The Service Learning Adventure™

Every GLA Service Learning Adventure™ is uniquely crafted to be a life-changing combination of learning, exploration and meaningful service. Our high school summer programs are unique and purposeful, far more than a vacation; they prepare high school students from around the world for leadership positions. This type of travel equips participants to be leaders in their future universities, careers, homes and communities.

We empower our students through a dynamic, integrated experience that combines three key components: Community Service, Hands-On Learning and Adventure. These facets are at the core of each of our international service trips, and they change student lives year after year.

Hands-on Learning

The world is our classroom—the biggest, most effective classroom available to students today. Ironically, our students are also our best teachers! Based on this philosophy, we embrace the opportunity to learn as a community, through cultural immersion and exchange. Getting out of our own comfort zones and becoming familiar with other cultures’ arts and histories leads to new perspectives that the most well-written textbook can’t even begin to match.

Through hands-on learning experiences, GLA students learn about themselves and their roles in the world, discovering new passions and honing their leadership skills. GLA students emerge with a deeper understanding of increasingly global challenges—a new perspective on healthcare, economic and political issues, children’s rights, animal protection, the environment, indigenous and women’s rights and poverty, among many others. These issues become real when students come face-to-face with them in a new culture.

Community Service

Service is at the heart of each of our programs and makes the GLA experience more than just another high school pre college program. Side by side with our local partners, GLA high school volunteers reach out and actually get to see the impact of their service. Issues that seem remote from their own homes become real-life faces, names and settings they can walk through; that kind of experience transcends ordinary tourism and ordinary academia.

Through leadership programs and service projects, GLA students develop deep and lasting bonds with our local partners. They leave behind real, positive change—and they take change with them when they leave.


Adventure is the indispensable “A” in G-L-A, and no program would be complete without it! Each host community boasts its own historical and cultural treasures, which are exceptional opportunities for you to learn, grow and challenge yourself in ways that you might never expect. Imagine exploring the ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru, zip-lining through the pristine rainforests of Costa Rica, photographing lions and zebras on a safari in Tanzania, or just trying a new food and making a new friend a world away. It’s up to you to choose the adventure that’s right for you.

Whether your passion leads you to working with the wildlife in the Galapagos Islands or studying Spanish in Guatemala, you’re sure to be surprised by unexpected adventures along the way.