General GLA Questions:
Is GLA right for me?
GLA seeks curious and energetic students from around the world, who are eager to do community service, interact with people from different backgrounds, and learn about other cultures, histories and languages.
Am I eligible?
At GLA, we welcome all teens, 13 to 18 years old, who are excited about the opportunity to travel abroad to apply for one or more of our service-learning programs. However, GLA programs are not designed as therapy programs. Therefore, applicants with a significant history of chronic illnesses, acute psychiatric conditions, or some kinds of physical disability, as well as behavioral issues, may be subject to additional supporting application questions to determine eligibility for participating on a GLA program. The following eligibility criteria are not intended to be exclusionary, but to honestly identify the fundamental elements of participation so that every participant may have a safe and life-enriching experience.
If you have any questions or are unsure about whether you meet the following essential eligibility criteria, don't worry! We encourage you to call us and we'll be more than happy to cover all the bases with you.
Each student must be able to:
- Maintain a positive attitude and exhibit a willingness to try new things in a foreign environment and culture.
- Navigate and travel independently from home to program site, independently manage daily personal care, and cope with various environmental challenges (heat, cold, altitude, insects, changes in diet). For participants to engage in most program activities it is recommended they are able to walk unassisted distances over 1 mile, be able to lift items over 40 lbs, and follow detailed instructions to avoid hazards. Participants may choose to opt out of activities in consultation with program staff and parents.
- Effectively communicate to staff if they are under stress and needing assistance, able to exercise sound judgment in the absence of direct supervision.
- Exhibit self-management techniques in relation to mental health and self care while abroad. Techniques include the ability to proactively seeking help from GLA staff, acknowledgment of being away from regularly scheduled mental health counseling, and ability to self-administer ongoing medical treatment while away from home support system.
- Recognize risks and hazards presented by GLA staff in English during the program and comply with recommended preventative measures, while also maintaining a reasonable level of situational awareness appropriate to circumstances,
- Show respect through speech and actions for the new culture and customs that they will encounter while abroad.
- Abide by GLA code of conduct and obey all local, national, and international laws while on the program.
Where do your students come from?
We have students from all over the world, across more than 25 countries in North America, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and Asia.
Do I need to know another language?
English is the primary language spoken on all GLA programs. However, we welcome any student with the ability to comprehend English articles and converse in basic English to join. In fact, many students worldwide use the experience as an opportunity to practice their language skills. Because we value and respect every culture, we encourage students to share their native language and culture with the GLA family throughout the program. For some destinations, learning the local language is an integral part The GLA Experience.
Will I get high school credit?
GLA programs are available to all high school students, including incoming freshmen and outgoing seniors (including those who just graduated!). However, students' ability to get academic credit varies from school to school. In instances where students can receive credit, GLA will attempt to work with the student in meeting his/her necessary requirements. However, due to the nature of GLA programming, it is not always possible.
Will attending a GLA program help me get into college?
After completing a GLA program, you'll know yourself better and have lots to talk about in your college admissions essays. That's what colleges look for in a successful applicant. GLA alumni have gone on to attend Harvard, Yale, Stanford, UC Berkeley, and other schools.