Experience Eight New GLA Programs in 2019

Eight new service-learning programs are now enrolling in destinations around the world!

Look out for eight brand new service-learning programs in GLA's program lineup this year, exploring themes from protecting endangered wildlife in Brazil to assisting with public health initiatives in South Africa. Our most action-packed programs run up to 21 days in length, exploring a wide variety of critical issues and offering an all-encompassing view of communities across each country.

GLA's newest programs, listed below, are enrolling students for Summer 2019!


SOUTH AFRICA: Global Health Initiative 


INDIA: The Initiative for Children

THAILAND: Elephants & Conservation Expedition

THAILAND: Elephant Sanctuary Project


SPAIN: Spanish Service in Action

South America

BRAZIL: Rio & Amazon Expedition

Central America & the Caribbean

CUBA: Land of Discovery

COSTA RICA: Middle School Service Adventure

South Africa: Global Health Initiative (14 days)


Despite being known for medical breakthroughs (the first heart transplant was performed here!), small rural communities still lack basic health care needs. You'll live in Geluksburg, which means "happy mountains" in rural Kwa-Zulu Natal. This rural village town, like many others, has limited resources for primary health care and basic first aid. Become accustomed to the Zulu culture as you participate in home visits, meet with the local chief and eat a traditional Zulu meal. The rolling mist and tranquility of the surrounding Drakensberg mountain peaks will make for a one-of-a-kind experience on the southern tip of the African continent.

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India: The Initiative for Children (21 days)


Full of diverse people, dramatic landscapes and spiritual energy, the magical land of India awaits you. You'll have the opportunity to teach India's underserved children and volunteer on community development projects. Immerse yourself in cultural activities like Bollywood dance, traditional Indian cooking and yoga sessions. Discover this unique culture as you tour the royal city of Jaipur, go on a camel ride in the desert, and visit incredible temples. Gain invaluable cultural knowledge and insight on this once-in-a-lifetime Indian adventure.

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Thailand: Elephants & Conservation Expedition (21 days)


Lose yourself in the magic that is Thailand, as you become an eco-warrior taking your compassion for animals and the environment to the next level. Help an organization that is protecting the endangered wild Thai elephant population by providing a safe corridor to water for the elephants. Learn about the plight of both the wild and the domestic elephant. Discuss the complexities of elephant tourism and human-wild elephant conflict. With a bit of good luck, you'll even get to observe the behavior of these gentle giants in their natural habitat! Experience the wonders of Southeast Asia as you visit temples and discover its fascinating culture.

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Thailand: Elephant Sanctuary Project (14 days)


Travel to Chiang Rai, where you’ll lend your compassion to caring for elephants at a true elephant sanctuary. These animals are an important part of Thailand’s culture: traditional symbols of royal power, an essential feature of traditional art and regarded as spiritual mentors. Learn how their cultural significance, conservation and place in tourism are all deeply interwoven. Then, embrace your community as you volunteer as an English teacher in local schools and make a difference in the lives of local youth. Cap it all off as you explore waterfall trails, hot springs and national parks after service, which will inspire a lifelong appreciation for nature.

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Spain: Spanish Service in Action (14 & 21 days)


The passions of Spain's people are the fabric of daily life; this is a country with music in its soul, a love of fine food and wild landscapes, and a special talent for celebrating all things in life. Based in the city of Toledo, you’ll be surrounded by rich history and architecture, and get to visit medieval monuments and historic cathedrals. Sharpen your Spanish skills through a mix of language immersion and formal instruction, and practice with passionate native Spanish speakers as you volunteer alongside local youth. Experience two of Spain’s amazing cities—Toledo and Madrid (and visit Barcelona on the 21-day program) on this life-changing Spanish experience.

The GLA Experiential Language Curriculum™ combines language learning in the classroom with immersion through community service, excursions and cultural activities.

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Brazil: Rio & Amazon Expedition (21 days)


Named after female warriors of Greek mythology, the Amazon is indeed a place of mythical status. What traveler hasn't imagined a trip to admire this incredible rainforest, teeming with wildlife? Surprisingly, it’s actually the little things that make it special: Being surrounded by rainforest foliage, cooking food over a bonfire, waking to the sounds of howler monkeys. You’ll also experience spectacular Rio de Janeiro as well, exploring its world famous beachfront and seeing its landmark Christ the Redeemer statue up close.

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Cuba: Land of Discovery (14 days)


Cuba offers a glimpse into another era, as if everything here was put on pause several decades ago. Sixty years of isolation has resulted in a preserved culture where the streets on the island feel like they've just begun to come alive again, even as you glimpse iconic antique cars driving past you. In Havana, volunteer on infrastructure projects with a community of artists and learn about the country's complex history. Tour this urban center of Cuba while encountering diverse locals and youth along the way. Then, experience a taste of Caribbean life outside the city, where the colors of Cuban life make for an unforgettable program.

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Costa Rica: Middle School Service Adventure (10 days)


A primer for studying public health or medicine, this university-level program is designed to give a progressive experience: You’ll challenge your preconceptions of how public health is implemented, work to help improve access to clean water in schools, assist local doctors and health professionals in the field, and think critically about how to solve crises of health insecurity in both rural and urban communities. Enjoy the old soul of this beautiful island nation as you play an active role in improving Haitian lives.

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