BE MORE THAN A TOURIST! Global Routes is a pioneer in the world of immersive international programming for high school students. Our transformative program model combines meaningful community service, authentic homestays, and unparalleled adventures off-the-beaten-track.
Global Routes is the program for you if you’re curious and adventurous, dedicated to strengthening our global community, and are looking for an authentic travel experience. Through our transformative program model, students develop critical global skills, leadership, confidence, compassion, and an enthusiasm for experiencing the world!
OUR TRANSFORMATIVE PROGRAM MODEL
IN-COUNTRY ORIENTATION: Each program begins with program orientation in a spectacular location. In Ecuador it’s the Andes, in Tanzania it’s Mt. Meru, and in Costa Rica it’s the rainforest. Program leaders and local experts teach the language, culture, and traditions of the host country. Lifelong friendships develop within the group. This early bonding lays a powerful foundation for the cultural immersion ahead.
COMMUNITY SERVICE AND CULTURAL EXCHANGE: An authentic and immersive experience is the hallmark and highlight of all Global Routes programs. Our unique approach to community service focuses on developing a deep and meaningful relationship with one rural community, and completing a primary service project that's selected by that community. These projects tend to be construction based: building a classroom, health clinic, or irrigation system. During the community service portion of our programs, students live with families who have volunteered to host and who have been carefully screened and selected by our in-country staff, who also supervise and support the homestay placements throughout the program. The opportunity to live with a local family allows students to truly immerse themselves in the local culture.
TRAVEL ADVENTURES: Places of world-renowned beauty and adventure create the backdrop for every group’s final days of reflection and celebration. Global Routes works closely with professional guides and outfitters to craft activities such as kayaking, snorkeling, white water rafting, going on safari, learning traditional arts and music, and visiting local festivals, ancient cities, and geographic wonders.
READY TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE? Take the first step by contacting our team by clicking on the above Website button, or the Apply Now button and completing our bried enrollment form. (no deposit or commitment required).
2023 HIGH SCHOOL SUMMER PROGRAMS (students ages 14-18)
*Program dates may shift slightly
Hawaii - Service & Social Justic on the Big Island:
Blending awe-inspiring beauty and transformational learning and service, Hawaii will be the trip of a lifetime. Forget what you think you know about Hawaii and learn about its deep history, culture, and the Hawaii sovereignty movement. The program will explore the areas of permaculture, natural building, and climate justice with a foundation of Hawaiian culture and exploring social justice issues. This program will be an unforgettable, perspective-shattering experiences.
Nepal - Service & Cultural Exchange on the Roof of the World
Nepal offers an incredible experience for students seeking an immersive program abroad in one of the most spectacular settings on Earth. Wander through the bazaars, temples, and cobblestoned-streets of Dhulikhel and Kathmandu, and then head off on a 9-day trek to sacred, jewel-like lakes beneath breathtaking peaks in the Himalayas. Dive into Nepalese daily life by living with a homestay family and working alongside community members to construct a school, plant trees, and teach English. Explore the rich cultural history and architecture of the ancient cities of Bhaktapur and Bodhnath. The rich cultural and spiritual fabric of Nepal, and the warm hospitality of its people, create an awe-inspiring appreciation for life’s simplicity.
Costa Rica - Service, Spanish, & Cutlural Exchange:
Costa Rica is a perfect choice for the student seeking to improve their Spanish skills, contribute to a meaningful service project, and experience life-changing adventures in the heart of the rainforest. In the afternoons, you might play soccer with local children, help your host family prepare the traditional dish of gallo pinto, or harvest sugar cane on the family farm. You'll explore exotic rainforests via zipline, rappel down waterfalls, learn to surf in the pristine Pacific Ocean, and whitewater raft the Savegre River. Experience the Pure Vida life!
Leaders in Action, Costa Rica:
Live and work with members of your host community as you gain a new appreciation for rural life and learn about the critical link between development and environmental protection. Join the Global Routes tradition, one which dates back to over 20 years of service with a host of communities and dozens of schools in Costa Rica. This Costa Rica program is a special version of the Costa Rica program specifically designed for the Leaders in Action group.
Ecuador & the Amazon:
Ecuador is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world! It has a remarkable variety of habitats and is as rich culturally as it is geographically. Discover Ecuador firsthand as you meet the indigenous peoples of the High Sierra, trek through clouds in the high Andes, and celebrate the vibrancy of rural family life.
South Pacific - Fiji & New Zealand Outdoor Adventure:
This program will take you from the palm-lined beaches and fertile mountain valleys of Fiji to the majestic mountains of New Zealand (Aotearoa) you will get to explore marine ecosystems while snorkeling in the waters of Savusavu, and finally finish with a traditional Maori Rites of Passage ceremony, this program offers a unique opportunity to discover diverse island communities, learn about the importance of environmental conservation, and to cultivate a strong sense of leadership and engagement through outdoor recreation.
Thailand & Cambodia - Service & Cultural Exchange:
From the peaceful temples and old walled city of Chiang Mai to the world-renowned temples of Angkor Wat; the mountainous jungles of northern Thailand to the clear ocean waters of the country’s famed islands and beaches, this program brings you to Thailand and Cambodia to explore topics of tradition, globalization, and human rights while discovering the warmth and hospitality of these unique cultures.
Italy - History, Culture, & Service:
Dive deep into Firenze (Florence), working with an urban garden project, visiting local NGOs and exploring this city that is considered the “birthplace of the Renaissance.” Hike a portion of the Via Francigena, one of the ancient pilgrimage routes that leads to Rome. We’ll explore a section through Tuscany, stopping along the way to learn about local history, culture and farming. This is Italy at it’s core! Visit a community permaculture project and spend some time in nature building community. Learn about organic gardening and farming and support community projects such as reclaiming ancient forest tracks.
Greece - Archaeology, Agriculture, & Cultlural Exchange:
Explore Greek language and culture on the island of Crete, while also learning about traditional agriculture, cooking, and building. We’ll explore the surrounding mountains unique flora and fauna, learn about traditional farming methods and folklore, and meet with archaeologists to learn about this islands fascinating history. Explore Athens – the birthplace of democracy and the heart of ancient Greek civilization. While here, meet with local youth to help them practice their English and to learn more about Greek history and culture. Spend a few days of island hopping from Mainland Greece to Crete. Greece is known for its many islands, beaches and bright blue sea, most iconically for the picturesque blue and white villages of the Cycladic Island chain.
ENROLL TODAY! Click on the Apply Now button to enroll and save your space on the program of your choice.
The tuition range depends on location. International airfare is not included in the tuition. Please visit our website for full pricing details.
FINANCIAL AID IS AVAILABLE: We offer between 10-50% financial aid based on need. Please submit our financial aid application if interested: Click on Apply Now button and scroll down to "Financial Aid" and click "Enroll." Up to 35% of Global Routes students receive some amount of financial aid.
I'm so grateful to have gone on two Global Routes programs: Costa Rica (2020) and Hawaii (2021)!!! Both I trips I felt challenged, supported, and cared for by the leaders. This led to so many rewarding feelings I will never forget. I made connections with people I know with life a lifetime. Without GR and these programs, I would not be the person I am today. I have learned so much about myself and what kind of traveller I want to be, and how I am trying to be a better person. These programs taught me kindness, appreciation, and the importance of simplicity in life. I would recommend a GR program to anyone who loves adventure, is looking to open their eyes and heart to the world, and is searching for more.
I chose Global Routes because my mom used to be a leader with the organization so I knew that it was a good option that was safe and provides a very good experience. Global Routes was the hardest thing I have ever done. It was also by far the best thing I've ever done. It taught me a lot about myself and helped me work through some problems; I have since been able to work a lot of what I learned into my life which is really nice. It was also so much fun and an absolutely amazing experience in every aspect. I loved everything we did such as safaris, working on the work-site, and living in a homestay. I also loved all the people on the trip; everyone was so welcoming and nice and it was really easy to fit right in. My leaders, Avy and Mary, were absolutely amazing. They exceeded all of my expectations that I came in with. They were always their when I needed them and were splendid in all aspects. Overall, I have no regrets about going on the trip to Tanzania because it has brought me only good things and I loved every minute of it.
The summer I did this trip was one of the best summers of my life. This trip as influence me in so many ways. I have made so many life long friends, tried new things, and learned so much while on the trip. Getting to immerse in a new culture and really become part of a community was life changing.
One big thing on this trip was the chance to create our own summer camp and work with children. As someone who wishes to go into education this experience was extremely valuable. Running the camp taught me how to work in a group and how to communicate better with others.
Parents and students should take this trip as an opportunity to grow as a person. The Global Routes programs give students the awesome and unique opportunities to really experience a new culture and become part of the community.
My future advice for anyone thinking about joining a Global Routes trip is take advantage of this experience, immerse the culture and community. The Global Routes programs give students the awesome and unique opportunities to really experience a new culture and become part of the community.
This trip has been the most meaningful and impactful experience of my life. Not only was I able to fully immerse myself in the culture and lifestyle of Tanzania, I was able to bond with my peers and discover new things about myself that I hadn't seen before. Mary and Adam were the best trip leaders I could have asked for; they were with us every step of the way, constantly checking up on us and making all kinds of accommodations for us. I feel confident that I will be able to walk away from this trip with a full heart and open mind, as well as be able to incorporate some of my takeaways from the trip into my daily life.
My Global Routes experience was something I will never forget. I learned more than I ever thought possible. It was definitely a challenge but it for sure shaped me to become a better person. Our trip had 3 different phases, first the cultural orientation, the homestay and service project, then an incredible 3 day safari. Our cultural orientation was at the United African Alliance Community Center in Arusha. We learned a few things that would be super useful at the homestay, as well as bond, try some Tanzanian food, learn a bit of Swahili, and grow an appreciation for the welcoming Tanzanians. Our leaders, Adam and Mary, were clearly very experienced in these situations. They made me feel very welcomed and payed attention to me. I had gotten pretty sick on the airplane on the way there, and they made sure that every activity I was doing I was good with and was feeling better. The homestay and worksite was just an indescribable experience, I seriously do not know how to put it into words. It was just so surreal and educational. I had to kept reminding myself that that was their everyday life. I learned how to cook in the dark and with one flame, clean clothes with 2 buckets, use a squatty potty, and my personal favorite, the bucket bath. The building of the classroom was another unforgettable thing. Seeing the joy in the children and the fundis who helped us build the school was so heartwarming. Definitely challenging but super worth it. The safari was just crazy. It felt like a Disney ride. By the end of this trip, we were all one big happy and loving family. We have a very special bond. Asante sana Global Routes for this opportunity. If you are reading this, go on a Global Routes trip. You will not regret it.
This Global Routes trip was the best 2 weeks of my life! Although challenging at times, every moment was truly life changing. I created a new family with my fellow travelers, and the Tanzanians! It was a great experience in which I furthered my global mindfulness and gained a sense of community and family with all of the people I was with throughout the trip. My fellow travelers and I have become friends for life and I will never forget the warm smiles of all the Tanzanians. The trip was amazing and I would do it again in a heartbeat. None of it would have been possible without Global Routes. I truly recommend a Global Routes trip to anyone who wishes to touch others lives while becoming closer with the ones they travel with. If you have any doubts about going on a trip like this, I can assure you that Global Routes leaders offered tremendous amounts of support throughout the trip and they will not let you down.
I've been on two Global Routes programs (Nepal and St. Vincent) and I feel so incredibly lucky to have had these experiences. Global Routes gave me the tools to be a strong leader and compassionate friend. The programs facilitate profound self-exploration and extraordinary adventures-and of course are a lot of fun. The leaders of the trips were the best I could ask for-super friendly, interesting, responsible, and inspiring-and I met so many wonderful people whom I will be friends with for years to come. Even years later I recall these experiences frequently, remembering moments from each trip when I was inspired and challenged to grow, or when I laughed to the point of tears. Global Routes broadened my perspective and gave me a strong sense of global awareness that continues to influence the choices I make and paths I take.
Making the decision to go to a foreign country for a whole month with a group of people I had never met was not easy. However, looking back on my experience in Costa Rica with Global Routes, it was easily one of the best decisions I have ever made. My experience has affected me so profoundly that I've had trouble describing it in a way that others will understand, but what I can say is that Global Routes provided the perfect environment for personal development. Opportunities to reflect upon my strengths and weaknesses seemed to naturally present themselves throughout the duration of the trip, and by the end I felt that I had a deeper understanding of myself than ever before. I feel as though the group I was a part of could have been anywhere in the world and had just as meaningful of an experience. That being said, Costa Rica was absolutely beautiful and there is no other place I would have rather been, and the connections we all made with the locals we encountered were truly precious (and for me personally, completely unexpected). Also, the bond among the members of my group was the strongest I've ever witnessed in such a setting. Working daily on the construction of a communal kitchen for San Antonio, the community we stayed in for the majority of the trip, taught us about the value of working hard and as a team, and also gave us the opportunity to connect with those who welcomed us into their homes. Before arriving to Costa Rica, I expected my role to be one of giving, but there turned out to be just as much receiving on my part. Overall, I found there to be a perfect balance of fun--in the waterfall rappel, daily soccer games with the community, zip lining, surf lessons, white water rafting, and group bonding in general--and growth--in the responsible risks we were encouraged to take, the adjustment required to live in such a new setting, the roles of leadership we frequently took on, and the beautiful cultural exchange that occurred. If I had to pick a favorite part of the trip, it would be the home stay, although the time spent in the rainforest and at the beach was spectacular as well. I would highly recommend going to Costa Rica with Global Routes - I would definitely do it again if given the opportunity!