Why Choose GLA?
Our Program Models
› A LIFE-CHANGING EXPERIENCE
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
Through the vehicle of community service, students dive out of their comfort zone and into a welcoming community. Experiencing a culture through this lens offers students the opportunity to truly get to know local residents and lends a strong sense of purpose to their travel. Through the service-learning methodology, participants come away with an in-depth understanding of their host community and the global issues it faces. Our service-learning programs are a good fit for students who want to form meaningful bonds with local residents or those who wish to lend a hand on community-developed service projects.
INCLUDES 20+ HOURS OF COMMUNITY SERVICE
Where our service-learning programs go deep, Europe Discovery programs go broad. These experiences deliver on our exploratory travel methodology to immerse students in a country or theme through a series of locations deliberately selected for their impact and significance – iconic monuments, historical sites, and cultural exploration are all on the agenda. This program model is ideal for students who are curious about or have a strong interest in history, culture, the arts, contemporary issues, and the role of each city or region on the global stage.
INCLUDES 5-10 HOURS OF COMMUNITY SERVICE
Why Choose GLA
The GLA Difference
Leadership & Intentional Program Design
GLA programs create ambitious, ethical leaders. At GLA, we believe leaders are made, not born: leadership is a life skill than can, and should, be developed. Leadership is woven throughout all elements of the program. 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. Every site visit, cultural workshop, and service activity is an opportunity to put these leadership skills into action. Our holistic approach to leadership and learning creates a lifelong impact for students.
Program Components: Global Service-Learning Programs
Program Components: Europe Discovery Programs
Our Program Models in Action
Global Leadership Adventures offers Fellowships to 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 specially designed to work with any GLA spring or summer program, of any length, in any location, 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 you must first submit an application.
Choose between being an Honors Fellow or Arts & Letters Fellow at the time of your Fellowship application.
5-Point Safety System
Safety is our first priority. While we believe in the transformative power of stepping outside comfort zones, we remain invested in managing the risks of doing so. We’ve carefully crafted and continue to enforce our 5-Point Safety System, a set of rigorous standards that support the safety, health and well-being of students on every program.
Your Home away from Home.
Safety is our top priority, and we provide lodging that’s out of the ordinary. On a GLA adventure, you might stay in a zen-like ecolodge tucked away in the lush Caribbean jungle, a traditional Inca tambo, or rustic Thai villas neighboring an elephant sanctuary. Throughout this website, each program page will indicate a general idea of the type of lodging you can expect to experience. Most programs include an overnight stay away from the main Home Base or split time between two or more Home Base locations.
EXCLUSIVE HOTEL BLOCK
These may resemble Western hotels back home, with multiple stories and a reception desk at the entrance; others may be smaller, locally-owned properties where our group stays in an exclusive floor or wing.
Rustic villas are detached, well-appointed structures that offer comfortable living with plenty of open space, amenities and lush landscaping. GLA reserves a group or cluster of villas, and has access to shared eating areas and common space.
Guesthouses are modest, unique properties where students have the opportunity to personally interact with their host, often eating together and sharing common areas.
An enclosed compound is a cluster or several buildings in a gated enclosure. Compounds often include detached guest quarters, a separate kitchen, dining area, a common area, multi-purpose facilities and host residences, all within an intimate space.
Traditional bungalows are detached structures, often featuring some open-air construction and located in remote locations close to nature and the local culture, such as beach towns, jungles and mountains.
Ecolodges tend to be remote, located in relatively pristine natural environments. Ecolodges emphasize elements such as environmental responsibility and minimizing negative impact. Students have the unique experience of being educated by hosts about the flora and fauna of local ecosystems, and experiencing closeness to nature as well as the area's local culture.
Full-Service Parent & Travel Support
At GLA, we are your tireless mission control. In other words, we’re with you every step of the way. We understand it can be challenging to leave your teen to the care of others, so we take equal care in providing superior support for every parent and guardian, before, during, and post-program.
GLA’s international program staff are more than just chaperones – they’re passionate educators and teen experts. Students are led by program Directors and Mentors who have in-depth professional experience working experientially with youth, hold college or graduate degrees, and are confident travelers with certifications for the locations and activities they will oversee.
Over half return each season to work with GLA year after year. Some Directors have even served overseas in the Peace Corps, or in other international organizations and roles, and they bring the skills they have acquired working cross-culturally to their roles with us each spring and summer.
Our staff elevate a program from a mere trip to a life-changing journey.
Our local partners are the key to making our programs as immersive and authentic as possible. At GLA, we recognize that working with local partners is a fundamental part of sustainable development, effective community service and responsible travel. They are a core part of our global family, and many have been working with us for years.