GLA 2019

5 Reasons January is the Best Month to Enroll in a GLA Program

Summer may seem far away, but it will be here before you know it, and there are big benefits to enrolling this month. Here are our top 5 reasons why January is the best month to enroll in a GLA program!

1. Sessions Are Starting to Fill - Some Are Already Full!

Our most popular programs start to fill in December, and are usually completely full by February. Enrolling several months early may sound unnecessary because summer seems so far away, but we already have several sessions that have reached capacity and are now waitlisted. So the number one benefit of enrolling in January is to secure your spot on your top choice program before all the spots have filled.

On top of securing your spot on your program, another benefit of enrolling this month is that you have more time to pay your full tuition. All that’s needed to secure your spot is a $495 deposit - you do not have to pay your tuition in full at the time of enrollment, and our Enrollment Specialists can work with you to split up your payments so that you can have your tuition paid in full prior to your departure date.

2. You Can Secure Your Flights in Advance and Possibly Save

Enrolling in January gives you the cream of the crop when it comes to flight options. This is great because it gives you more control over choosing flights that work best for your student and your family. Booking flights early is especially beneficial because each program has what we call an “arrival window,” which is the several-hour period when students must arrive so that GLA staff can greet them at the airport and drive them to Home Base.

Perhaps your student wants to arrive as early as possible on day one, rather than later in the evening after the other students have already had the whole day to get acquainted with their surroundings. Or, maybe your family has some airline miles that could come in handy for the flight, but waiting to long could mean that the miles can’t be used because seats on the desired flight or airline are booked up.

We hear from families each year who express that they wish they had booked their flights earlier in the year to avoid inconvenient flight times and surge charges that can occur when booking closer to the departure date.

“Speaking as both a travel coordinator and frequent traveler myself, I cannot stress enough how beneficial it is to book international flights in advance. The earlier you book, the more options you’ll have and it’s highly likely that you’ll save money, which is probably the biggest benefit.”  -Brittany Raab, GLA Travel Coordinator

3. We Have a $200 Service Grant Available For All 21-day Children-Themed Programs

If you’re passionate about teaching and empowering children abroad, then January is absolutely the best month to enroll because we have a $200 grant available for all 21-day children-themed programs. This grant is available through January 31 and includes all flagship programs in the themes of Children & Education or Children & Community Development.

If you’re on the fence about a 21-day program, we completely understand. Three weeks abroad can seem daunting for both students and parents, but we wholeheartedly believe that the extra week is a game-changer when it comes to the overall experience, the service and learning opportunities, the cultural immersion, and the friendships formed among peers.

We’d love for you to check out these stories from GLA alumni about why they chose a 21-day program and why they’re so glad they did!

4. Ample Time to Pack & Prepare

Traveling abroad is a big deal, even for the most avid travelers! It takes careful planning and preparation, and the more time you have before your trip, the better. Depending on your destination, we’ll provide a packing list of all the essentials and recommended items that you should pack based on the local climate, the type of service work you’ll be doing, specific adventure activities, cultural norms, and more.

Enrolling in January gives you and your family plenty of time to plan, shop, and prepare for your departure. You’ll have several months to review the packing list for your program, and chat with your travel coordinator to ensure that you are perfectly prepared for your life-changing experience abroad.

5. More Time to Get Acquainted with Your Fellow GLA Families

This one is certainly a favorite for our GLA families! Once you’re enrolled in your program, you’ll have access to a contact list of all the other students enrolled in your session. This is a great opportunity for students to get to know one another before the program even begins, and it’s also great for parents to get acquainted with each other.

We’ve found that parents especially appreciate this because having all these other contacts who are preparing for the same journey gives them peace of mind. Parents can chat about the upcoming trip, bounce ideas and questions off each other, share recommendations for shopping and packing, flights, etc. We’ve even had several families link up in advance to book their students on the same departing flight!


We hope to see you abroad this summer! If you're ready to begin your journey now, head to our enrollment portal to start your application, or call us at +1-858-771-0645 and a GLA Enrollment Specialist can walk you through the process and answer any questions you may have!