The Ideal Length for a Summer Travel Experience

Students give GLA's 21-day programs the highest ratings of any program duration!

If there’s one point of feedback that we hear most from returning students and parents about their experience with GLA programs after our travelers return home — it’s that they wish they were longer!

Fortunately, that’s where our 21-day programs and travel internships come in. 

While every GLA program comes with a whole range of activities, adventures and leadership opportunities that will leave anyone with a lifetime’s worth of memories, there’s something magical that happens around the ten-day mark of all the experiences we offer: a sense of thriving.

Wherever you go in the world, whether it’s to the lush islands of Indonesia, the mountainous villages of Peru, or the sprawling grasslands of Tanzania, there will always be a time of transition as you leave your comfort zone and adjust to something new. A new place, new group of students, new community, speaking a new language,and even adjusting to a new time zone!

As the program progresses past the first week, this new group becomes a family, the new community starts to feel like home and your comfort zone expands to incorporate your new experience.

This is the point at which we all start to thrive.

This high point can be a wonderful place to bid farewell to your host country and head home, but it is also the perfect moment to dive deeper into your experience. And those remaining two weeks on-program after this point, for students attending our three-week sessions, transform from a memorable summer program into a truly life-changing experience.

Fortified with the confidence earned over the past two weeks in-country, with some new local words and phrases comfortably under your belt, a 21-day program gives students the chance to explore their curiosities further and embed deeper into the local community.

It’s also an opportunity for us to continue with our leadership curriculum to its fullest, invest more impact in community-led service projects and to forge deeper connections with both GLA students and local friends.

Many 21-day programs offer exclusive experiences beyond 10- or 14-day offerings, with extra time in the itinerary to expand our reach into neighboring cities, overnight excursions, and more adventurous undertakings. 

Only students on our 21-day iteration of the Bali: Island Health Expedition program [pictured above, right] will explore Bali’s lush jungle habitats through trekking and whiteriver rafting adventures, something students on the 14-day session will miss out on.

On Tanzania: Heart & Soul of Kilimanjaro [pictured above, left], students will spend an unforgettable day among the Maasai nomadic warrior tribe if they participate in the three-week session only, an experience that’s truly not to be missed!

Furthermore, on any of our Travel Internships, you will take your program theme a step further and explore a concentration of your choice with hands-on learning alongside experts in their field, which is why all of our internships last for 21 days to make time for this kind of deep learning and immersion.

Going beyond the point of thriving on a 21-day GLA experience this summer!



21-day programs are our longest sessions, allowing for space in the itinerary to visit neighboring cities, experience one-of-a-kind overnight excursions not possible on our shorter duration programs, and participate in GLA’s unabridged leadership curriculum.

Students on 21-day programs will also have more time for their community-led service project, all while earning additional service hours.

The extra time on-program also allows our teen participants to deepen friendships with their peers and locals, which alumni often report as being the most impactful part of their entire GLA experience!


Be sure to save your spot on your favorite program early before waitlists begin to form!