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Whether it’s a question about airfare for your school group, curiosities about instructor certifications and training, or concerns about traveling alone for the first time, EPI is here to help. 

General

How do I know if EPI is right for me?


EPI programs place a strong emphasis on science, adventure, and the great outdoors. These are academic programs. If you like to learn, if you're curious and open-minded, if you're willing to try something new, then these programs will be a good fit. Look through the Why EPI pages and the Travel Programs pages for more detailed information. If you're having a hard time deciding, or want to hear more about a specific course, don't hesitate to get in touch. We're happy to help.




What does a typical day look like?


There's a lot of variety to the days on an EPI program. That being said, most days will include some amount of data collection or conservation service. There will definitely be some 'classroom time', but our classrooms are usually outside, and there will also be some time for hiking or snorkeling or exploring. The days are full, but fun!




Can I get credit for my program?


Yes! Regardless of whether you're a high school or college student, a Professional Development participant, or a teacher chaperoning one of our courses, there is undergraduate and graduate credit available through our partnerships with Hamline University and the University of Montana.




How old are most students?


EPI runs Travel Programs for middle school, high school, and college-aged students and Professional Development programs for all teachers and non-traditional educators.




EPI is a non-profit, is my tuition tax-deductible?


No. Because you'll receive a service (a travel program) your tuition is not tax-deductable. If you decide to support a local student, however, you'll receive a letter of proof for your donation.




Does EPI offer financial aid?


Yes! EPI offers need-based student financial aid. Awards typically range from $300-600, so it won't cover the full cost of the program, but it can help offset it. The financial aid application can be found here. If you're a school chaperone or travel organizer, you should also know about our Shool Grant Program which can provide up to $8000 toward group travel during our low seaons.





 

Risk Management

What does my tuition cover?


EPI's Program Fees cover all on-the-ground expenses, including food, lodging, transportation, and all activities and park entrance fees. Tuition does not cover additional spending money, baggage fees, or food in the airports on travel days. In some cases, tuition will also cover the cost of flights, but this is not always the case. Please see the Airfare section below for more information, or contact us for airfare details.




Is there a payment plan?


Payment for most EPI programs occurs on the following timeline:

  • A $250 deposit upon enrollment
  • A $750 tuition deposit 6 months prior to departure
  • Final tuition balance due 2 months prior to departure.
So long as those deposit deadlines are met, participants are free to submit payments on any installment that they wish.




What immunizations are required?


Immunizations are not required for travel to any of EPI's program sites. We recommend that travelers meet with their personal physicians to discuss non-required vaccinations.




What is your cancellation policy?


You can find EPI's Terms & Conditions, including the cancellation policy, here.




Do participants need travel insurance?


Although it is not required for participation, EPI highly recommends securing travel insurance for its programs. EPI works with World Nomads as a travel insurance provider, but there are many providers that offer sufficient coverage. You can get a quote from World Nomads here.




What travel documentation is required?


For international programs, participants must have a current passport that is valid for 6 months after return from the program site. Additionally, any students under the age of 18 must carry with them the original, signed & notarized copy of the International Travel Minor Travel Letter, which is provided in EPI's course paperwork. Our operating locales do not require visas for US citizens. EPI advises participants who are not US citizens to check the visa and travel requirements for the country of destination. EPI is not responsible for securing visas required for travel.





Administrative

What does my tuition cover?


EPI's Program Fees cover all on-the-ground expenses, including food, lodging, transportation, and all activities and park entrance fees. Tuition does not cover additional spending money, baggage fees, or food in the airports on travel days. In some cases, tuition will also cover the cost of flights, but this is not always the case. Please see the Airfare section below for more information, or contact us for airfare details.




Is there a payment plan?


Payment for most EPI programs occurs on the following timeline:

  • A $250 deposit upon enrollment
  • A $750 tuition deposit 6 months prior to departure
  • Final tuition balance due 2 months prior to departure.
So long as those deposit deadlines are met, participants are free to submit payments on any installment that they wish.




What immunizations are required?


Immunizations are not required for travel to any of EPI's program sites. We recommend that travelers meet with their personal physicians to discuss non-required vaccinations.




What is your cancellation policy?


You can find EPI's Terms & Conditions, including the cancellation policy, here.




Do participants need travel insurance?


Although it is not required for participation, EPI highly recommends securing travel insurance for its programs. EPI works with World Nomads as a travel insurance provider, but there are many providers that offer sufficient coverage. You can get a quote from World Nomads here.




What travel documentation is required?


For international programs, participants must have a current passport that is valid for 6 months after return from the program site. Additionally, any students under the age of 18 must carry with them the original, signed & notarized copy of the International Travel Minor Travel Letter, which is provided in EPI's course paperwork. Our operating locales do not require visas for US citizens. EPI advises participants who are not US citizens to check the visa and travel requirements for the country of destination. EPI is not responsible for securing visas required for travel.





Airfare

Do chaperones travel free?


On our group travel programs, one chaperone travels for free with every six participants. The exception is the Galapagos, where the first chaperones need a minimum of nine participants to travel free.




Is there a minimum number of students? What about for a private course?


Similarly, all of our group travel programs require a minimum of six paying participants, except for the Galapagos, which requires nine. To ensure a private course, groups need a minimum of 12 paying participants. Otherwise, EPI may look to combine you with other small groups.




How does payment collection work?


For group travel, we can set up payment in a way that works best for you and your group. EPI is happy to collect payments directly from participants and families, or we can work with you or your travel administrators to collect payment from the school.




Who collects all the paperwork?


EPI works directly with families to make sure that they complete and submit all paperwork required for travel.





For Chaperones

Do chaperones travel free?


On our group travel programs, one chaperone travels for free with every six participants. The exception is the Galapagos, where the first chaperones need a minimum of nine participants to travel free.




Is there a minimum number of students? What about for a private course?


Similarly, all of our group travel programs require a minimum of six paying participants, except for the Galapagos, which requires nine. To ensure a private course, groups need a minimum of 12 paying participants. Otherwise, EPI may look to combine you with other small groups.




How does payment collection work?


For group travel, we can set up payment in a way that works best for you and your group. EPI is happy to collect payments directly from participants and families, or we can work with you or your travel administrators to collect payment from the school.




Who collects all the paperwork?


EPI works directly with families to make sure that they complete and submit all paperwork required for travel.





More Questions? 

 

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Ecology Project International

315 S. 4th Street. E.

Missoula, MT 59801

P 406.721.8784

F 406.721.7060

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Ecology Project International (EPI) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization © 2020