Global Leadership Adventures

Leadership Programs with a Purpose. Exclusively for Teens and Young Adults.

› A LIFE-CHANGING EXPERIENCE


97%

Of GLA Alumni Agree:

“WHEN I LOOK BACK ON MY GLA EXPERIENCE, I CONSIDER IT TO HAVE BEEN LIFE-CHANGING.”

*Based on a survey of alumni 3 years post-program

Travel Programs

Life-changing travel cultivates a global perspective and open-mindedness. The goal? For our student travelers to be inspired to become great leaders and global thinkers who seek positive change in their own communities. GLA incorporates community service, immersive learning and adventure into every one of our programs as a method of lending a strong sense of purpose to student travel. Serve the community through meaningful volunteer efforts. Learn about culture, language, history or a special area of focus. Explore sites of significance along with adventure excursions.

DESTINATIONS IN AFRICA, ASIA, LATIN AMERICA, EUROPE & THE UNITED STATES

Virtual Programs

GLA connected with our global partners to develop and deliver virtual experiences aligned with our values. Students will connect meaningfully with their peers and our partner organizations online through global engagement, participate in immersive learning opportunities, and set out on a path of personal and professional self-discovery. Discover how to better serve both your local and global community. Connect with leaders from organizations abroad to facilitate cross-cultural exchange. Overcome challenges alongside your peers and learn real-world skills.

AVAILABLE ONLINE TO AGE-ELIGIBLE STUDENTS WORLDWIDE

BE THE CHANGE

Our mission is to inspire the next generation to realize their potential to transform the world and their role in it.

Leadership

Guiding Young Leaders Is At The Heart Of What We Do.

It is GLA’s founding belief that young people – given the opportunity and privilege to embrace different cultures, confront timely challenges and develop their own unique leadership styles – will make this world the kind of place we can all share and explore together. We believe leaders are made, not born, and that leadership is a life skill than can and should be developed.

From role play to style exploration to getting students out of their comfort zone and into leadership roles within the group, GLA intentionally weaves this approach into the daily experience on our programs, both virtual and travel-based. Our holistic approach to leadership and learning creates a lifelong impact for students.

Travel Programs

A Fresh Approach To Service-Learning and Experiential Travel.

COMMUNITY SERVICE
Community service is the vehicle through which students are exposed to a culture unlike their own. When GLA students arrive, our local teams and host communities welcome their energy and additional helping hands. As students become embedded in a greater plan for change, global issues that were once remote become tangible, and distant concepts turn into people with faces, names and stories. Working side by side with our partners, students become engaged in understanding how the labor they provide accelerates critical, community-led initiatives. Many of our alumni leave our programs valuing the time they spent on service sites most.

IMMERSIVE LEARNING
GLA celebrates experiential learning through immersion, cross-cultural exchange and guided reflection. Our students participate in interactive experiences that expose them to diverse cultures, arts, value systems and histories in ways that no textbook could convey. These experiences welcome high engagement, critical thinking and a willingness to see the world through many different perspectives. Designed around a combination of cultural activities, small group discussion, leadership development, journaling and reflection.

ADVENTURE
Adventure is at the heart of every GLA program, and your experience overseas will be no different! Each host community is set in a unique landscape and contains its own historical and natural treasures, as well as exceptional opportunities for students to challenge themselves in memorable ways. Our adventure activities are intentionally selected to tie into program themes and double as learning opportunities. Imagine hiking to Machu Picchu in Peru, ziplining over a rainforest canopy in Costa Rica or experiencing the grandeur of Yellowstone for the first time.

Virtual Programs

Have A Life-Changing Experience From The Comfort of Home.

GLOBAL ENGAGEMENT
Our virtual programs open doors to new ideas and possibilities from the comfort of home. Discover your leadership potential while connecting with your peers. These online experiences also introduce you to some of our finest global partners. Imagine engaging in a Q&A session with the leader of an influential overseas organization or collaborating on a project benefiting a nonprofit. Our students come away as more experienced young leaders ready to engage with the global community, with both a broader understanding of the world at-large and their possibilities to transform it. GLA programs cultivate more confident communicators and independent agents of change.

IMMERSIVE LEARNING
Explore new ideas and confront global challenges while meeting core learning objectives. From incredible guest speakers and peer-to-peer collaboration, to group discussions and leadership learning, students will see firsthand how immersion is not just about a place, it’s about people. You may participate in a Ghanaian dance workshop, see the inner workings of a land conservation organization in Thailand, or discover how to design a social media campaign for an NGO. Learn real-world skills from experts and see how hands-on learning can happen no matter where in the world you are.

SELF-DISCOVERY
No GLA program would be complete without a chance for self-discovery! Learn more about your unique leadership style, and how leaders can be anyone from quiet but committed team players to assertive self-starters. Consider what meaningful goals you would like to set for your future. Experience new activities and new paths you may wish to explore, from trying your hand at online yoga to discovering a new focus area for future college or career paths. Each day of your virtual program provides exceptional opportunities for students to challenge themselves in memorable ways.

YOUR JOURNEY STARTS HERE

An abundance of opportunities for discovery awaits you. Step out of your comfort zone and get ready to explore the unknown.

ICON-FELLOWSHIP-NEW

Fellowships

Take your experience to new heights and apply to be an Arts & Letters Fellow or Honors Fellow.

Fellowships provide academically or creatively gifted students the opportunity to expand upon their GLA program with a curriculum that both highlights and recognizes their achievements. These self-guided and GLA-supported Fellowships invite students to step up and learn to be leaders in their field of interest.

Our Fellowships are designed to work with any GLA program, virtual or travel-based, because you are the leader in your learning as a GLA Fellow. Whether you’re a highly motivated student who wants to earn additional merits for your college application or simply passionate about broadening your horizons in a field of interest, you’re an excellent candidate for a Fellowship.

Fellowships are 100% optional and to be inducted as a Fellow you must first submit an application. Choose between the Honors Fellowship or Arts & Letters Fellowship.

PRE-PROGRAM
You will be asked to complete coursework to spur your learning on a selected topic. This may include reading, viewing documentaries and more. You will be given options to shape your experience.

ON-PROGRAM
You will have an objective to complete that will further your learning and prepare you for your post-program final project. This may include taking photos, capturing video or journaling.

POST-PROGRAM
After you finish your program, you will be given time to wrap up your Fellowship by completing a special final project. This may include writing an essay, curating a photo collection or producing a short video.

GLA VALUES: OPTIMISM

We believe that anything is possible and that every person is capable of driving and adopting positive change in the world.

Program Themes

A Means For Self-Discovery and Meeting Core Learning Objectives.

Every GLA travel program and virtual program – regardless of theme – invites high engagement, critical thinking and a willingness to see the world through many different perspectives. In fact, our students participate in interactive experiences that expose them to diverse cultures, arts, value systems and histories in ways that no textbook could convey. The type of program you choose, based on a specific theme or focus area, will only elevate these learnings, offering a unique thematic lens through which to experience activities and discussions.

ICON-PROGRAM-THEMES

WHICH THEME IS RIGHT FOR ME?

What are you passionate about? Or what new field do you wish to explore? Discover which theme matches your interests.

About GLA

Our journey is rooted in extraordinary impact.

Our story begins with GLA Founder Fred Swaniker in 2003. Fred, a Ghana native, TED fellow and entrepreneur from Stanford University, envisioned a high school designed to develop Africa’s future leaders regardless of the student’s income or background. Fred believed that the key to success was not leading young people along a set path, but allowing them to define their own path.

After joining forces with Chris Bradford and Peter Mombaur, Fred’s former classmate and mentor, Fred’s vision was brought to life with the establishment of the African Leadership Academy, a revolutionary pan-African, non-profit high school in Johannesburg. ALA’s success was immediate and profound. When surrounded by a diverse group of peers and immersed in leadership development, students began to truly believe they held the power to change the world around them.

As a way to expand the reach of ALA’s successful curriculum, Fred, Chris and Peter created a summer program, this time welcoming students from around the world and planting the seeds for Global Leadership Adventures.

Global Leadership Adventures grew into a global team in 2006 with the expertise of Andrew Motiwalla, who joined the team as a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, as well as a background in operating global service-learning projects and developing experiential education programs. Values central to the Corps – immersive experience, sustainability and working side-by- side with local communities – were infused into GLA’s program design early on and continue to be building blocks for the dozens of programs our organization operates worldwide.

Fred Swaniker was honored as a pioneer by Time in its annual list of 100 Most Influential People of 2019. This was in recognition for his continued work with ALA, alongside the foundation of the African Leadership University and the African Leadership Network.

Global Leadership Adventures has long been a recognized leader in international volunteering and community service programs for high school students.

Over the years, we have also expanded into providing seasonal and summer volunteer programs for other age groups, such as middle school students and young adults, as well as online-based programs that open up leadership development opportunities to participants anywhere in the world. Since our founding, the elements of community service and cross-cultural exchange have remained cornerstones on our programs.

GLA offers the following program options:

  • High School Student Travel Programs
  • Middle School Student Travel Programs
  • Young Adult Travel Programs
  • Custom Group Travel Programs
  • Family Travel Programs
  • Virtual Programs (Available 100% Online)

Free Program Catalog

Use the form below to receive a FREE catalog.
Or call us now at 1-858-771-0645 or +1-888-358-4321(outside USA)