the food at the ENP is vegetarian. A typical lunch offers a salad bar, fresh tropical fruit, soup, white rice, fried rice, four or five noodle dishes, a few curries, French fries, spaghetti with red sauce, and numerous other dishes. Student who are very picky eaters may want to bring a box of protein bars, granola bars, or a similar packaged snack for their week at ENP.

Meals at Feracare in South Africa will be cooked for the group. South African cuisine is not spicy and is very similar to American food. Meat and vegetarian options are available.

We can easily accommodate vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free diets. We can provide kosher meals from the local Chabad house for a small kosher supplement. If you have concerns about dietary restrictions, please email or call us.

Money
All your housing, meals, activities, and transportation in Thailand are included in your tuition (exceptions for Vet School Veterinary Service and Young Adult Veterinary Service). You could bring no spending money at all and participate in everything on the trip. However, students generally choose to bring spending money so that they can buy smoothies, snacks, souvenirs, postcards, tee shirts, and other extra. Students spend an average of $240 on a two-week program, primarily on LOTS of souvenirs.


Alida playing Chinese jumprope

Packing
Packing for one of our programs is almost identical to packing for summer camp. You will need sun screen, bug spray, and some tee shirts and shorts that can get dirty. You do not need any special supplies for travel to Thailand. We will provide you with a detailed suggested packing list.

You can bring a large backpack, but you are also welcome to bring a large wheeled suitcase instead. You will not be moving your bag around very much, so the actual bag you use doesn’t really matter. We ask that you limit yourself to one checked bag and one carry-on.

Housing
When in Chiang Mai, we stayat Spicy Thai Backpackers Hostel or Eco Resort, depending on your program dates. Either option has air-conditioned dorms with bunk beds (rooms are separated by gender) with shared bathrooms and wifi. Staff will be available to students 24 hours a day. There is plenty of space to relax alone or in groups in common areas.

At the Elephant Nature Park, you will share a room with 1 or 2 other students of your same gender. Each student will have his or her own bed. The rooms are simple, with wooden walls, windows, fans, and mosquito nets. Bathrooms are shared, and most of them have only cold showers.

On Koh Tao, we will stay at or near New Heaven, and students will share a room with 1 student of the same gender. Rooms may have air conditioning or fan. Students may have twin beds or a shared double bed. Wifi is available.

In South Africa, we stay at Feracare, where students will stay in small chalets with 1 or 2 other students of the same gender. Each student will have his or her own bed. There is wifi in each chalet.