GLA Cell Phone & Electronics Policy
To ensure that the program experience is not interrupted by the use of phones or electronics.
Global Leadership Adventures strives to create an environment that encourages students to unplug and forge connections between fellow students and the local community. GLA has found that the more students use their cell phones on a program, the harder it is for them to be present and fully process their time abroad.
Mobile phones and certain electronic devices can be brought to programs, but must remain off or silent, as well as completely out of view on-site for the duration of service hours, meal times, designated cultural activities, mentor groups and guest speakers.
For any phone in view that is causing constant distraction or affecting the group dynamic, the student will be given a verbal warning and their phone may be confiscated, logged and securely held until the end of the day (+/- 20:00), at which point it can be collected by the student. Repeat offenders will be require staff to take appropriate action, in-line with our existing Code of Conduct (verbal warnings & confiscation, behavioral contract, etc.).
Students are only permitted to use cell phones, including pre-purchased data and talk plans, during specific staff-designated “free time,” such as mornings before breakfast, or evenings before lights out. Free time will be visible on the daily schedule so students know when cell phone times are coming.
Parents should not expect to hear from students between 07:00 – 20:00. If parents need to get hold of their student, they can contact the international staff. Use of phones and electronic devices will never be allowed during meals, Mentor groups, leadership workshops and may be collected by staff during these times.
Internet Access, Signal & Connectivity
Each country and program site comes with their own unique advantages and challenges when it comes to internet access.
As many programs operate in countries where cell signal is not consistent, GLA strives to make internet available to contact family:
- 1x for students on 10-day programs
- 2x for students on 12-day and 14-day programs
- 3x times for students on 21+ day programs
Internet/WiFi will not be available at the Home Base for everyday student use.
Home Base internet/WiFi is exclusively reserved for staff use when planning program activities and for emergencies only.
Students are provided internet access roughly once per week; however, that timeline may vary by location, unless students are invited to use it for a specific activity (ex. program blog writing).
Most access comes in the form of WiFi availability, which many students use their phone to connect. If a student doesn’t have a phone to connect, they may ask staff to use their phone to call home if they desire. In some locations, the internet connection may be particularly sporadic and one can expect the connectivity timeline to vary greatly. (For example, they could have two days back-to-back where they can connect while in a city to start the program, and that may be all for a 2-week program).
The WiFi that is made available is for connecting with family and not for streaming of any kind.
Some program sites have capped total data available per session, and when students stream, the entire amount can be depleted in seconds by a few students.
Please note that the only time GLA requires all students to connect specifically with their parent/guardian is on Day 1 (arrival day).
Drones, Laptops & Miscellaneous Electronics
Students on GLA programs will not be permitted to bring laptops, iPads/tablets, drones or other expensive electronics, as they are not conducive to the travel experience on GLA programs.
Cameras, Smartphones & Wearable Devices
GLA recommends that students bring a point-and-shoot camera separate from their cell phones. Cell phones may be used as cameras during designated and appropriate times as indicated by the International Teams. D
SLRs and expensive photography equipment are allowed; however, students will be responsible for the security of their equipment.
GLA is not responsible for any damaged, lost or stolen electronic devices.
GLA has adopted a strict ‘no tolerance’ policy for Cyber Bullying and/or using cell phones to cause distress among fellow students or local staff.