Program Staff Seasonal Jobs

We are Global Leadership Adventures (GLA), a well-established organization committed to delivering life-changing journeys for high school and middle school students. Our mission is to inspire the next generation to realize their potential to transform the world and their role in it. We have proudly operated our global service-learning programs in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and Latin America for more than a decade and are excited to offer our new Europe Discovery programs focused on educational, exploratory travel.

GLA has welcomed and trained hundreds of staff from all over the world to lead superior-quality trips. Each year, trip leaders (International Directors & Mentors) are carefully selected from a pool of highly-qualified, well-traveled, passionate educators who are seeking a fulfilling summer experience abroad. Our international teams are hired to work in collaboration with our local counterparts. All positions are based outside the U.S. and require a minimum commitment to the program dates.

Summer Staff Application and Job Description Directory:

Open Summer Staff Positions
Required Qualifications
Required Certifications
Preferred Extras
Position Responsibilities
Important Notes
Compensation and Benefits
How to Apply
โ†’ Application Process
โ†’ Step 1: Online Application
โ†’ Step 2: Spark Hire Video Application
โ†’ Step 3: Interview Process
โ†’ Step 4: References and Background Check

Open Summer Staff Positions

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, GLA has suspended the seasonal staff hiring process for summer 2020. Applications will not be accepted at this time.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • A minimum of two years of experience working with teens; either teaching in a classroom or in an alternative education setting
  • Two years of experience working with middle school students for our middle school program
  • Mastery relating with teenagers
  • Extensive international travel experience
  • For Europe Discovery programs, experience living in-country and speaking the local language is mandatory
  • Flexibility – our staff have the ability to find comfort in the discomfort, no matter their location
  • Exceedingly personable and positive demeanor
  • Strong interpersonal communication skills and cross-cultural awareness
  • Collaborative in nature; skilled in problem solving
  • Good physical and mental health – staff must possess the ability to actively participate in all elements of the programโ€™s experience
  • Ability to talk things out and a willingness to express your professional opinions while considering your personal feelings and the feelings of your colleagues
  • Natural aptitude to motivate and energize students in a variety of settings and situations

Required Certifications

International Directors: CPR and First Aid Certification; Epinephrine Administration Training

Mentors: CPR and First Aid Certification

*Note: GLA does not accept online CPR/First Aid certifications. Certifications must be attained prior to staffโ€™s contract start date and will be at the expense of the candidate.

  • Some programs require a wilderness certification (Wilderness Advanced First Aid or Wilderness First Responder); some programs require a Lifeguard certification

Preferred Extras

  • Fluency in Spanish for programs in Spanish-speaking countries
  • Fluency in French for our French language program
  • Fluency in Mandarin for our Mandarin language program
  • Advanced language skills in a language of the country where you are interested in working
  • Wilderness certifications as mentioned above for programs in remote locations; an additional stipend is offered for staff certified as a WFR or WAFA
  • Lifeguard certification as mentioned above for water-based programs; an additional stipend is offered for staff certified as lifeguards or open-water lifeguards
  • Extensive experience in the country or region where you are interested in working
  • Experience working with animals and familiarity with veterinary care for our animal and wildlife programs
  • Strong biology or environmental background – for biologically and ecologically diverse programs like the Galapagos
  • Strong background in STEM, history or political studies for relevant Europe Discovery programs
  • Master’s degree in a field related to the program theme
  • Strong athletic background for our sports-based programs
  • Ability to swim, hike, surf and lead a solid ice-breaker

Position Responsibilities

International Directors collaborate with the Local Program Director (from the host country) to facilitate a positive summer experience for Mentors and participants. Program Directors work to maintain the safety and health of each student, ensure program logistics are properly coordinated and implement GLAโ€™s service-learning leadership curriculum. Communication, teamwork and flexibility are critical throughout this process. Local Directors are responsible for managing, supporting, and guiding local team members in their roles.

International Director responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following:

All new Directors must attend Director Training in Costa Rica from May 6-10, 2020*

*If your role requires a Wilderness Advanced First Aid certification, GLA is offering a discounted course in Costa Rica directly prior to Director Training, from May 1-5. More details will be shared in the interview and placement process.

  • Read and prepare questions on all resources provided by GLA
  • Lead one awesome teambuilding activity or workshop

Plan for and prepare for the program:

  • Participate in introductory and planning calls with your Local Program Director
  • Complete all mandatory online training modules prior to the summer
  • Participate and/or lead introductory and planning calls with Mentors
  • Co-lead In-Country Training with Local Program Director

Work to establish positive team dynamic with Local Program Director, Mentors, and all support staff:

  • Support Mentors in their own professional development by conducting goal-setting sessions, check-ins and providing feedback both throughout the summer and at the end by completing a Staff Performance Evaluation
  • Live alongside students; you are responsible for the students 24 hours a day, 7 days a week while programs are in session
  • Protect the health and safety of students at all times
  • Facilitate the implementation of GLAโ€™s service-learning leadership curriculum
  • Guide students through personal growth experiences
  • Resolve student discipline issues
  • Manage parent communication, as well as communication with GLA Headquarters
  • Provide constructive feedback for further program and curriculum development

Mentors participate in all aspects of programming alongside students, including community service and excursions. Mentors facilitate activities implementing GLAโ€™s service-learning leadership curriculum, as well as discussion and reflection sessions to help students process their experiences. Mentors will facilitate discussions directly with a small group of students regularly and occasionally lead activities with larger groups of students.

Mentor responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following:

Participate fully in GLA Mentor Training:

  • Read and prepare questions on all resources provided by GLA
  • Participate in introductory and planning calls with your team
  • Complete all mandatory online training modules prior to the summer
  • Attend In-Country Training 5 days before the start of your program

Work to uphold a positive group dynamic:

  • Live alongside students; you are responsible for the students 24 hours a day, 7 days a week while programs are in session
  • Protect the health and safety of students at all times
  • Work as part of a team to implement GLAโ€™s service-learning leadership curriculum
  • Mentor and counsel students through personal growth experiences
  • Provide constructive feedback for further program and curriculum development

Important Notes

You must be available for the full range of dates to apply for a position within a program. Please review our website for program dates.

International Directors must be available 7 days prior to the program start date. Mentors must be available 5 days prior. Both are required to stay two days after the program end date.

Compensation and Benefits

  • Competitive stipend of $525/week for International Directors and $375/week for Mentors
  • Living expenses (food and lodging), including days in between program sessions
  • Roundtrip airfare to your program site
  • Flexibility to extend travel plans before or after contract dates
  • Medical insurance for the duration of your contract
  • International work experience alongside like-minded individuals
  • Professional development and networking opportunities
  • Five-day professional training in stunning Costa Rica, all expenses paid (International Directors only)
  • The ability to make an impact on students and local communities

How to Apply

Application Processย 

We begin interviewing for positions in October of each year. The hiring process has multiple steps, including careful placement – this usually takes 3-6 weeks. Communication will mainly be done via email; please remember to check your spam folder for a response from us regarding the status of your application. To apply now, follow this link:

Step 1: Online Application

Fill out and submit an online application. You will be asked to upload a cover letter, resume and two references. Applicants who do not complete the entire application process will not be considered. If you experience any issues or do not receive a confirmation email from GLA, please email

Note: Your cover letter should highlight your experience in facilitating experiential education programs, youth development and leadership, and any experience you have living/traveling the country or region where you are interested in working.

Step 2: Spark Hire Video Application

Upon submission of your online application, you will receive a link to complete a recorded interview using the Spark Hire video interview platform. This step requires a camera, a microphone and an internet connection. You will be asked to record your responses to four questions — each response will have a time limit of one minute. We cannot offer technical assistance, so if you need help, please contact Spark Hire Support directly.

We do not expect candidates to record their Spark Hire responses in a professional setting, so please do not worry if you are in a more casual setting, so long as youโ€™re able to answer the questions in a quiet area. If you are unable to complete this step due to connectivity issues, please email

Step 3: Interview Process

We will review your application, cover letter, resume and Spark Hire video application (steps 1 and 2 must be completed in order to be considered.) If your application is selected, we will invite you for a first-round interview via Zoom, a video conferencing platform. After the first interview, candidates who are selected to move forward in the interview process will have to complete one to two more interviews, depending on placement, before they are offered a contract.

Step 4: References and Background Check

We will contact your references. Assuming all goes well, you will be offered a position and then we will run a background check on you. Once the check comes back clear, youโ€™ll begin the onboarding process!

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)