It's great to hear you're interested in our programs. Here’s what to do next:
After completing this short form, we will reach out to you with all the information needed to complete the application form, pay the application fee, and schedule an informal interview call. This application fee is included in the overall program cost and will be refunded if you are not accepted onto the program.
*Mid Teen applicants: Once you have applied, your application will be reviewed and you will receive an acceptance email requiring a deposit to confirm your place on program. Sometimes we require a bit more information and an informal interview will be completed prior to formal acceptance.
Applications are accepted all year round. We will continue to accept and process new applications on a rolling basis until we fill the programs. Once a program is full, students can be placed on a waiting list or be offered a space on a different program if desired.
If you have any questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1800-655-3415. We're here to help!
Questions? Email us at email@example.com or call 1800-655-3415.
You may be eligible for a payment plan - ask us about this when you interview or during your application process.
A completed application and $500 application fee is required to apply to a Pacific Discovery program. If you are not accepted onto a program, your application fee will be refunded in full.
After submitting a program application, students have 7 days to complete their application interview unless they are applying for a Mid Teen program. Mid Teen applicants will be accepted to the program after their application is reviewed and the deposit has been made for the program. Sometimes we require a bit more information and an informal interview will be completed prior to formal acceptance.
After the interview, Pacific Discovery may offer an applicant a position on a program. In order to accept this position, the applicant must pay 50% of their total program balance provided that it's earlier than 90 days from departure.
$1,500 of this balance amount is non-refundable unless Pacific Discovery cancels the program.
Once an applicant has been accepted, they will receive additional pre-program information, including gear list and further information about the program.
Any student who does not send on the required documentation required to book visas/insurance etc 90 days prior to departure, and flights 60 days prior to departure, will incur a $150 administration fee. Any student booking later than 60 days prior to departure will need to get their documentation to their admissions director within 48 hours of admission to their program.
The full program balance is due 90 days prior to departure. Applications submitted within 90 days of departure will have the full payment due immediately. The deadline for submitting an application is 3 weeks prior to program departure.
Pacific Discovery reserves the right to decline applicants who are deemed not to be a good fit for the program. We do our best to accommodate all students, however we do have to balance our program goals for the majority of the group vs applicants who may require more support from the program instructors. Pacific Discovery believes in making its experiential programs as accessible as possible and does not discriminate by gender, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexuality, or ability. We refer all applicants to our Essential Eligibility Criteria prior to applying.
Not included are personal expenses such as passport fees, visas, medical and vaccination expenses, snacks outside of the 3 meals a day (unless Mid Teen program), Covid tests, laundry, email, health and travel insurance, phone calls, etc. The cost of international and regional flights is not included in the tuition price unless specified.
All students are responsible for arranging flights to program start and home from program finish. We provide clear information to assist in booking flights. We refer students to a travel agency who have all program details and who will do their utmost to ensure participants are flying with others in their group. There is no compulsion to use this agency. We only offer this referral to simplify arrangements for families.
Prior to program departure, students and families are sent clear program arrival information and instructions. Program Instructors meet students at the airport upon arrival.
For Mid Teen Students: You have the choice to meet your group at a hub city where one of your instructors will meet the group and travel together to the program start, as well as back to the hub city once the program ends. Flights to and from the hub city airport from your residence are not chaperoned by an instructor.
If you decide to cancel your participation in a 2023/2024 program, the following fees apply at the time (prior to departure) we receive written notice of your cancellation:
Students sent home early, or who choose to leave for any reason, including sickness, personal emergencies or injury, will be responsible for all medical costs, and travel costs related to their early departure.
We acknowledge that planning your gap year often has to be planned around your college applications which is why we wanted to provide a bit of reassurance for students waiting on their confirmed deferral. If you are planning on taking a gap year but are still waiting to get confirmation of your deferral from your chosen University or College then we want to provide peace of mind that you can confirm your place on the program while you wait. We will provide a full refund for up to 2 students on each program who are waiting to get confirmation of their college deferral. If you would like to be chosen for this policy then you need to send a formal email requesting consideration and receive approval from a member of the admission team. In order to be eligible for this policy, you must have submitted your deferral application to your chosen college. We will provide a full refund for approved students up until 75 days prior to program departure with an official letter of your deferral being declined from your chosen college or University. This allows students to confirm their place on their chosen program prior to having their deferral confirmed and allows them to receive a full refund if that deferral is denied.
Travel Insurance, Medical and Evacuation Expenses
Travel insurance is compulsory for all program participants. Your travel insurance must provide cover for emergency medical evacuation, medical care, Covid-19 cover and emergency repatriation. We also recommend it covers trip cancellation, curtailment, loss of luggage and personal effects.
It is the responsibility of the student and the students’ family to understand the limits of any medical and evacuation policy, and to provide up-front payment of emergency services when required.
Our intention is to offer our programs as described. However, we reserve the right to alter these itineraries to make improvements, or because events outside of our control necessitate doing so (weather, Covid 19 isolation, natural disasters, political unrest etc.). If a significant change is to be made, students and families will be notified of the change and the reason.
Pacific Discovery Rules and Guidelines
Each student is responsible for understanding, acknowledging and following the Program Rules and Behavioral Guidelines. These are in place to protect you, your group mates, your Program Instructors, host communities, and Pacific Discovery. Contravention of a Program Rule is grounds for immediate dismissal from the program. Disregard for Behavioral Guidelines can result in dismissal from the program. Typically, instructors will work with a student to clarify misconduct, establish guidelines for appropriate behavior, and implement a Student Accountability Plan, to help them work towards great group dynamics. Parents will be notified when an accountability plan is established. Repeated misconduct is likely to result in dismissal from the program. Some situations are serious enough to warrant immediate dismissal from the program without a student accountability plan, and in such instances, families will be contacted.
Dismissal from the Program
Students may be dismissed for rule-breaking, behavioral, mental health or eligibility reasons. Dismissal of a student from a program is immensely disruptive for the group, can be damaging for Pacific Discovery, and incurs significant administration and logistics costs. Students and families will bear all costs associated with the dismissal and early departure. No refund of the program tuition or reimbursement of costs to students and families will be made.
In the event that a student's behavior or mental health results in Pacific Discovery no longer being able to ensure their safety on-program, the student will be dismissed from the program and escorted by a program instructor to an airport to fly home or to an in-country care facility. Families will bear all costs associated with these dismissals, including arranging to accompany the student home if necessary. Pacific Discovery will work with families to assist in facilitating logistics (flights, communication with instructors etc) until the student can depart, whether by themselves or with their guardian.
Pacific Discovery reserves the right to cancel or modify the program before or during its operation for any reason.
Pacific Discovery reserves the right to cancel any program before it runs, if minimum numbers are not reached and the program is not economically feasible. A full refund will be granted for programs cancelled due to insufficient applications. Pacific Discovery is not responsible for other costs incurred by students preparing for the program.
Pacific Discovery reserves the right to cancel any program before the start date, due to any event that is beyond our control. Pacific Discovery reserves the right to set the amount of refund, if any. Pacific Discovery will endeavor to refund program tuition, less the $500 application fee, and any non-refundable costs that have been pre-paid to operators for transport, accommodation, activities, service projects, etc. In the event that Pacific Discovery is not able to refund in full, Pacific Discovery will provide supporting documentation for a travel insurance claim.
For programs that are canceled due to any event that is beyond our control during the program, no refund will be given. Pacific Discovery will provide supporting documentation for a travel insurance claim.
Health and Medical Considerations
All Pacific Discovery programs require good health and moderate fitness. If you have concerns or questions about your health or fitness, please contact us. Students will be dismissed from the program if it is found that they or a family member falsely represents the student during the application process. Program Instructors may dismiss any student from the program if it is considered medically necessary. Pacific Discovery is unable to accept any responsibility regarding medical advice, medications or vaccinations that you or your doctor deem necessary for your safe participation. Students are required to carry and be responsible for self-administering any prescription medications they may require. Instructors can carry a backup supply of medication if loss of medication could be problematic. In the event of a medical emergency, Pacific Discovery will attempt to procure medical treatment; however, we assume no liability regarding provision of medical care. Applicants are urged to check their insurance coverage to ensure adequate coverage when outside of their own country, or to purchase travel insurance.
Be aware that travel within a group may involve compromise to accommodate the diverse desires and physical abilities of group members. Your program instructors will do their utmost to ensure that any problems are solved for the benefit of the group as a whole. Applying for a program signifies your acceptance of the instructor's and Pacific Discovery's authority to make decisions affecting the group or individuals. For instance, we may require an individual to leave the group if we believe that a person's health is at risk, if an illegal act is committed, their behavior becomes detrimental to the safety, enjoyment and well-being of the group, or they don't meet the Essential Eligibility Criteria for the program.
Be aware that our instructors accompany the group from program start to program end but are not with students 24/7. There is considerable independent exploration time built into the program where students are able to explore independently with other group members. There are also times where instructors are busy food shopping, arranging logistics, or attending to an individual student's needs and are not directly supervising the group. In these instances, it is expected that students exercise sound judgement in the absence of direct supervision. Additionally, prior to program arrival day and after program departure day our instructors will not provide supervision to students who have arrived early or are traveling independently.
Mid Teen Students
Our dedicated and experienced instructors will be with the group throughout the entire program. Students will be expected to abide by curfews set by their instructors and nightly check-ins will follow. Students are always expected to be in a buddy system with at least one other person during free time or activities where the group may be more dispersed, but instructors will always remain with the group. Instructors will supervise students starting at the hub city to fly to the program start and back to the hub city at the end of the program, if you have chosen this program ad on.
Pacific Discovery will not accept responsibility or liability for any student who contravenes a law or regulation of any country visited.
You acknowledge that Pacific Discovery contracts with a network of companies, government agencies and individuals to assist in the running of its programs. To the best of Pacific Discovery’s knowledge, these third parties are qualified to perform the duties they are contracted to perform. However Pacific Discovery will not be held liable for any injury, damage, loss, delay or irregularity that may occur due to the behavior of these third parties.
You understand that traveling with Pacific Discovery may involve risks (and rewards) above and beyond those encountered on a more conventional holiday, and that you are undertaking an adventure program with inherent dangers. You understand that you are traveling to geographical areas where, among other things, the standard of accommodation, transport, safety, hygiene, cleanliness, medical facilities, telecommunications and infrastructure development may not be of the standard you are used to at home or would find on a conventional holiday. You have read and understood the itinerary and eligibility criteria for this program you are undertaking and have provided details of any pre-existing medical conditions. You accept these risks and obligations and you fully assume the risks of travel. You release Pacific Discovery from any liabilities connected to these risks to the maximum extent permitted by law.
Severability of Terms and Resolution of Legal Disputes
The terms and conditions of all agreements made with Pacific Discovery shall be subject to, and governed by, New Zealand law. You agree New Zealand will be the forum for resolution of any dispute related to your participation in this program.
If a dispute arises, you will try to resolve it directly with Pacific Discovery. If you cannot resolve the dispute you agree to go to mediation first. You will agree on a mediator with Pacific Discovery within 10 days of notification of the dispute. If a mediator is not agreed or appointed, you and Pacific Discovery agree to participate in arbitration under the Arbitration Act 1996 (NZ).
No employee, servant or agent of Pacific Discovery has authority to vary these terms and conditions.
The terms and conditions shall be binding on your heirs, executor, administrator and all members of your family. If any term or condition contained herein is deemed unenforceable, all other parts shall remain in full force and effect.
Limitations of Liability
Students and their parents will be required to read and sign an “Acknowledgment and Assumption of Risk and Release and Indemnity Agreement” prior to participating in a program.
The safety and welfare of our students and program instructors, followed by the effective education of our students are our top priorities. Program instructors are not present with the students 24/7 and students need to be able to exercise sound judgement in absence of direct supervision. Mid Teen students will have full supervision by their instructors and will be expected to follow curfews and other expectations set forth by their instructors.
Our programs traverse areas that may be remote and may be culturally, climatically, and environmentally unfamiliar and challenging. Additionally the standard of accommodation, transport, safety, hygiene, cleanliness, medical facilities, telecommunications and infrastructure development may not be to the standard you are used to at home or would find on a conventional holiday. Due to the geographical factors, the educational activities and the challenges of living and travelling in a small group, we require each student to be fully committed to the goals of the program.
Pacific Discovery believes in making its experiential programs as accessible as possible and does not discriminate by gender, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexuality, or ability. The following Eligibility Criteria are essential for all program participants.
Our programs are not recommended for students coming out of youth-at-risk or therapeutic programs as we are not ourselves a therapeutic program.
Pacific Discovery reserves the right to decline applicants whom we believe are not a good fit for the program experience.
Pacific Discovery programs are not suitable for
Each student must...
Each Student must…
Each student must learn and then practice minimum impact and ethical travel techniques which include but are not limited to:
Each student is responsible for understanding, acknowledging and following the Program Rules and Behavioral Guidelines. These are in place to protect you, your group mates, your Program Instructors, host communities, and Pacific Discovery.
Breach of a Program Rule is grounds for immediate dismissal from the program. Disregard for Behavioral Guidelines can result in dismissal from the program. Gap and Mid Teen student rules are listed below:
Nothing is more important to your overall program experience than you. Your attitude and ownership of your own experience is instrumental to your overall enjoyment of the program. If you approach the program with enthusiasm and an open mind, you will gain a lot more from the whole experience.
We expect students to engage in all program activities and experiences, and to be open to learning and challenging their ideas and assumptions. The program will be as much about the inner journey of personal growth and learning about yourself, as it is about what you will experience in the outer physical journey.
Our programs are a shared group experience. We expect you to join the program with an open mind, and a willingness to work together with your group mates, support each other, to make the program an incredible experience for the whole group. We expect students to be good ethical bystanders, attending to the well-being of all group members (E.g. Taking appropriate action when other group members put themselves at risk – including breaking program rules).
A healthy group dynamic takes some effort on your part and it is natural that you will find you get along better with some members of the group than others, because you share the same interests or outlook on life. We ask that you make a real effort to find common ground with everyone in the group. Throughout the program we will be mixing activity groups and roommates so that everyone spends equal time together.
Honest, open, and respectful communication and behavior with your program instructors and group mates is essential.
Be with at least one other group member anytime you are away from the group accommodation (gap students only). Notify a program instructor of your intentions when roaming any distance away from group accommodation. Students must adhere to a curfew specified by program instructors or host community expectations. Mid Teen students will not be permitted to leave the group accommodation and must stay with their group at all times.
Non-group members are not permitted in group rooms/accommodation.
Limited technology use. Phones and devices can be brought on the program, but may only be used during programmed ‘WiFi time’ on occasional evenings. Use is not permitted during community stays, home stays, during expeditions, travel days, and other intentional group focused time. This is so that students are present and engaged, help to create healthy group dynamics, and for safety and personal security reasons.
Travel ethically and sustainably and respect the people and places visited during the program. Refer to our code of travel ethics.
The response to rule breaking will depend upon a consideration of the following factors:
For minor infractions. Instructors will meet with student/s and point out where their behaviour is outside of the program rules, behaviour guidelines or group agreement.
Student Accountability Plan
A written Student Accountability Plan will be used for situations of rule breaking, or on-going attitudinal problems. When an accountability plan is issued, family of the student will be notified. An accountability plan may also serve as a final warning and this will be made clear to a student and their family when issued.
Repeat rule-breaking, ongoing attitudinal problems, law-breaking, or risk-taking at a level of seriousness that place the student, the groups, or the programs safety at risk, will result in dismissal from the program.
These three responses are not a 1, 2, 3 process. Depending upon the severity of rule breaking, students may be given a verbal warning, put on contract or dismissed.
We work incredibly hard to help all of our students complete their Pacific Discovery program successfully. This starts with our admissions and screening process, pre-program framing and preparation and carries through with the mentorship and guidance they receive from their program instructors as well as the supportive and healthy group culture we create on our programs.
It is incredibly disappointing for the students, families, program instructors, and Pacific Discovery when we have to dismiss a student. Our aim is to have 100% of our students complete their program, however this is not always the case. On average, we dismiss 1-5 students per season.
Students have been dismissed for the following reasons: Drug-taking, alcohol consumption, mental health reasons, behavioral reasons, law-breaking, risk-taking behaviors, bullying, disrupting the group dynamic, lying to instructors, not meeting our essential eligibility criteria, and non-disclosure of physical or mental health conditions.
In the event of a dismissal, no refund of program tuition is made and all costs associated with the dismissal are borne by the student and family.
Depending upon the nature of the incident, families may not receive any pre-warning that a student is to be removed. Once the decision has been made to dismiss a student, Pacific Discovery will inform the student's family then liaise with the family and our in house travel agent The Travellist to organize travel arrangements and logistics of the dismissal. Our general requirement is that the student departure occurs within 48 hours of the dismissal. Pacific Discovery will help the student(s) to get to the airport for their departure.