AFAR – Chicago – CR – 2017



Oak Park River Forest

Costa Rica

Leadership, Adventure, Immersion

Expedition #1:
July 31 – Aug 15, 2017

Expedition #2
Aug 14 – 27, 2017

High School Students ages 13-19

FREE! All expenses will be covered except for souvenir money and necessary gear items (~$150-$300)

Expedition Overview

No Barriers Youth, in partnership with AFAR Media, and with support from the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation, is excited to invite you to be part of an amazing educational travel program: Learning AFAR.

No Barriers and our aforementioned partners share a similar vision: to make the life-changing power of authentic, experiential travel available to all students regardless of their economic background. No Barriers is providing nearly 100% support for a total of 20 low-income Chicago high school students and 4 educators to participate in the 2017 Learning AFAR Chicago program. We will be sending the selected students on a 14-day expedition to Costa Rica. We are seeking students of low-income backgrounds with no previous travel experience. Successful student applicants will portray academic merit and/or leadership potential and the desire to improve their lives.


-Must attend high school within Oak Park, River Forest, Austin, Cicero, Berwyn, Forest Park, and Maywood districts.

-Must be a high school student age 13-19 (preference will be given to freshman – ongoing juniors)

-No previous travel experience (scholarships are reserved for students who have never traveled internationally and have had limited domestic travel opportunities)

-To qualify for this program, household income must be at or below these levels for the number of persons in the household:

2 person family: $31,860
3 person family: $35,157.50
4 person family: $42,437.50
5 person family: $42, 615
6 person family: $48,855
7 person family: $55,095
8 person or more family: $55,201

– Academic standing of GPA higher than 2.5

– Ideal participants demonstrate leadership skills and potential, academic merit, an interest in pursuing education outside of the classroom, and an interest in the natural world


Educator Deadline: Closed

Educator Application Available Here

Student Deadline: Closed

Student Application Available Here

*The Learning AFAR applications must be submitted online. If you need a paper copy, please contact to request one.

View Flyer & Itinerary

I would like to say ‘Thank you No Barriers Youth!’ for organizing everything for this amazing trip. I will definitely remember this trip to India for the rest of my life.

Eric B., Student

Getting immersed in the culture of India and getting to know and love the children was the greatest. When the students would cling to me at the end of class, and tell me how much they enjoyed having me there was heartbreaking.

Rachel W., Student

We are so grateful to you for helping give our daughter her wings to fly!

Kim M., Parent

There is so much life, happening all the time. It's crazy to think that, after only three weeks, I feel like I've become accustomed to so much of how the world move.

Saul S., Student