Overview

Global Leadership Adventures offers globally-minded high school students journeys that have often been called life-changing. Programs are offered in Africa, Asia, Europe & Latin America that build awareness of other cultures & educate students on important issues.

Global Leadership Adventures offers high school students journeys that have often been called "inspiring." Programs are offered in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America and students from around the globe come together to volunteer side by side with local people, learn first hand about social issues and explore places of historical and cultural significance. Although each program is different, they all build awareness of other cultures, educate students on important issues, and develop leadership skills necessary to be effective in a globalized world and in the formation of becoming "global citizens."

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138 Participant Reviews

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A million words can't begin to explain

A million words can't begin to explain

5
Reviewed on 3/5/2019 by

Hi! I am a Global Leadership Adventures Alumni and I had an amazing trip with GLA. I choose Ghana: children of Africa and this was the best experience of my life. In Ghana, we lived in a house that was in the village I volunteered in. There wasn't ever any moment that I felt unsafe. At the age of 15, this was not only my first time traveling into Africa but my first time traveling alone. I feel that I have grown a lot, everything from no longer having a single story of Africa to knowing how to check in my bags. I didn't know much about the culture. shortly after arriving we got a little history and visited a host family to learn how to speak some Krobo. The program staff were very supportive and were always there to talk if you needed anything. a million words can't begin to explain the love, joy, and so many more emotions from this trip.

Best Experience of my Life

Best Experience of my Life

5
Reviewed on 3/4/2019 by

I went to Costa Rica for a fourteen day trip to teach in schools, and it was the best thing I have ever done. I have never had a better time. I learned so much about myself, and I think I really was able to make a difference. I was able to teach the kids in my school a bit of English, but I also got to work on their school, and their classroom, to give them a better learning environment. I also met some of the most wonderful people, and they will probably be some of the best friends I've ever had. After this experience, I decided that I want to teach kids, and I don't know if I would have come to this conclusion if it weren't for this trip. I would recommend this program to anyone and everyone.

BEST EXPERIENCE EVER

BEST EXPERIENCE EVER

5
Reviewed on 3/4/2019 by

Wow! GLA Peru was the best experience ever, I met so many new friends and had such an amazing time! I loved every second of my trip, we did so much service and adventure! It was so amazing to meet other people like you that love to travel and do service! I would 100% recommend this trip . It was so amazing.

Life Changing

Life Changing

5
Reviewed on 2/22/2019 by

I came back from the Galapagos Islands with GLA a changed person. This trip opened my eyes to the wonders of our world and the amazing wildlife and environments that exist on it. The service was very rewarding and I made lifelong friends on the trip. The leaders were excellent at connecting with the students as well as being leaders and role models to us. If you are thinking about GLA, I 100% reccomend it. You will not regret it.

Worth it!

Worth it!

4
Reviewed on 5/1/2018 by

I had an amazing time on the Empowering Rainforest Communities trip to Costa Rica with Global Leadership Adventures. Everything from the wildlife to the food to the culture made a memory for a lifetime. My group did struggle with internal relationships, but we worked through hard times together, as our task was mentally and physically challenging. The climate was a rainforest, so it rained a lot... and then some. I wasn’t quite prepared for the humidity and rain, as I am from a dryer climate. But I learned to live with wet clothes. Make sure to keep money or important documents from molding.

Amazing Experience!

Amazing Experience!

5
Reviewed on 5/1/2018 by

Hi all! I am a Global Leadership Adventures Alumni and I had an amazing time in Peru, Ghana and Thailand with GLA! I really recommend GLA! The housing experience was great! GLA Peru rented out a hotel in Cusco, for both the 2 week and the 3 week groups. In Ghana we all stayed in a house together and in Thailand we also had a hotel! I felt very safe there! I had never been to Peru, Ghana or Thailand, so I felt that by being there I grew, a lot! I understood much of their culture and what their lifestyles are like. The program staff were very supportive! I felt that I was able to talk to them about whatever I needed, or if I was frustrated with other students! Overall I recommend GLA to all High School age students!

Amazing Experience!

Amazing Experience!

5
Reviewed on 5/1/2018 by

Hi! My daughter has gone on 3 absolutely amazing GLA trips! She has had so many beneficial experiences! Each trip she has gone on I have felt so safe with her leaving! The communication and help I received from the GLA staff made such a difference. I had many questions the first trip she went on and they were always there to answer them! One of the best parts was seeing the blog of what they were up to each day! Coming back she had so many amazing stories to tell! I completely recommend GLA!!!

Global Leadership Adventures 14-Day Children of the Maya Guatemala Program

Global Leadership Adventures 14-Day Children of the Maya Guatemala Program

5
Reviewed on 4/2/2018 by

Global Leadership Adventures is a truly an extraordinary organization! This past summer I traveled to Guatemala for the 14-day Children of the Maya Program. This experience forever changed my life and the way in which I view the world. Going into my second trip with Global Leadership Adventures, I was still nervous about traveling solo to a foreign country. However, GLA is very helpful with flight coordination and making their students feel as comfortable as possible. When you sign up for a GLA trip there's a spreadsheet in the Travel Portal with every student signed up for the program including their emails, the city/state they reside in, whether or not they're a GLA alumni, and their flights for the program. The Travel Portal is a very useful tool I used while planning both my GLA trips to the Dominican Republic and Guatemala. Also, GLA's in-country staff is very assertive. There is a 24 hour hot spot available in all GLA locations, along with a cell phone available to all students if they ever need to call home! All of GLA's home bases are extremely safe and are equipped with western style bathrooms! Undeniably, the country you do a GLA trip in will become you new home away from home. I encourage everyone to step outside their comfort zones and realms of security to experience something that will forever change your life!

Happy Parent of GLA Students

Happy Parent of GLA Students

5
Reviewed on 4/2/2018 by

This past summer, my twins went to Costa Rica with Global Leadership Adventures on the Beachside Service Adventure and they had the times of their lives. The GLA staff was very supportive from before they even enrolled to after they returned home and they did a wonderful job of ensuring my kids' safety and the quality of their experience. While in county they participated in exciting adventure and cultural experiences and performed meaningful service alongside the locals. They also built strong relationships with the other kids on the trip and made new discoveries about our word. I am so happy I was able to send them abroad!

Two life changing experiences

Two life changing experiences

5
Reviewed on 3/28/2018 by

My daughter has gone on two trips so far with GLA. First she went to Costa Rica for 10 days. When she came back, she had developed a much more global perspective of the world. She was ready to travel farther and for longer. From the communication from GLA and how safe I felt my daughter had been on her first trip, I had no problem allowing her to go on another trip. Her next trip was going to Fiji for 3 weeks. This was half way around the planet and an experience most will never have. I am glad that she has had these opportunities. She is going on a spring break service trip to the Dominican Republic and a summer trip to Guadeloupe, with a home stay. She is doing this to help the community and also be exposed to the the French language. I am so proud of who she has become, partly due to her experiences with GLA.

My summer in Fiji with Global Leadership Adventures

My summer in Fiji with Global Leadership Adventures

5
Reviewed on 3/23/2018 by

Traveling with Global Leadership Adventures has given me the most amazing life experiences and many unforgettable adventures. On my GLA trip to Fiji I met so many new amazing people that were on my trip with me and within the locals, everyone is so kind and caring there. I learned so much about other cultures during my trip and the other ways people normally live their lives. During my three weeks on the islands, I made strong relationships with people, learned parts of a new and unique language, experienced delicious new foods, learned ways to adapt to unexpected situations, and I learned a lot about myself. GLA trips have a unique way of respectfully making you a part of a community that isn't yours, to provide them with assistance in any way needed by the community. It is the way they assist others and helps the students become comfortable in these new environments and make sure they have a great time, in the end, is what makes the Global Leadership Adventures programs unique and an amazing experience to have in life.

Global Leadership Adventures: Life-changing cultural, social service experiences

Global Leadership Adventures: Life-changing cultural, social service experiences

5
Reviewed on 2/8/2018 by

GLA provided me with many firsts: my first time out of the country, my first time traveling without an adult, and my first time being immersed in all of the beauties of another culture. My first trip with them was on a spring break service trip in the Dominican Republic in 2016. My friend had found out about GLA online, and I thought it would serve as a fun time away from home with friends. Little did I know that this trip would become something so much more. We spent our time there working on a house for a single mother and her two children, distributing water filters to a Dominican-Haitian village, and replanting trees. My last trip (because really I couldn't get enough) was to Belize for two weeks this past summer. There, we taught local school children, many of whom I've stayed in contact with for whenever they need help with school or just to talk. You see, with GLA, you're not just spending time in another country, just passing through, you're actually taking part in local community service projects and making an impact that will last long after you've left. You get the chance to meet and interact with people from these countries who, despite having little or less than us, are amazingly kindhearted and selfless. It really helps you to see the world in a different light and put things into perspective for you in your own life. I know that this is a cliche, overused expression, but there really is no better way for me to describe the opportunities that GLA provides you with as anything less than life-changing. While they do incorporate some extremely fun, recreational activities (in the Dominican Republic we went cliff jumping, snorkeling, and shopping in local markets; in Belize, we went to see ancient Mayan ruins, visited a beautiful and vibrant island, and went snorkeling in the second largest Barrier Reef in the world), I found that I actually enjoyed the service with the local people to be so much more fun and meaningful for me. I would give anything to see each of the people I worked with again. However, it's not just the people from the country you form a connection with; I met so many wonderful people taking part in the service trips who shared a lot of the same interests with me. I still keep in contact with many of them to this day ( I'm actually planning a trip this next summer to meet up with a few of them). Please don't just take my word for it, though. Take a chance and sign up to be a part of a service organization that gives so much to every corner of the world. I guarantee you won't regret that you did.

Mom's GLA Review Tanzania

Mom's GLA Review Tanzania

5
Reviewed on 2/4/2018 by

My daughter went on a a 3 week program in Tanzania with the GLA last summer 2017. I had never heard of GLA prior to 2017 but after her expressed interests in taking part in this program, I read everything I could find about it and felt good enough to register her. Everything went without a hitch, all preparations prior to departure were done quickly and painless ourselves because everything was prescribed. And before long, it was departure time, and off she goes to Africa, on her own, meeting up with other teens going to the same program on their flights there to Tanzania. While she was in Africa, I didn’t worry at all because I got email and blog updates on what the kids are up to, with pictures even. I could call her if I needed to, and she could call me and text me while there. All in all, she had “the best 3 weeks of her life so far” and the memories and lessons learned are priceless! I would let her do it again, if she so inclined. I am glad she got to experience this incredible adventure on her own with other teens her age and with experienced guides and a local organizer. This is something that will affect her long after the trip is over.

A Dad's Review of GLA Tanzania

A Dad's Review of GLA Tanzania

5
Reviewed on 2/4/2018 by

I was very impressed with my daughter’s service-learning experience with GLA in Tanzania last summer. She received thoughtful guidance and immersion into the local culture and day to day living in the village of Arusha near Kilimanjaro. Here the students give of their time and knowledge to teach and help in executing community projects that improve the lives of local citizens. In turn they learn what it is to engage another culture through their traditions and beliefs. And they are introduced to the diversity of the natural environment that my daughter could only describe as wonderfully strange. This intense three week international experience was inspiring and enriching and reminded my daughter and our family of the promise for what it is to be a global citizen.

3 Weeks of Absolute Adventure in Thailand

3 Weeks of Absolute Adventure in Thailand

5
Reviewed on 1/29/2018 by

This previous July I went on GLA's Cultural Kaleidoscope trip in Thailand. I have to say that those 3 weeks I spent in Thailand were unforgettable. From the food, the culture, to the everlasting friendships I made, this trip was the highlight of my summer before college. Not only were our trip leader knowledgeable, they were caring, fun and always their to listen/help. Everyday was a new adventure and never felt that I was wasting my time instead I felt as though I would never be the same when I came back home.

Tanzania: An extraordinary 3 weeks

Tanzania: An extraordinary 3 weeks

5
Reviewed on 1/28/2018 by

I went on a Global Leadership Adventures 3-week program to Tanzania this past summer. I have traveled out of the country with my family multiple times in the past, but I had never flown internationally alone. Naturally, I was extremely nervous. However, when I met most of the other GLA participants before our flight to Tanzania, we hit it right off. When we arrived, all of us 30 students got to know each other so well and became extremely close in a matter of days. The fact that we could all relate to each other, yet we were all so different, made volunteering in the Tanzanian community (primarily teaching English at a local school and refurbishing the school) and exploring the country a blast. Throughout the program, I felt safe wherever we went--even if we were in the middle of safari among giraffes, lions, and elephants! (There's a bodyguard on watch at the home base at all times.) In addition, the mentors are extremely caring about making your experience reflective and memorable. This trip opened me up to a world of travel that I had never before been exposed to. I highly recommend any teen who is seeking an opportunity to make an impact on a foreign community and to be immersed in another culture to look into a GLA program. Personally, I would recommend the 3-week programs (if possible for you) in order to get the full experience.

14 day animal rescue

14 day animal rescue

5
Reviewed on 1/24/2018 by

My 16 year old daughter went on the 14 day animal rescue program last summer. I was hesitant at first since she had never traveled alone. We then found out one of her teammates had done a trip the summer before and she and her mother spoke highly of the experience. I gave in. Jules had the most amazing experience. Everything from the service work, the cultural learning, and of course the friendships. The staff were attentive to the students and Jules expressed that she always felt safe. Jules is a vegetarian and had no problem eating on the trip. The blog posts that were supposed to be 2-3 times a week, were almost daily which was very helpful for a nervous parent. To be able to read and see pictures of what they were doing, how much fun they were having, and how happy everyone seemed eased my concerns. She would have stayed longer if she could have and is already signed up for the upcoming summer for trips to the Galapagos and Thailand.

Costa Rica - Empowering the Rainforest Communities

Costa Rica - Empowering the Rainforest Communities

5
Reviewed on 1/19/2018 by

The summer of 2017 I had the ability to go on the adventure of a lifetime by myself in Costa Rica. When getting to the airport in Costa Rica, it was a little nerve racking knowing that I was alone, in a country i have never been to before. However, as soon as I went through the doors, I was greeted with friendly faces and warm personalities from the staff of GLA. On the bus to our home for next two weeks, everyone slowly started to become friends and told stories on why we chose this program. The community was so welcoming when we got into the town, and were willing to open their arms to us so we could assist them in projects. Over the two weeks being there, I saw so many things that i wouldn't have been able to, like sloths, different insects, variety of people, and the most amazing sights of the coast and the jungle, if it wasn't for GLA and everything they did to help me get to Costa Rica. I highly recommend GLA if you are looking for safe travels, meeting amazing people, and unforgettable memories. Happy Travels.

My Daughters GLA Experience

My Daughters GLA Experience

5
Reviewed on 1/19/2018 by

My daughter Hollie did the 2 week Tanzania trip with GLA in June, 2017. Hollie absolutely loved the entire trip, and was so inspired by it, that her feet have not touched the ground since! Thanks to the meaningful service work that GLA did on her trip (refurbish the classrooms), Hollie even took her service a step further when she returned home, by creating a fundraiser for the kids school, to further refurbish. Her fundraiser has gone very well so far, and she even has future plans to return back ASAP. Also, Hollie made several amazing friends on her trip, three of which happen to be from the same state as us, so they have gotten together multiple times, as well as two who live in the town where she will be attending college, and ones who stay in touch over the phone. GLA sparked a passion in Hollie that I know will be lifelong. If your child is thinking about going on a GLA trip, stop thinking and just GO. They will come home with so much more appreciation of the life they live in the USA.

My Daughter's Summer Trip

My Daughter's Summer Trip

5
Reviewed on 1/15/2018 by

Hello, my daughter went on the Costa Rica beach side service adventure trip. Initially, my wife and I were really worried sending her to a foreign country alone. I can honestly say I was very pleased with the way GLA handled everything. I needed to get in contact with her on the trip and they quickly got her to a phone. I felt very confident in the GLA staff and program. I am so excited for her to be going on her next trip this Spring to the Dominican Republic. Thank you GLA!!

Ghana Children of Africa 2 Week

Ghana Children of Africa 2 Week

5
Reviewed on 1/15/2018 by

Last school year, I decided on a whim that I wanted to go on a service trip abroad and began my search online for a well-qualified program that would meet my desires. I came across Global Leadership Adventures, and with reviews such as these, I made the decision to trust my travels with this organization. Throughout the application and admission process, the GLA staff was super helpful with any questions me or my mother had and could answer anything I threw at them by email within a day. I left Virginia not knowing what to expect but once I met up with other girls in New York, some more in Amsterdam, and everyone else in Ghana I knew these next few weeks were going to be the best of my life because I was already becoming such good friends with the people on my trip. Everyone from the people on the plane, the GLA hired staff, and the members of the Krobo community were so welcoming and positive which was a great start to the trip. A typical day on this program consists of brick making, teaching at the elementary school or nursery, playing in the park, and indulging in the culture through naming ceremonies, batik cloth dying, fabric market shopping, bead making, sitting in on high school classes, and much more. Gla combines the perfect amount of service, cultural immersion, and fun days off to make the trip extra special. The goodbyes were the only bad thing about this trip because the kids wouldn't let go and it was hard to make them do so. Ghana will forever hold a special place in my heart.

My Daughters Trip to Tanzania

My Daughters Trip to Tanzania

5
Reviewed on 1/14/2018 by

Hi! My daughter Hollie went on the 2 week Tanzania trip in 2017. I cannot say enough about how fantastic GLA is! She had the trip of a lifetime. Not only did she fall absolutely in love with Tanzania (the second she got home she has been bugging us about going back!), she loved the experience as a whole, meeting new friends from all across the globe and spending this journey with them. She has truly met friends of a lifetime and has already reconnected with some friends back here in the United States multiple times! How cool is that? I would highly recommend GLA to anyone, anywhere, anytime. Their professionalism is amazing, and they truly do everything they say they are going to do. They made planning this trip very easy and will answer any question with delight! From the second we began to plan our daughters trip with GLA, to the second she returned home, everything went as smooth as possible! GLA changed my daughters life, and for that, I am forever grateful!

Global Leadership Adventures- Life changing.

Global Leadership Adventures- Life changing.

5
Reviewed on 1/11/2018 by

This previous July, I took a two week service trip to the Dominican Republic with Global Leadership Adventures, and participated in their Global Health Initiative program. The experience was absolutely life changing. The home base we stayed at for our two weeks in Barahona, Dominican Republic was beautiful. The living conditions were above average, and I was so comfortable for the duration of the stay. The mentors and directors are some of the nicest, most genuine people I have ever met. They are willing and able to help with any problems you may have, whether it be related to the program or not. The educational part of the program was amazing. I have an entire notebook filled with interesting facts I learned about the Dominican culture, memories I made, notes, and graphs. We even had the opportunity to have an organized debate on universal healthcare. Every night, we would finish up our day of service and adventures with a lecture, followed by mentor groups, where we would just sit and talk, unwind, and become closer as a Global Leadership Adventures family. For anyone interested in going on a Global Leadership Adventures trip, I would 100% recommend this company. I've never had a more rewarding experience. A+ for GLA!

14 Days of Pure Joy in Tanzania, Africa

14 Days of Pure Joy in Tanzania, Africa

5
Reviewed on 1/9/2018 by

This past summer, I traveled 7,515 miles from New Jersey, USA to Tanzania, Africa, all thanks to Global Leadership Adventures (GLA). Truthfully, words could never even adequately describe the experience I had. Before leaving, of course I was nervous, and also skeptical of all of the GLA Alumni I had seen raving, saying things such as "experience of a lifetime" or "life changing". Boy, was I off! It definitely is the type of thing that you have to experience for yourself to truly understand. However, I hope that in seeing my love and passion for the program, along with thousands of other teens from all around the world, that you too will be inspired to give it a go! On the Tanzania 14 day program, you get to teach at a primary school for one week, complete 30 hours of service (doing some type of refurbishment on the school), spend a day with a host family, explore local markets, villages and communities, spend time at an orphanage, hike the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro and even swim in it, tour a coffee farm, dance with locals, create traditional African art, embark on a two day safari trip (ABSOLUTELY AMAZING), try new and exotic yummy food, and SO MUCH MORE! Additionally, you make real, deep, meaningful connections with like-minded teenagers who will absolutely, positively be some life long friends of yours! Most importantly though, you learn about yourself! Whoever you are and wherever you came from, you are guaranteed to be enlightened, awakened and have an entirely new perspective on the world at large once your time is up! (My advice would be to even go for the 21 day program- 14 days are enough, but they fly!) Take a chance, take a risk and go for it! You will NOT regret it! There is no price tag that can be put on this experience.

GLA Guatemala

GLA Guatemala

5
Reviewed on 1/5/2018 by

I loved my experience with Global Leadership Adventures, I went to Guatemala on the 14 day Children of the Maya trip and had the best time! I made great friends and great memories. By going on this trip I realized how I want to impact peoples lives in the future! The staff members were awesome and I loved the home base, you felt super safe and right at home. I learned so much about their culture and their way of life! It was overall an amazing experience and I would recommend it to everyone!

Global Leadership Adventures Costa Rica

Global Leadership Adventures Costa Rica

5
Reviewed on 1/5/2018 by

This past summer, I traveled to Costa Rica on the "Beachside Service Adventure" with Global Leadership Adventures and it was incredible! I knew as soon as we landed in Costa Rica that it was going to be a great trip (and I was right!): we were greeted by friendly, competent staff then went to our home base. The adventures we had were so much fun and allowed us to experience the country. Our service projects were touching and engaged us with the locals, and the whole experience challenged us as people for the better. I am so happy I had the opportunity to go to Costa Rica with Global Leadership Adventures and cannot wait to head to the Dominican Republic with them!

Global Leadership Adventures Promises an Awesome Trip

Global Leadership Adventures Promises an Awesome Trip

5
Reviewed on 1/4/2018 by

Over the past summer, I went on this program and I was pretty nervous to travel alone and not know anybody. Little did I know that I was going to have the time of my life! This program helped me meet people that I can call my long lost bestfriends! I developed relationships with people who amazed me everyday with their kindness and generosity! I developed myself as a person through many different aspects. First, this trip helped grow my love for community work and missionaries. It makes me feel better about myself when I am helping others and this program was all about that. Second, I went out of my comfort zone and was able to have a fun time without having to worry! There is so much more I could include but I reccomend that everyone goes on a trip with Global Leadership Adventures and sees for themselves. The staff who accompanied me on this trip was awesome. I couldn't of asked for better people to lead my way to bettering myself as a human and bettering the people of Belize. The housing of this trip was awesome and the beds were comfy. The food was out of this world! I’m currently missing the abnormously large amount of plantains that would be accessible to us at all moments. This program has influenced me to want to be more involved with my community at home and the world around me! I will be going on another missions trip just because of how awesome this one was. My favorite memory about this trip was working with the kids. I worked with the younger age group and they were all so adorable and excited to learn. What I really took out of this experience is the fact that kids in Belize wanted to learn so bad while people at my home complain about going to school everyday. The kids in Belize would showup to the school we taught at running up to the friends I made and I hugging us! They would say thank you as much as possible just because we taught them the alphabet or some numbers. This really amazed me and made me realize that I need to be more grateful about how lucky I am to be able to go to school everyday. I reccomend that everyone who can goes on this trip and makes a memory close to this one. A memory that can change their outlook on life and make an extraordinary impact just like Belize; The Iniative for Children did for me :)

Global Leadership Adventures Galapagos

Global Leadership Adventures Galapagos

4
Reviewed on 12/31/2017 by

My daughter traveled to Ecuador and Galapagos the summer of 2017. She had an amazing trip and now is taking her second GLA trip this spring break 2018. GLA staff was great. I recommend GLA for teens who are independent, spirited and looking for a way to give back to the world. Pam Prast mother of 15 year old traveler.

The Best Three Weeks of My Life

The Best Three Weeks of My Life

5
Reviewed on 12/7/2017 by

This past summer I traveled to Fiji for three weeks with Global Leadership Adventures and I can honestly say it was the best experience I have ever had. Every new place we went we were greeted with the warmest welcomes and friendliest smiles I had ever seen in my life. The program director, mentors, and local staff were so incredibly helpful, supportive, intelligent, and fun. The food and housing were always great. The balance between service and adventure was awesome, we worked for long hours in the villages on a variety of projects but it was always fun. When we got back we had free time to jump in the ocean or hang out in a hammock. The excursions to see stingrays and the long mountain hikes were incredible. And the nightly meeting where we talked about leadership and our views on the world were so engaging and informative. While I was there I also became best friends with the other students on the trip, and since then have flown across the country to visit them. Everyone was so welcoming and nobody was left out, we all had so much fun together. My time in Fiji was without a doubt be the best experience I have had to date, and I know when I came home I was a changed person. I expanded my horizons and immersed myself into a new culture. I gained new knowledge of people around the world, and new insight into the vast world that is out there. My trip challenged me, it pushed me and tired me out but at the end of the day it proved to be so incredibly rewarding. I recommend this program so much to anyone who wants to do service in another country and expand their horizons. The spirit of the country was indescribable, one of the best things I have experienced in my life. The GLA staff did an amazing job organizing this and I'm so happy I was lucky enough to be a part of it!

Global Leadership Adventures

Global Leadership Adventures

5
Reviewed on 12/1/2017 by

My daughter went on a trip last year with GLA to Costa Rica. At first we were nervous about our her going so far as a 15 year old, but GLA was great and it ended up being a trip of a lifetime. The GLA advisors, Jackie, was very patient and informative with all my questions. They were completely on the ball at every step of the way and made us feel very comfortable as parents. The volunteer work with local school system was great for our daughter, but even more, the immersive cultural experience with like-minded teens from various places and backgrounds was irreplaceable. She has become an ambassador going with GLA to Peru this year and we're excited for her and the impact these trips are having on her world view, life experiences, learning and self esteem. We felt very comfortable working with Global Leadership Adventures and can not wait to see what future adventures our daughter has with GLA!

thai elephant home

thai elephant home

5
Reviewed on 11/30/2017 by

i went on a 14 day trip to thailand, surrounded by elephants. during my time in thailand i learned a lot about the issues that affect elephants in thailand today. i met some amazing people, including the staff and the students who attended the program with me. it was a very eye opening experience and a super fun trip. we got to visit buddhist temples and even talk with monks, we went rafting, and visited various elephant related organisations. our home base was very nice and the food we ate there was delicious! we got to work very closely with the elephants but at the same time we were made aware of the issues they face in thailand and in the tourist industry. i think Global Leadership adventures is a great way to travel and do service that is both fun and educational.

Thailand: Cultural Kaleidoscope

Thailand: Cultural Kaleidoscope

5
Reviewed on 11/21/2017 by

My two week trip with Global Leadership Adventures this past summer was a beyond amazing experience of learning, growth and fun! The ability to do service in a new place while also being immersed in a beautiful culture is life changing. We were able to make such amazing bonds with our students, and get them excited about learning a new language. We got to learn about Buddhism and its prominence in the culture of northern Thailand first hand by visiting temples and speaking with monks. We got authentic Thai food everyday and tried new things, and stepping out of our comfort zones. I learned so much from the hard work of raising the money for the trip to navigating an international airport by myself. Words can only say so much, and I would recommend this trip to anyone!

GLA Galapagos

GLA Galapagos

5
Reviewed on 11/20/2017 by

This summer I spent two weeks with amazing staff, students, and guides on the beautiful islands that are the Galapagos. This experience was my first time traveling alone, and i have to say it couldn't have been better. Everyday we would do community service work, with purpose and pride, just like the staff had taught us. We also got to experience the culture and beautify of these islands though many fun activities like hiking, snorkeling, beach walks, spending time in the town, and more. The staff had extensive knowledge and were more than willing to answer questions, goof around, and participate with students. Future participants be aware, you will come back changed. Seeing one of the last places on earth that is virtually untouched will change you, it changed me. To see how elegant nature is without human interaction has made me want to fight even more to protect it. I cam home wondering what more I could do, and swear of the impact my everyday actions have. This trip will change you, and 100% of that is for the better.

Global Leadership Adventures Tanzania (14 Days)

Global Leadership Adventures Tanzania (14 Days)

5
Reviewed on 11/17/2017 by

My time spent in Tanzania was unforgettable. I paid for this trip myself (I work all summer), but I would do it all over again! I truly enjoyed every aspect of this trip! The staff is really helpful, and answered all of my and my parents' pre-departure questions. Once you put down a deposit you also have access to a packing list, the other people on your trip, and so much more! I have actually gone on two trips, one to the Dominican Republic (Beachside Service) as well as Tanzania, and have had great experiences on both. Safety was a main concern for my parents but there was never a moment I felt unsafe. There was security on the home base and GLA has local staff who know their way around Tanzania. The service was so rewarding and it was so cool to make connections with people who live such different lives than mine. The food at the home base was so good and the staff was always willing to make something special for picky eaters. We did so many cultural activities that were so fun too! We went to a coffee plantation, dancing show, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Batik painting, a safari and more! Every part of this trip was so rewarding and I recommend for anyone to go on this trip!

My China - Global Leadership Adventures

My China - Global Leadership Adventures

4
Reviewed on 11/16/2017 by

This summer I went to China with a group of 24 students. Originally when searching for programs I found that none of them were even close to my price range as they were all too expensive. At first, I selected Global Leadership Adventures because of its affordable price and its service component. But it turned out to be so much more than that! GLA was an experience through which I learned to be more independent and confident. When out in the streets with other students we had to use our language skills to communicate which took a lot of brain power but also a lot of confidence. Making friends while on the China program was not hard at all. All the kids on my program were ambitious and they cared about making a difference. Since I found kids similar to me on the program it was really easy to make friends. Even though it's been a while since this summer we still have our group chat going strong and I even regularly meet up with two of the kids who live close to me. I definitely recommend GLA for other students because it really was a life changing experience for me and I think everyone should experience this great adventure! The language aspect of this program could be greatly improved. The language classes were extremely informal and I don't feel like I really learned any new Mandarin.

Parents point of view on daughters trip to Costa Rica

Parents point of view on daughters trip to Costa Rica

5
Reviewed on 11/8/2017 by

It was a big step for us to let our daughter go on her first big foreign trip on her own. However, we were re-assured by the extensive and well planned communication from GLA. We also noticed our daughter being very responsible in all her actions and in preparing for the trip. She really developed and grew as a result of the experience and came back clearly having had the best of times having met so many wonderful friends. She just can't stop talking about her experience abroad. It positively transformed her and I can highly recommend the experience to others. Her safety was GLAs number one priority, which really assured us. We haven't had any regrets in letting her go and despite my initial hesitations she had such an amazing time that she's going back this summer to Thailand with her sister, which will be her first trip but they both cant wait.

Parent's Perspective

Parent's Perspective

5
Reviewed on 11/8/2017 by

Leading up to my daughter's departure, GLA was extremely supportive and helpful. I loved that you could book your own flights (as opposed to being forced to go to JFK or Ontario first) because I'm in a mileage program. Even then, they helped me book the flight that worked the best. During the trip, I waited each and every day to look at the program blog. It was so wonderful seeing my daughter step out of her comfort zone with a smile on her face. Right when she came back home she immediately told me about the millions of plans she had to return to South Africa or go on another GLA trip. I'm happy to say I'm planning to let her go on one again :) !

Parent Point of View

Parent Point of View

5
Reviewed on 11/7/2017 by

My daughter went on the Thailand Cultural Kaleidoscope trip this summer through Global Leadership Adventures. I have never seen her so happy upon her return. When she proposed this trip to me, I was very nervous because she would be in a new country without me or anyone she knew. However, I was reading the description of the trip and saw how much service she would be doing and eventually let her go. We spoke to each other every night and she kept telling me how amazing the trip was and that I shouldn’t worry because of how safe it was. They were very strict and secure at all times so there was nothing to worry about. To any parent skeptical of letting their child go away, you should know that my daughter did not feel unsafe at all on the trip and it is a once in a lifetime opportunity. She could not stop talking about her experience when she came back, and people are still telling her how amazing it is that she was able to volunteer abroad!

Parent Point of View

Parent Point of View

5
Reviewed on 11/7/2017 by

My daughter went on the Thailand Cultural Kaleidoscope trip this summer through Global Leadership Adventures. I have never seen her so happy upon her return. When she proposed this trip to me, I was very nervous because she would be in a new country without me or anyone she knew. However, I was reading the description of the trip and saw how much service she would be doing and eventually let her go. We spoke to each other every night and she kept telling me how amazing the trip was and that I shouldn’t worry because of how safe it was. They were very strict and secure at all times so there was nothing to worry about. To any parent skeptical of letting their child go away, you should know that my daughter did not feel unsafe at all on the trip and it is a once in a lifetime opportunity. She could not stop talking about her experience when she came back, and people are still telling her how amazing it is that she was able to volunteer abroad!

(GLA Costa Rica Initiative for Children) Amazing!

(GLA Costa Rica Initiative for Children) Amazing!

5
Reviewed on 11/6/2017 by

Global Leadership Adventures was an amazing experience! I spent 21 days volunteering at the local school and community center in Nosara, Costa Rica. Every day was a new adventure where I learned about Costa Rican foods, dance, and music. I went ziplining and surfing which were phenomenal experiences! Soaring above the rainforest was breathtaking and surfing was a must because Costa Rica is noted for its amazing surf waves. At the beach we even saw actors from the Walking Dead!

GLA Costa Rica the Beachside Service Adventure

GLA Costa Rica the Beachside Service Adventure

5
Reviewed on 11/3/2017 by

This summer I spent 10 days in Parrita Costa Rica with Global Leadership Adventures on the Beachside Service Adventure and the experience was beyond words. I definitely left a piece of my heart in the community of Parrita in Costa Rica and they have taught me so much more than I could have ever imagined. Being able to challenge myself and gain skills through service, activities like ziplining and horseriding, the leadership curriculum and putting myself out of my comfort zone has been unforgettable and truly life changing as it has helped me grow as a person. For my service project I worked on painting a mural at a school called Sardinal Sur and sometimes it was challenging because we had to paint in the rain and a lot of our hard work got ruined however we all banded together to fix it and make it the best it could be. Seeing the children's faces looking at our mural on the last day of service was so rewarding and made everything worth it. I would highly recommend this trip if you are considering going on it or any other GLA trip because the company is great and I never felt unsafe so dont be worried. My parents were originally hesitant to let me go because it was so far from home and even though we've travelled extensively as a family before this was my first solo trip. However GLA was super helpful and once they heard how much fun I was having and how happy I was being able to experience it they knew they didn't have any regrets letting me go. So much so that they're letting me go back next summer to Thailand with GLA.

Parents Perspective

Parents Perspective

5
Reviewed on 11/2/2017 by

When my 15 year old approached me about volunteering abroad, I must say I was apprehensive. The world is changing everyday in so many unpredictable ways. However, I wasn’t raised to fear the world. I was taught to be bold and to work towards my dreams with passion. There’s so much more than the boxes we live in and we only get one chance to make the most of our time here. I can’t just send them out into the world with reckless abandon either....so I researched...A LOT....trying to find a program which I thought would help my teen develop an appreciation for other cultures. One that would help guide, without stifling creativity and would encourage growth and independence. I went through countless reviews by parents and participants of many programs. Global Leadership Adventures seemed to be a perfect. A great balance of service, culture, and adventure. From day 1, a GLA rep was available to answer any questions to help guide us through the process. We were well informed as to what would be required, timelines, deadlines....any and all of the behind the scenes stuff to make this trip a reality. It has provided a solid foundation to encourage growth for a different future. One where boundaries become blurred and opportunities are more than just dreams. There is so much to learn in this world, but many are too afraid to learn. Too afraid to promote change. Changes don’t have to be global. The children, the families, the communities our GLA teens are supporting....it doesn’t take much to inspire 1, who could then inspire 1 more. Before long, that 1, turns into countless numbers of people who have been inspired in different ways to accomplish different things. I am grateful my teen has the desire to want to do more. To help others. To take a chance on the world and believe that it can be better. GLA as been an amazing group for my teen. I hope others will see the importance of stepping outside of the box...outside of their comfort zone, and be the change. My teen loved this program so much! There was a new found appreciation for the people and the culture of Thailand! It also fueled a desire to want to do more, see more, help more, BE more! We are excitedly preparing for next summers 5 week experience!

My Daughter's Trip

My Daughter's Trip

5
Reviewed on 10/29/2017 by

Obviously, both Lydia's Mom and I were very concerned about her going to Tanzania but equally excited about her having an experience as rich as this. All concerns were alleviated immediately when we saw pictures of her, completing her work as the smile on her face was infectious. We knew she was in her element and truly maximizing her experience. Lydia is a confident and caring young woman but her trip to Tanzania helped enhance her passion for others immensely. As we discern her options for college, we find Lydia talking about International Relations or International Law and that is a direct result of her trip. I have no doubt that it has truly changed her perspective in regards to our responsibility for others and have made her an even more compassionate and caring person, not to mention has played a pivotal role in helping to identify what she may do in her professional life.

Amazing experience for my daughter.

Amazing experience for my daughter.

5
Reviewed on 10/29/2017 by

My daughter, now 16, has traveled with GLA the past two summers. Her first trip was the Galapagos program, and she did Bali this past year. She does not have enough great things to say about her trips, and when she got home from the airport after her trips, she could not stop talking about it for hours. Even still she tries to bring her trips into conversation whenever possible. As a parent, I was originally worried about letting her go, even though we had done significant international travel as a family before. We went to an alumni open house event before her first trip, and that solidified my confidence in GLA. She was able to talk to a girl who had gone on trips before, and her parents were able to speak to me about their experience. While she was abroad, we got frequent updates on the program blog, and seeing her smiling face in pictures reassured me. She has found a new passion for travel, and has been begging me for a third summer with GLA.

Painted Sunset: Ghana

Painted Sunset: Ghana

5
Reviewed on 10/24/2017 by

This past summer I was lucky enough to have traveled to Ghana to work with children. The program was life-changing, to say the least. I had never left the United States and all of a sudden I was flying to Africa of all places. I knew the experience was going to be unforgettable, but nothing prepared for what I was going to live through. I was exposed to an entirely new culture and people, it was a sincere culture shock. The country was beautiful and the people welcoming. From the moment I stepped on Ghanaian soil, I was welcomed with open arms, and hearts. The trip was centered around working with children at a locate school, we would teach them English in the morning and play games with them in the afternoon. I know I touched their lives, but they changed mine. These children have very little, but they didn't let their situation dampen their spirits. They always bared smiles and giggles, it was amazing seeing their positive attitude! I'm still trying to digest everything I experience but one thing's for sure it was amazing! The food, the children, and the program were spectacular! Anyone who has the chance to travel should do so, and GLA is a great organization to do it with.

My Daughter’s Lifechanging Experience

My Daughter’s Lifechanging Experience

5
Reviewed on 10/22/2017 by

This past summer my daughter Ava travelled to Belize for two weeks with Global Leadership Adventures. At first I was a bit hesistant to let her go on the trip, but I had never seen her so impassioned by a cause. Also, after extensive research on several websites, I found out GLA has few to no bad reviews and about a million amazing ones. The assurance from other parents about the trip’s safety and impact on their child’s life are what finally convinced me to let her go. And it was so worth it!! Ava had THE time of her life and found a new sense of purpose as well as many new friends. The in-country staff was always there if I ever needed to place a call in case of emergency but if I had questions I’d just email GLA and they got back to me quickly. My personal favorite part of this organization are the blogs that the students post online every few days. They gave me a great idea of what Ava was doing each day and I loved the pictures attached! Couldn’t recommend this organization more!!

Bell in Tanzania

Bell in Tanzania

5
Reviewed on 10/22/2017 by

My daughter went to Tanzania this past summer. In preparation for the trip, I was impressed with the organization; nothing was overlooked! The trip was well run and left her with a feeling of accomplishment and a desire for helping more. I highly recommend this trip for any teenager since it will increased their awareness of the world while this organization keeps them safe in their pursuit.

Amazing Program!!

Amazing Program!!

5
Reviewed on 10/22/2017 by

This program has taught me so much! I have been on two trips with GLA and they have had such a huge impact on me and my veiw of the world. It is such a transformative experience and it is so much fun!! I cannot think of a better way to spend my summer than with fellow teenagers having an adventure in a new country and volunteering. Thank you so much for the great times GLA! -AJ

Thailand: Cultural Kaleidoscope

Thailand: Cultural Kaleidoscope

5
Reviewed on 10/20/2017 by

This summer, I went on the 21 day flagship program to Thailand with Global Leadership Adventures, and it was the best experience of my life. I grew so much as a person from group discussions and seeing all different walks of life in another culture. I never once felt unsafe, which was very nice. It was definitely clear that safety was the number one priority. The support we received from our mentors was amazing; they were always there for us to talk about missing family, to being scared of an activity, to personal struggles affecting you on the trip. The mentors really help to make you feel welcomed. We got to see every aspect of Thailand, from the nightlife of the markets to the daily lives of rice paddy farmers. The activities were all so much fun and had something to learn from them. The mentors are always making sure we're aware of what's going on. My favorite part about the trip, besides teaching Thai children, would be the last night of the program when we all laid out on the floor to write our bag notes and stayed up late to finish them after our final dinner. We had all grown so close throughout our 21 days and we just talked about our favorite parts of the trip and it felt like everything came full circle.

Tanzania: Heart and Soul

Tanzania: Heart and Soul

5
Reviewed on 10/18/2017 by

Global Leadership Adventures changed my life completely, and I would recommend it to everybody. Last summer, I traveled with GLA to Tanzania, my first time going out of the country in my whole life! As the days approached, I became more and more excited, but also more and more nervous. I was so anxious to travel to a far away country with complete strangers. Little did I know how GLA was going to become family to me. From the moment we got off of the plane, our mentors were waiting for us at the airport to take us back to our "home base", where they welcomed us with open arms and made us feel like we were at home. Throughout the entire trip, if we ever felt uncomfortable or sick in the slightest bit, they made sure we were being taken care of right away. The staff made an unreal effort to get to know us, and we are still very close with them today. GLA gave me the most amazing experience in my life. In Tanzania, I had the opportunity to teach English in a local primary school in Kilimanjaro, build trees at the school, and cement classroom floors. We also got to learn so much about their incredible culture at a dance ceremony, coffee farm, trip to the market, and so much more. It was also an unforgettable experience being able to climb the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro and go on TWO beautiful safaris. My trip to GLA truly did change my life, and I can not thank the organization enough for that!!

Global Leadership Adventures: Protecting the Pacific

Global Leadership Adventures: Protecting the Pacific

5
Reviewed on 10/16/2017 by

This was one of the best experiences of my entire life! It helped with both my growth as a person, a leader, and as a friend. Growing up I always wanted to travel and see the world and even help in out in my own way. Global Leadership Adventures made all of these things possible. From the second I touched down in San José to the second I left I felt welcomed, included, and important for the first time in a long time. We did so much community service that could change a lot of the townspeople's lives for a long time. While I was there, my group helped out at a local tree nursery, we built a scale model of a baby humpback whale completely out of plastic water bottle and we even did a couple of beach cleanups in the local marine park. That's not all we did while in Costa Rica. We also went on a bunch of adventures. We went zip lining, surfing, hiking, and we even took a day trip to Corcovado national park on the Osa Peninsula. I would definitely recommend either this or any trip that GLA has to offer. The mentors were so helpful at every activity, they were definitely a big part of why my trip was so enjoyable. The food was amazing and our home base was so beautiful. Every aspect of my trip was incredible and I fully recommend trying a service trip abroad. I know for a fact I will be going on another one very soon.

Costa Rica: The Initiative for Children

Costa Rica: The Initiative for Children

5
Reviewed on 10/16/2017 by

My volunteer trip to Costa Rica with Global Leadership Adventures was nothing short of eye opening. The positive attitude of the people involved in my program was so inspiring. The community where I was volunteering was so happy that we could offer them help in rebuilding a better place for their children to learn and the children enjoyed having new people to kick around a soccer ball with. I found myself falling more and more in a euphoric state as Global Leadership Adventure helped me immerse myself in a new culture. Whether it be at the volunteer sight, at the beach or at a locals house, the opportunities that were given to me on this trip were surreal. The program helped me learn to appreciate what I do have instead of thriving for such materialistic things. I was able to learn about the true meaning of a pure life.

My GLA experience

My GLA experience

5
Reviewed on 10/16/2017 by

My GLA experience was amazing. Not only did I get to indulge in living in the culture of Tanzania and learn all about the country and their people but I also got to make a real difference. I got to teach English at the primary school to a class of third graders which changed my life to know that young people really do look up to teens my age that are becoming young adults. The GLA program required me to travel halfway across the globe to stay with people I had never met for 2 weeks and the entire time I felt secure and confident. Global Leadership Adventures has taught me to be bold and active. I have never been able to get up and do what I am inspired to do before from lack of confidence but now I am involved in so much! I made lifelong friends while on the program. The GLA program inspired me to never travel anywhere as a tourist again. I now always want to travel specifically for the culture and to learn about the people with the people. I am very much looking forward to doing another GLA program!

Global Leadership Adventures: Bali - Land of Discovery

Global Leadership Adventures: Bali - Land of Discovery

5
Reviewed on 10/15/2017 by

I travelled to Bali this past summer with Global Leadership Adventures, and it was such an amazing experience! This was my second GLA trip, as I attended their Ecuador and Galapagos program in 2016. The mentors for our session were really cool, and it helped that they were relatively close in age to us, making it really easy to relate, and have fun with them. Every activity we did was meaningful, and it was so fascinating to be so deeply immersed in a culture unlike my own from the United States. Some of my favorite memories from my trip include: trekking to a great viewpoint in East Bali, learning to scuba dive, spending a weekend studying with BioRock Bali, and all the beautiful sunsets we were able to see. After spending 7 days working with elementary aged kids from a small school in North Bali, I have a new appreciation for my education, and thinking of my students from the summer helps me to get through a tough day at high school. The bonds I created with the other students are sure to stay for a long time, and I would do anything to spend just one more day with them, back in Bali. For now, I continue to reminisce on the wonderful time I had in Indonesia, and I hope for the opportunity to explore the world more in the future. Huge thank you to GLA for fostering a love for travel, service and adventure in me! Much love.

Global Leadership Adventures: Thailand Elephant Health and Welfare Project

Global Leadership Adventures: Thailand Elephant Health and Welfare Project

5
Reviewed on 10/15/2017 by

My time in Thailand has truly been an amazing experience. Prior to the trip, I was most excited about interacting with elephants and learning about the species and its behavior. I am more than happy to say that I was 100% satisfied. Every day we woke up with elephants outside of our door (unless traveling). I really do have an appreciation for the creatures in a way that I would never have had without my experiences in Thailand with GLA. I learned so much and found myself coming home a completely different person. I was enthusiastic about animal welfare, knowledgeable about elephants, increasingly independent, and most of all grateful for the experiences that I was able to have. It was truly an amazing and rewarding experience.

AMAZING PROGRAM!

AMAZING PROGRAM!

5
Reviewed on 10/15/2017 by

My trip to Costa Rica was truly an amazing experience. The staff were exceptional and i always felt safe. I did the 14 day animal rescue program so I was able to work with a lot of the strays from Costa Rica at a local no kill shelter. As much as we helped the dogs and their living conditions, we also had lots of fun! The staff and students made all of the service hours fly by. We were also able to experience a variety of other fun activities like zip lining, hot springs, seeing the waterfalls, coffee tours, and touring San Jose. Those are just some of the awesome things we were able to do. We also learned a lot of interesting facts about the Costa Rican community. The bonds you create with the students and staff are incredible and I can't wait to go back next summer! This trip has made me look at everything in a different way and it truly made me a better person. I recommend Global Leadership Adventures for any teenager who wants to be the change in the world, and wants to have lots of fun!

It's Worth It

It's Worth It

5
Reviewed on 10/14/2017 by

It is a terrifying feeling when your daughter asks you to travel to Africa alone. When you have never done anything like this yourself, it is even worse. Global Leadership Adventures made this need a little more reassuring. My daughter went with GLA after months of persuading me. She went to Tanzania and taught English for two weeks. She says it was the best 2-weeks of her entire life, and I believe her. (It was the worst 2-weeks of my life). It's terrifying letting your teenage daughter do something like this. I didn't want her going across the world essentially alone in my eyes. I realized that she was with a ton of other students and has so much support when she got to Tanzania. I am thankful for the staff that took care of her. They answered my phone call promptly when my daughter was sick and stopped texting me. They allowed me to talk to her on their phone to make sure she was ok. I was terrified, but she was at ease. The ease she felt was because of the GLA staff. Because of this, I recommend GLA to everyone. If your child shows the same interest as mine, you can trust GLA to keeps your child safe and to give them a life changing experience.

Extremely supportive staff

Extremely supportive staff

5
Reviewed on 10/13/2017 by

My trip to South Africa has been the most pivotal moment of my life thus far. Especially within this specific program, you tackle issues that most other travel organizations do not. I was able to work directly with a small business owner, and the whole GLA group was able to help foster entrepreneurship in a country with about a 25% unemployment rate. South Africa is a beautiful country, with stunning views (and penguins! and ostriches!) and vibrant cities. If many are hesitant to travel afar, South Africa is a great choice. Everyone is welcoming and helpful (and speaks English). The staff on the South Africa team are experienced, fun, and very helpful. When I left, I cried my eyes out. I plan on returning as soon as possible, and hopefully studying there during University.

Best summer ever!!

Best summer ever!!

5
Reviewed on 10/13/2017 by

I loved traveling with Global Leadership Adventures! My service was so rewarding, and I loved working with the kids in Thailand. The country itself is so amazing, and kept me in awe the whole time. I felt safe and secure throughout my trip, and never had a worrying time, even during my travel to and from the country. The trip was life-changing, and I miss waking up in Thailand!

AMAZING!!!

AMAZING!!!

5
Reviewed on 10/13/2017 by

My incoming freshman son went on the 10 day trip to Costa Rica not knowing a single soul. From second one, he felt comfortable and had an amazing, unforgettable experience. He made new friends, learned about a completely different culture, came back appreciating things so much more, and couldn't wait to find a new adventure for next summer! A+ for GLA from beginning to end. Thank you so much!

Global Leadership Adventures Belize: The Initiative for Children

Global Leadership Adventures Belize: The Initiative for Children

5
Reviewed on 10/12/2017 by

This past summer I participated in Global Leadership Adventures Belize: The Initiative for Children. I had THE most amazing and life-changing experience of my life. The staff is amazing and very well-qualified/equipped to deal with any situation or emergency (should one even arise at all). The best part about this experience is that it is a totally authentic and service-oriented approach to exploring new cultures. On my particular trip we went to a poetry night a few villages over from home base, snorkeled around Tobacco Caye, and explored ancient Maya ruins.These direct and genuine interactions with Belizean culture are what sets GLA apart. Further, the service we participated in is beneficial to all involved. We got to teach the local youth English, paint their playground, and encourage them to reach their full potential. Even more, though, the service we completed changed our lives equally, if not more so, by opening our eyes to poverty, the privilege of public education, and social justice.

Global Leadership Adventures- Thailand Cultural Kaleidoscope

Global Leadership Adventures- Thailand Cultural Kaleidoscope

5
Reviewed on 10/12/2017 by

I had such an amazing experience through the Global Leadership Adventures' program Thailand Cultural Kaleidoscope! I traveled to Thailand not knowing anyone, yet I felt at home. Each student was so welcoming and eager to make new friends. My favorite part of the two weeks was definitely teaching English to the children. They were so engaged in the lessons and tried to understand, although the language barrier was a challenge. The kids were so thankful that we taught at their school and crying as they said goodbye. I also loved immersing myself in Thai culture visiting many different temples, and also volunteering at an elephant conservation. We also had a Thai cooking lesson. It was so much fun learning about new foods that are different than ones I usually eat. Besides the many different activities, the Global Leadership Adventure mentors were always so nice and helpful. They were always there for us and were willing to talk about anything. This was an unforgettable experience that I would love to repeat hopefully next summer!

GLA-An unforgettable experience

GLA-An unforgettable experience

5
Reviewed on 10/12/2017 by

Global Leadership Adventures, or GLA, is incomparable to any other program. Every staff member is always there for you, especially your mentors. All of the mentors are very supportive and kind hearted people. When I got back home, the first thing I said to my mom and dad was, "Can I do another next year?" Everyday we woke so excited to scarf down our delicious breakfast and head out into the jungle to join the smiling faces of the locals. I will never forget these 10 days, the best 10 days of my life.

My Trip to Belize with GLA

My Trip to Belize with GLA

5
Reviewed on 10/12/2017 by

I spent three weeks this summer in Belize with Global Leadership Adventures and even though I had spent the summer before in Guatemala, also with GLA, this trip was one of the most amazingly scary things I’ve ever done. Not only being without family but being surrounded with strangers in a whole new country is stressful to say the least, and as should be expected, had a slightly rocky beginning, with lost bags and awkward hellos, but once we reached the Tropical Education Center, which would be our home for the next three weeks, things settled down. We played a few “get to know you” games, nothing like the boring icebreakers I was used to from past summers, and got a tour of home base, and as we did this I started to get to know the other girls I was there with. The food was always great at the TEC, they had wonderful gluten free options and always something without red meat for me. Our first day at the school was easy, we split into groups and organized our classrooms, children occasionally stopping in to say hello, four little girls gathered by the fence that separated their yard from the school, telling us how excited they were for tomorrow. When we did get to the school on our first day teaching, kids were there waiting for us, happy and willing to learn. The kids I taught all spoke very good english, some were better spellers than me. My fellow teachers and I made lesson plans every night after dinner, a quick job once you get it down, we also always had a few back up games incase the kids were especially energetic. We did have a few problems with fighting, teasing, and bullying, and the kids sometimes tried to sneak out when they thought we weren’t looking but all in all they were well behaved. The day trips we went on we always interesting, though some more than others, I would have to say our trip to the ATM caves was my favorite, but that is only available on the three week program. On the last few days we took a trip to Caye Caulker, a two mile wide island just off the coast without cars, the locals having bicycles and tricked out golf carts instead. We stayed at a pretty nice hotel with AC right by the sea, explored the island, shopped a little, and spent the whole next day snorkeling from which I earned a nasty sunburn, but it was definitely worth the pain. All in all it was a great trip with amazing mentors, the kids were hilarious, and the other girls on the trip with me were some of the sweetest, most down to earth people I’ve ever met. If I were to suggest a summer program I wouldn’t hesitate to say this one.

Dominican Republic Global Health Initiative

Dominican Republic Global Health Initiative

5
Reviewed on 10/12/2017 by

This trip left me totally inspired and motivated. I have a new love for Dominican and the people there, it is just gorgeous. We spent a lot of time in the communities setting up pop-up clinics, and helping with the construction of labs and clinics. It sparked my interest in nursing and I was able to learn a lot from shadowing the doctors there and taking notes. What I liked was that it was away from all the tourism, you got to see more of the raw, real Dominican. I have a friend that went on vacation to Dominican, and our trips turned out to be very different. I was happy I got to see the real thing, and learn about the struggles the communities face. It is also interesting to actually be there and not fully relying on different forms of media to tell you what its like. You get to actually be there! I do wish that I had practised more spanish before the trip. Although I was able to still communicate through motions and pointing, it would be totally different if I could actually speak that language. It was an overall amazing experience.

GLA Ambassador

GLA Ambassador

5
Reviewed on 10/12/2017 by

I traveled to Tanzania with Global Lewdeship Adventures for two weeks in August 2017. I am someone who is very attached to the their friends and family, and couldn't imagine traveling with a group of strangers for two weeks abroad. As my trip neared, I thought I was crazy for signing myself up! But I wouldn't have wanted to go with any other program. Global Leadership Adventures made my trip the most amazing thing I have ever done. I made friends I still talk to and hope to see soon, and I made relationships with Tanzanians that I hope to never lose touch with. This program made me realize how incredible the world around us is, and forced me to put myself out there and engage in this wonderful world. I could not recommend this program enough. The staff and experience made me appreciat life more, and gave me a bad case of th travel bug. I'll be back, Tanzania!!

GLA Tanzania

GLA Tanzania

5
Reviewed on 10/12/2017 by

I went on a trip with Global Leadership Adventures and my life has changed forever. From the children that I taught to the mentors that taught me, I have never learned so much in my life! I felt incredibly safe and secure the entire time despite having never traveled alone. I made friends on my program that I will have forever and we have stayed in contact and are planning more trips together. My friends have already come to visit me because the bond you make there is so incredibly strong. The people in Tanzania frequently say "karibu" which means welcome. The tell us that we are always welcome to stay with them and they mean it. Trust me they mean it. I couldn't possibly recommend anything more than I recommend GLA. They changed me life. And I hope to change others lives with their help. Make it happen.

Daughter had an amazing time!

Daughter had an amazing time!

5
Reviewed on 5/2/2017 by

My daughter went with GLA to both Ghana and Peru and loved both of them. She has traveled before on her own, so we weren't that worried about her, but also always knew she was in good hands! GLA made the application process really simple, and we loved all the communication we got! They set up a blog that would be updated pretty frequently! GLA is awesome!

GLA Ambassador

GLA Ambassador

5
Reviewed on 5/1/2017 by

Hi! My name is Atoosa Haghani and I participated in a summer program with GLA and had the absolute time of my life! I went on the 2 week Children of Africa Program with about 17 other teens from all the around the world. I highly reccomend any programs that GLA offers because of the fun, service packed and eye opening expiernce it gives teens, like myself. Not to mention the amazing staff and just as amazing teens that you meet there. I am so glad I went and encourage others to do so as well.

GLA Parent

GLA Parent

5
Reviewed on 4/30/2017 by

I sent my two daughters on Global Leadership Adventure's "Preserving Nature's Wonders" trip last summer, and I could not have had a better experience with them. I was a little nervous about the idea of sending my two young girls out of the country without either parent, but GLA eased all my worries. From the very start, we had helpful staff keeping us updated on the necessary preparations for our trip. GLA made the entire process really easy and helped me feel better about the trip. My girls were safe the whole time, and they had incredible mentors with them on the trip. They both came home with a new outlook on the world, and I know GLA has truly changed their lives. I highly recommend this program to any parent and teenager looking to volunteer abroad.

A Parent's Perspective

A Parent's Perspective

5
Reviewed on 4/30/2017 by

Last summer my seventeen year old daughter went with Global Leadership Adventures to Fiji. I was not very thrilled about the idea of my daughter going halfway across the world. After researching the program and speaking with a member of GLA I was more open to the idea. Immediately upon her arrival she was able to call and check in and GLA was very good about keeping parents updated with the well being of their children. Everyday there was a post about what the kids did and how they were doing. It really is like the Peace Corps for teenagers. When I picked my daughter up from the airport I realized that my little girl had grown up from this program. Her brother is very excited to jump into the program as soon as he can. I am much more relaxed about him going on the trip now knowing what an incredible and safe program it is. I am extremely proud of my daughter and all the hard work that she did in Fiji. She will take this incredible experience with her for the rest of her life.

Fiji: Empowering Island Communities

Fiji: Empowering Island Communities

5
Reviewed on 4/30/2017 by

Words can't describe how special this program is. You get to swim with manta rays, see islands stretch for miles, laugh and play games with some of the greatest kids you'll meet, and create friendships that will last a lifetime. My trip to Fiji through Global Leadership Adventures was incredible. I thought this was the perfect amount of freedom mixed with 100% adult assistance for high schoolers. I also loved that this wasn't just a vacation, it was a chance to make a difference. I would not change this trip for anything and I will remember it for the rest of my life. I would highly recommend a trip through Global Leadership Adventures to any teenager.

Global Leadership Adventures: Galapagaos, Preserving Natures Wonders

Global Leadership Adventures: Galapagaos, Preserving Natures Wonders

5
Reviewed on 4/30/2017 by

I was fortunate enough to travel to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands though Global Leadership Adventures on the "Preserving Natures Wonders" trip during the summer of 2016. This program was honestly one of the greatest experiences of my life. It was unique in that I was able to surround myself in one of the worlds most special ecosystems as I snorkeled with sea lions, sea turtles and many tropical fish, saw countless crabs and iguanas, and was able to meet the Galapagos tortoises up close. What made these experiences with the animals and nature of the Galapagos even more impactful, was the fact that I was able to volunteer and help the land I was visiting. On this program everyone was very kind and I am still friends with many of the other kids that I met to this day. Our mentors were very helpful and made sure that everyone felt and was kept safe throughout the trip. Post program, I was impacted mostly by the friendships I had made and the knowledge that I now had regarding conservation and the importance of it. Some useful tips that I have are to bring snacks along if you have any dietary restrictions. I am vegan and the program was very accommodating so I didn't miss out on many of the delicious foods that they served, but bringing along snacks was very helpful. Another tip is to bring a camera along and to keep a journal because there are so many memories that will be made on a trip like this, and since many activities are packed into one day, it is easy to lose some of them. I took many pictures and journaled every day so now I have something to look back on.

Preserving Nature's Wonders In the Galapagos Islands

Preserving Nature's Wonders In the Galapagos Islands

5
Reviewed on 4/30/2017 by

It was with great anxiety that we sent our daughter last summer (2016) on her Global Leadership Adventures trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands for the Preserving Nature's Wonders program. But it was soon apparent that it was the very best decision we could have made for her! Communication was immediate and sufficient throughout the trip. We were able to speak with our daughter on several occasions, most importantly when they first arrived safely in Ecuador. The excitement and pure joy we could hear in her voice was music to our ears and the enjoyment the group was having was evident in the daily updated blogs the program provided. But we still were not prepared for the incredible transformation we witnesses when we picked her up from the airport. The shy, quiet 16 year old we had dropped off just two weeks prior, was now confident and full of self-esteem! And oh how happy she was! The only sadness felt was that she had to say good-bye to the friends she had made and have come to mean so much to her. It has now been nearly a year since she had this incredible experience and she is still in daily contact with many of these new friends. I am so proud of the service work she completed on this trip and how it has changed her into a thoughtful, thinking young person who truly has compassion for the world around her. Well worth the investment!

Thailand Trip

Thailand Trip

5
Reviewed on 4/27/2017 by

My daughter traveled to Thailand this past summer with Global Leadership Adventures and absolutely loved it! This was a great experience for her because she learned a lot about independence and leadership while having fun in a safe environment. I was apprehensive to let my daughter go away for 2 weeks across the world but after talking with GLA alumni and staff I was reassured that this was a good, safe decision. This experience is one that can not be gained anywhere else and I would recommend that anyone interested takes the leap and do it!

I am the Parent

I am the Parent

5
Reviewed on 4/27/2017 by

My daughter, Nicole 16 at the time, sat my husband and I down to ask to go to Ghana Africa. We thought she was crazy! We immediately said no and then realized she was serious so we did our research into Global Leadership Adventures and Accra where she would be staying and it was very safe. We left her at the airport and waited 3 weeks to see her again. She came back a new person she had more appreciation and she was so happy. She raved about her trip and the children and the Staff and everything about it. So as a review I will highly suggest the trip all aspects were safe and my daughter got so much out of the experience that she will carry along with her throughout he whole life. As well she has experiences many kids her age do not have in which she can put on applications and apply to her work in the future because of the new aspect she has gained thanks to Global Leadership Adventures! As a parent I highly suggest this program for high school kids!

Galapagos Preserving Nature's Wonders

Galapagos Preserving Nature's Wonders

5
Reviewed on 4/25/2017 by

Last summer I went on a two-week service trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands with Global Leadership Adventures, and it was the greatest experience ever! On this trip, I got to experience one of the most unique ecosystems on earth. Before the trip, GLA ensured that all my plans were solidified and everything was ready for my adventure in August; they made what could have been a stressful process easy. Once I arrived in Ecuador, my mentors were both friendly and knowledgeable about the islands. I got the chance to immerse myself in the Ecuadorian culture all while participating in very rewarding service. I would definitely recommend Global Leadership Adventures to any teen looking for a once in a lifetime experience!

Galapagos with GLA

Galapagos with GLA

5
Reviewed on 4/23/2017 by

Two of my daughter went on the Global Leadership Adventures's Galapagos trip last summer. I'm beyond grateful for this program, my kids were completely safe and they enjoyed every minute of it. The stories they came back with still amaze me! The staff made the process easy and stress free. I definitely recommend GLA to any parent who wants to send their child on an eventful volunteer trip abroad.

Definitely recommend!!

Definitely recommend!!

5
Reviewed on 4/22/2017 by

My daughter went on a GLA program to Valencia, Spain last summer and I couldn't have been happier. GLA took care of everything, made the entire process as easy as possible, and I never had to worry about safety. At the same time, I heard about how fun the trip was, so GLA definitely knows how to make a program safe yet fun!

Galapagos 2016

Galapagos 2016

5
Reviewed on 4/13/2017 by

My experience with Global Leadership Adventures has been one I'll remember forever. The program that I was a part of (Galapagos) was very well structured. We got to kayak, snorkel, climb volcanoes, and more. We were always busy and had a great itinerary full of service and adventures. There was never a moment when we were bored. We cleared out invasive species, talked to the locals and the children, and played a ton of soccer which I made a fool of myself doing so, but it was all part of the fun! The food was amazing and the housing conditions were rustic but an adventure. The staff was great - they were all so fun and relatable but were able to be great role models as well. My parents were very reluctant to let me go on this trip when I proposed the idea. They had never sent one of their kids to a foreign country alone before. However, they became much more comfortable with the idea after talking to the welcoming and assuring staff who were more than happy to explain everything about the trip, from safety to fun. I still miss this trip- one of the best experiences ever of my life. Would definitely recommend!! GLA offers such a friendly environment.

Galapagos Parent Review 2016

Galapagos Parent Review 2016

5
Reviewed on 4/13/2017 by

Global Leadership Adventures was very professional and thorough in covering all the necessary things to ensure a safe program. They were very good with communicating with us (the parents) with what was going on. They made me feel very comfortable that they had a lot of experience and they knew all the ins and outs of what needed to be done to make it a very safe and enjoyable program for all the students involved. My daughter got a lot out of it and had a great experience. She wrote about her trip which she was encouraged to do by the staff. I feel that she gained very valuable experience, particularly in things that she could not get anywhere else. She made great contacts there and continues to meet up with friends she made on the trip. The GLA trips reflect great value and purpose. She and her peers from the trip were really engaged in the service. We were not able to sign up for the trip until just a few months before, but they were very accommodating in helping us obtain a passport and all of the necessities for the trip which reflects their experience and professionalism in organizing their programs.

Dominican Republic 10 day Beachside Service Adventure 2016

Dominican Republic 10 day Beachside Service Adventure 2016

5
Reviewed on 4/11/2017 by

My name is Grace Lee and I was fortunate enough to have gone on the 10-Day Beachside Service Adventure in the Dominican Republic with Global Leadership Adventures, this past summer. Little did I know I was about to embark on a trip that would change my life forever. Being only 15 and raised in "the bubble" of East Grand Rapids I didn't have a very wide understanding of the world. There is a prevalent misconception among my town's populace that most of the world live the privileged, lavish lifestyle of EGR citizens. Yet, I had always been aware of global issues and wanted to experience poverty first hand, in a different culture. The DR was the perfect place for my journey of discovery to begin. Throughout my entire trip, each thing we did had some sort of cultural tie to it whether its working directly with locals on a service project, speaking to the Dominicans in Spanish, or being educated by your mentors on a prevalent issue faced in everyday society. The issue my group discussed during the nightly seminars was Human Sustainability. I left the DR with a greater understanding of the countries beautiful culture and a new outlook on the world itself. Global Leadership Adventures is truly wonderful and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in gaining a new perspective on the world and experiencing a new culture.

GLA - Dominican Republic Adventures!

GLA - Dominican Republic Adventures!

4
Reviewed on 4/10/2017 by

In July 2016 my daughter Grace went to the Dominican Republic with Global Leadership Adventures. When she left she was afraid of heights and going outside of her comfort zone. When she returned she was a new kid! She went cliff jumping, hiked a 3 mile mountain, zip-lined and went snorkeling, all way outside her zone of the known. Not only did she do it, her whole heart was in each adventure even though she was truly afraid. With the support of her GLA mentors/leaders and the students on the trip she overcame her fears leaving way more courageous! Grace learned the value of digging deep, taking risks within the realm of still being safe, and experiencing the sweetness of life outside the comfort zone. So grateful to Global Leadership Adventures!

Great trip for our daughter!

Great trip for our daughter!

5
Reviewed on 4/5/2017 by

Our 15-year-old daughter, Natalie, came to us with the idea of going to Costa Rica for ten days with GLA, Beach Side Service Adventure. She returned having helped build a bridge, loving coffee and beans, the Costa Rican people, and the entire experience of feeling and being herself in entirely new and important ways. She brought her glowing heart and smile home and continues to pursue her interests including a GLA 21-day trip to Ghana this summer.

Elephant Trip

Elephant Trip

5
Reviewed on 3/30/2017 by

I was looking for a volunteer trip abroad that was safe and put me out of my comfort zone. When reflecting on this experience it realize how much it helped me grow as an individual as made me realize my part in elephant conservation and how I can 'be the change'.

Galapagos 2016

Galapagos 2016

5
Reviewed on 3/18/2017 by

Our daughter went on the GLA trip to Galapagos in July 2016. It was truly a remarkable fun-filled adventure that enriched her leadership and social skills and provided an acute awareness of our fragile environment. Snorkeling amongst the sea lions, turtles, climbing volcanoes and learning about exotic species such as the giant tortoise were just some of the highlights. The program attracts outstanding, intellectual students from around the globe whom our daughter still stays in touch with. As a parent, I was particularly impressed with GLA's organization and caliper of their trip leaders. We felt safe and secure on trip arrangements and it was comforting to receive daily briefings and photos from the students. The GLA program is second to none on their organization, adventure and mentorship.

Parent to a 17 year old who went on the 2 week Ghana trip

Parent to a 17 year old who went on the 2 week Ghana trip

5
Reviewed on 3/12/2017 by

I was quite hesitant to send my 17 year old abroad and especially to Africa. However, the precautions that GLA took (Global Leadership Adventures) towards helping us with the payment plan, vaccines, visas and health insurance was impeccable. I highly recommend this trip to families that want to see a change within their children/ I wish this program were present during my adolescent years!

My daughter's trip to the Dominican Republic with GLA

My daughter's trip to the Dominican Republic with GLA

5
Reviewed on 3/6/2017 by

My daughter Rachel went to the Dominican Republic last summer with GLA. She came home a different child with a more global perspective. The first thing she said to me when she returned home was, “Whatever I do in my life, I want to make a difference”. While Rachel will have many different experiences in her life, I’m grateful that she will always have this awareness to draw from.

Costa Rica - Initiative for Children

Costa Rica - Initiative for Children

5
Reviewed on 2/20/2017 by

I went on the Initiative for Children this past summer in Costa Rica and it really made my entire summer. It was absolutely incredible. The staff were all so fun and friendly, and the other students there were awesome. I personally had never really had a ton of friends that were out of my own grade level, but this trip I met friends two-three years younger and older than me. GLA was so unique in how well organized this trip was and how it was truly a community to community outreach. I'm so glad I had this experience, because it really made my summer 2016 one of the best of my life.

Memorable

Memorable

5
Reviewed on 2/9/2017 by

I went to Costa Rica on the Beachside Service Adventure this past summer and have come back with new insight, views, values, and an abundance of incredible memories. I had the opportunity to do impactful and fun community service at a school making and laying concrete for an outdoor basketball court at a local school. Not only do Global Leadership Adventure trips involve students giving back to those in need, but you also get to meet amazing people, experience and learn a new culture, and grow as an individual. GLA has given me a life-changing experience that I will never forget.

Ghana: The Children Of Africa

Ghana: The Children Of Africa

5
Reviewed on 1/1/2017 by

There is so much to say! GLA gave me an opportunity I never thought I could have at this young of an age. I was able to make a difference in peoples lives, at the age of 16! Like anyone would be, I was nervous at first! I mean who wouldn't be, but as soon as i stepped foot into Ghana i was overcome with excitement! Me and the other students on my flight were welcomed right away at the gate by mentors from GLA! Throughout the first few days we were introduced to all our fellow students and our mentors we would be living with for the next 3 weeks! Then things really got started! I started brick making! And teaching! and going on excursions! it was beyond amazing! I fell in love with it all! The people who i lived with, that the first day i called strangers, I now called family. Everyday i got to meet new people, try new things, and learn new amazing things! Because of this trip, I am a better person, I try new things, and i view things with a different, more positive eye. I would not trade this trip for anything and because of this trip it made me realize i want to volunteer in my future more.

Life-changing

Life-changing

5
Reviewed on 12/22/2016 by

I went on the beachside service adventure program in Costa Rica this summer, and it was an amazing experience. I was assigned to a service project that involved helping a community build a bridge so the children's walk to school would be more than cut in half, as the river we helped build a bridge over swelled up in the rainy season. The trip changed my perspective, and I went without knowing anyone else, so it really pushed me out of my comfort zone. I got to play basketball with local teenagers, go swimming in the ocean at sunset, make new friends, try to make costa Rican style art, visit an animal sanctuary, a natural hot springs, and so much more. Everyone on the staff was so kind, on one of the last nights they all shared personal stories about how they ended up volunteering abroad, and they were all so inspiring.

Amazing Experience

Amazing Experience

5
Reviewed on 12/8/2016 by

GLA has been a great experience for my daughter. She learned a lot about the Dominican Republic culture and the challenges the community faces there while having an opportunity to make a lot of new friends and enjoy the beautiful island. It was amazing to see how much she matured in a short time and how much her view of the world has broadened since that trip. We are already planning her next trip to Belize.

Best time of my life: GLA Dominican Republic

Best time of my life: GLA Dominican Republic

5
Reviewed on 12/4/2016 by

At first i was scared to go on a Global Leadership Adventure trip, knowing that i didn't know anyone going and would probably be one of the youngest ones on the trip. Looking back, if I were to not go on the trip because I was too scared or nervous, I would have hated myself for it. My trip was the best thing I've done in my life and literally changed my life. The people down in the DR are the most welcoming and friendly you will find, with great support of the staff. I made life long friendships with people from ALL over the world. This trip was one for the books and it will never be forgotten! I encourage everyone do a GLA trip!

Fun under the sun!

Fun under the sun!

5
Reviewed on 12/4/2016 by

My close friend and I traveled to the DR over summer 2016 with global leadership adventures. And, wow! what an experience :) One of the things that we surprisingly appreciated most about the trip was our evening lessons. As two girls who can get frustrated with school back home, we were wary about having lessons/lectures each evening, but quickly came to look forward to them. We learned about human kindness, philanthropy, and the staten of our fragile world. We both came home and immediately began lecturing everyone we knew and how meat was killing the planet, LOL! These lessons in addition to the amazing locals, fun adventures and fulfilling community service made for the best trip ever!! Wouldn't hesitate to recommend this trip to any family/friends.

14 Day Global Health Initiative-Dominican Republic

14 Day Global Health Initiative-Dominican Republic

5
Reviewed on 11/8/2016 by

The trip with Global Leadership Adventures is so worth it. When I went, we usually woke up, ate breakfast, and then went to our activity of the day (usually walking which made it more fun). We got to do service activities like building a house out of recycled plastic water bottles (!!!) or visiting a Haitian batey which was so eye opening. Even though some activities may be emotionally or physically harder than others, the people around you is what it makes it all worth while. Everyone in my group got along and we still talk. Then there's the recreational activities like zipping which is beautiful. And even though the price of the trip may be a little much, there's tons of different ways to fundraise and the trip will definitely be worth the cost. For activities we usually wore athletic shorts and a t-shirt or tank, but in the communities we wore long pants (about 3 days where you need to wear long pants). Oh and do not forgot mentors. Your mentors are the greatest people and they will teach you so much on this trip, GLA mentors are undoubtably amazing. Let me know if you have any questions and I hope you choose to go on this trip!

Dominican Republic with GLA

Dominican Republic with GLA

5
Reviewed on 11/1/2016 by

Going to the Dominican Republic with GLA was an amazing experience. The staff was so nice and they really pushed me out of my comfort zone. I really got to learn about the Dominican culture and the issues people face. My advice is to bring a battery powered fan because it does get hot. Also in the DR there is no wifi but the staff will help you get in contact with your parents.

GLA is the best!

GLA is the best!

5
Reviewed on 10/28/2016 by

This past summer I went to Ghana with Global Leadership Adventures (GLA) and needless to say it was the best summer i've ever had. I loved helping out the community and adjusting to the way the Ghanaians live- and the food I ate there was sooo yummy. I learned so much about what it's like to actually be out of the country, to where people don't have it the same as in the USA. Regardless, it was a beautiful place. GLA is so easy to work with and plan things, and they answered all of my million questions. A huge thanks to GLA for helping me discover myself. :)

For the parents

For the parents

5
Reviewed on 10/24/2016 by

For the Parents- Sending my 16 year old daughter out of the country on her own (without knowing anyone who would be there) was a daunting and slightly terrifying experience. Yet, she wanted to go so badly. She wanted to "see the world" and do some good for others. We did our research and settled on Global Leadership Adventures, a 10 day trip to costa Rica. It was a growth experience for all of us. We learned to let go and trust others to take care of our chid (which they did wonderfully). She grew in countless ways- independence, maturity, empathy, seeing a hard days work pay off (they helped build a bridge to shorten the walk to school for local children). She saw the world from a whole new perspective, met interesting and caring people, had adventures and gained valuable experiences she never would have staying close to home. After she returned, she was so excited to share her experiences and we were so glad we made the decision to let her go. We highly recommend GLA and the volunteering abroad experience.

Global Leadership Adventures- Bali, Land of Discovery Program

Global Leadership Adventures- Bali, Land of Discovery Program

5
Reviewed on 10/20/2016 by

Going to Bali, Indonesia this past summer was a blessing. It was a once in a lifetime experience. Being able to fully immerse within their culture and live as Balinese people was amazing. The bonds we made with our staff members and fellow program students developed over time and shared several moments together. The trip itself was absolutely stunning. Being able to pray and receive blessings with holy water created a surreal experience. Along with that the locals are all friendly and always happy. After leaving the country, you begin reminiscing every day and wish to return. GLA is a wonderful organization to start off your adventure

Global Leadership Adventures-Spain Cultural Kaleidoscope Program (2016)

Global Leadership Adventures-Spain Cultural Kaleidoscope Program (2016)

5
Reviewed on 10/19/2016 by

Going to Valencia, Spain with Global Leadership Adventures this past summer was one of the best decisions I've made. The program exceeded my expectations by a long stretch! I was amazed to learn just how much ability I have to make change and leave an impact on this world. Working with kids at a local school showed me Spanish culture through their eyes, and along with my peers I was able to give them a window into my home culture as well. It truly proved to be an experience of a lifetime. I would highly recommend this program for travellers of all kind, but especially those looking to give back and experience Spanish culture in all its beauty at the same time. They did an amazing job at combining the two! When you look at more information about the program on the website (https://www.experiencegla.com/destinations/teen-programs-europe/spain/spain-cultural-kaleidoscope/) you might notice that it is a bit on the costly side, but don't let this make your decision for you! GLA offers aid and tips on fundraising for you trip, and I can promise you that the cost of tuition is worth it for this program. Thank you GLA for giving me the best summer of my life!

GLA: Dominican Republic Beach Side Service Adventure

GLA: Dominican Republic Beach Side Service Adventure

5
Reviewed on 9/6/2016 by

My trip with GLA to the Dominican Republic was something I will never forget. While I was nervous at first to leave behind my bubble of a community, I soon realized that there was nothing to be afraid of. I met some fantastic people who would later become my best friends. There are so many great aspects to the trip. Everyone on the staff is so supportive of all the kids, and they set an inspiring example of what a good role model looks like. They have fun with all of us while also establishing a relationship of respect and encouragement with each student. One of the best parts of the experience is building friendships with the locals and giving back to an underprivileged community. Like most of the students who volunteer, I live in a very privileged community, and to be able to see what life is like for these locals and how happy they are just to have something so simple such as clean drinking water is jaw-dropping. This trip taught me so much; how to give back, how to be happy with what you have, but most importantly- how to change the world just one project at a time.

Ghana: Children of Africa- 14 Day Program

Ghana: Children of Africa- 14 Day Program

5
Reviewed on 9/2/2016 by

My GLA trip was the adventure of a lifetime; I loved every second of it. After a long journey from Denver to Accra, Ghana my friend and I were welcomed to home base by our Local Leader Henry. We had arrived late at night, so the next morning we saw the beautiful landscape that surrounded us. Sunday was our first day and after breakfast we went to go view a church service and as we walked through the village members of the community would wave to us and the children would come up and hold our hands. The people in the church welcomed us as we observed the vibrant service. Everyday, we had the opportunity to go to Asitey Park to play with the children. The kids would eagerly wait at the end of our driveway for us to come down to play. The park was filled with end,was games of Little Sally Walker and Ring Around the Rosey, pass with the baseball, games of soccer, hair braiding, and so much more. At the end of each day at the park or each day after school the kids would walk us back up to the home base. This program offers you the opportunity to develop relationships with people in the community and to connect with them directly. We also met with girls at the Krobo Girls High School up the driveway from home base where we sat in on classes and had the opportunity to talk these girls about their lives in Ghana and they would ask about our lives in America. Our service project was to teach at the school for classes 4, 5, and 6. It was a cool role reversal as you became the teacher and taught material to kids who were so eager to learn. In the classroom we also played games like Heads up Seven Up and Hangman which was so fun. Another highlight was Sajuna, a beach club with a pool, canoes, volleyball, ping pong, soccer, and more! That day was so much fun and everyone in our group participated in a huge volleyball game. The best part was probably getting to experience this with friends. GLA creates a community where it is easy to bind with everyone and make lasting friendships. We had so much fun playing games in the living room, eating meals together, hanging out in the roof at night and everything in between! One of my favorite memories is the night the taught us Ghanian dancing and we stayed outside afterwards having a dance party, or the bonfire. All of the staff at the home base are such wonderful people who we had fun spending time with as a group. Those are just some of the activites that you get to do on this trip, but there are so many more! I had such an enriching and unforgettable experience on this trip and I wouldn't trade this experience with these people for anything in the world.

14 Day Empowering Rainforest Communities – Costa Rica

14 Day Empowering Rainforest Communities – Costa Rica

5
Reviewed on 8/31/2016 by

My GLA experience had exceeded my expectations in every possible way. Upon arrival, the greetings of mentors felt so welcoming and warming. This was my first trip traveling abroad alone, so I was a little bit anxious, but super excited. As all of us filed onto the bus and onto our first home base, it was a bit awkward, but all that was to change sooner than I thought. We played ice breakers and other games to get to know one another. Although, it wasn't until I noticed we began to bond already on the first night laughing and cracking jokes as if we've known each other for years. I would say by day 2 we had already felt like a family and so close one another. Everybody was so positive and outgoing and easy to talk to that it my experience much more spectacular. Working with the community directors and seeing how much of a positive outlook on life they had and how they strived to better their community really sparked something in me to really want to take each project that we did serious, wether it was painting trail markers, replanting trees, and even using machetes to clear out weeds and bushes. This trip gave me a new perspective on life and a new culture that I'm not really accustomed to seeing back home. One important thing that I will take from this trip is to be humble and gracious of what I have. Seeing the living conditions the people of these communities lived in made me be more appreciative of things that I have, rather than the things that I don't have. The memories that I will take away from this trip will never be rid from my mind. Thank you for this remarkable experience GLA!

I left My Heart In Ghana

I left My Heart In Ghana

5
Reviewed on 8/31/2016 by

The two weeks I spent in Ghana were the best two weeks of my life so far. It was definitely not Kentucky like I was use to, it was better. The people are always happy, welcoming and laughing. No matter what we were doing that day whether it be working on building our toilet, dancing in an African drum circle, or taking a trip to the village market it was the people around us that made the trip so special. The staff and other GLA students became my family for two weeks and we continue to stay in touch. We reminisce on inside jokes made at the work site and the many games of soccer we played with the village children. Going to Ghana gave me so much insight into a country so different from my own. I was able to learn about the people's history when visiting a slave fort in Keta, also we learned how to make fufu(a traditional African dish) by the ladies at the lodge where we stayed, and we also got to practice both fishing and farming with our neighbors in the community. Of course the whole reason I chose this program was because of its health initiative and I feel as though I made the right choice. We Learned a lot about the health administration in the country through visiting a nearby clinic and talking to a well educated nurse named Rose. After visiting Ghana it makes me want to have a bigger medical outreach that expands larger than my home town. This trip was definitely one for the books and I could write volumes about my experience. Upon returning home and beginning to unpack my suitcase I made a mental check of all the items I had brought on the trip to make sure I hadn't forgotten anything. Sunscreen? Check. Journal? Check. Charger? Check. Everything seemed to be accounted for but it was as though I was still missing something. I went to close my suitcase and heard the sound of rattling sea shells that had forgotten to remove from a pocket inside, I close my eyes and it was as if I was back at the lodge with my feet in the sand. Suddenly I remembered what I had forgotten to bring home, my most prized possession, I had left my heart in Ghana.

Thai Elephant Village Initiative

Thai Elephant Village Initiative

5
Reviewed on 8/31/2016 by

After a very long flight from New York, I and the other GLA students arrived in Chiang Mai greeted by an excited staff. For the next three days, we visited extravagant temples, a Christian school, and busy markets. My favorite activity in Chiang Mai was visiting the school where we exchanged our American culture with the students by teaching them slang words and they taught us about Thai dances and games. It was uplifting to see the students so happy, welcoming and excited to meet us. Our elephant education began in Chiang Mai where we visited the Elephant Conservation Center and Elephant Hospital. It was the first time I had ever touched an elephant which was scary and amazing! When we arrived at Thai Elephant Home, the elephants greeted us and we were assigned a roommate and our elephant. My elephant was named Mae Chan and she was a sweetheart! Our counselors took us on a five hour trek where we rode our elephants, played in the mud with them and then took them to the river for a bath. It's daunting the first time you are riding or standing next to an elephant, but the mahouts are right there to guide us. That first day was surreal - I never thought I would actually be interacting with an elephant so intimately. Even though we were all pretty sore the next day from the riding the elephants, we got used to it quickly. All of the staff and counselors were helpful and outgoing. The atmosphere of the home is warm, safe and comfortable. Our days started at 5:30am, but we were always excited to see what the day had in store for us. In the morning, we shoveled our elephant's mess, bathed our elephants and fed them new grass before our breakfast. The food is INCREDIBLE - and this is coming from a very picky eater. Everyday, we did service work (grass cutting or dam building) which was tiresome but everyone participated and no one complained. We did have a lot of free time to get to know each other and I loved hanging out, playing bananagrams and cards. The two weeks flew by and I was sad to leave my elephant and new friends that I made.

Global Leadership Adventures: Belize - Rhythms of the Caribbean

Global Leadership Adventures: Belize - Rhythms of the Caribbean

5
Reviewed on 8/31/2016 by

GLA is my second family. The people you meet, both volunteers and locals, will change your life and the service work you complete will teach you so much about the world you never knew. One day you're teaching the local children and the next you're snorkeling with wild sharks! But thats not even the best part. The friendships you make on these trips are so powerful and strong it'll feel as though you've finally found you're real home!

21 Day Service in the Sacred Valley - Peru

21 Day Service in the Sacred Valley - Peru

5
Reviewed on 8/28/2016 by

My Peruvian adventure was beyond words. This was my first time traveling abroad alone and it was my first time in South America. The first few days were definitely an adjustment, from climbing up 5 flights of stairs multiple times a day to waking up at 6am every morning. I have never had so many new experiences on one trip than I did on this one. I look back at one particular moment during the trip where we walked and explored our neighborhood. I realized that was the moment where I began to inhale and breathe in the excitement of being away from home and the potential for adventure. The person who I was when I was boarding the plane to Peru was not going to be the same person who 3 weeks later would be leaving it. Our service project was to dig the foundations for a fish farm in the rural community of Mayrasco just outside of Cuzco. The work was hard and physically demanding but our mighty group of 19 banded together and helped as well as encouraged each other constantly. We always had an afternoon activity to look forward to that presented us with new and unique cultural experiences. The staff was friendly, funny, and all around amazing people who were passionate about helping us have the most immersive and educational experiences possible. My favorite part of the trip was the trek into the Andes mountains at the end. I have never hiked in such a beautiful and remote environment and I was so happy to be doing it with my Peruvian family. The hardest part was leaving but our group decided that this wasn't going to be goodbye. It was an until next time, until our next journey. I highly recommend this program to anyone looking for pure adventure, perspective, life-changing experiences, and a whole lot of fun with amazing people. I hold the memories of my trip and the people I meet along the way forever in my heart. I am very thankful for this adventure and everything it has taught me. And with that, until next time GLA!

14 Day Global Health Initiative - Dominican Republic

14 Day Global Health Initiative - Dominican Republic

5
Reviewed on 8/25/2016 by

My trip to the Dominican Republic with Global Leadership Adventures was simply spectacular. I signed up thinking I would go there and learn one thing, but when I got there I learned about things I never even knew were problems around the world. I want to begin by talking about the Dominican culture. Everything is more relaxed than in the United States and the people are more easy going with a strong sense of community. Even though in the beginning no one knew how building houses and playgrounds affected global health, we all left there feeling as if we truly had impacted the way of life of a Dominican. While there, everyone that came on the trip instantly bonded and become friends. On this trip I made friends that I hope to someday meet up with again and discuss the impact that this trip left on our lives. You also become very close with your mentors who teach you so much about global health, leadership, Spanish, and so much more. The mentors are awesome and I'm so glad they were nice enough to share their wisdom with us. This whole trip was extremely exciting and I learned the most amount of information relevant to what I want to do in the future in those 14 days. The experience was so life changing that by day 13 you still have not accepted the fact that you need to go back to a culture so much different than the one you've grown accustomed to in these 2 weeks.

Amazon Service Project - Peru

Amazon Service Project - Peru

5
Reviewed on 8/25/2016 by

This trip to Peru was the most amazing experience of my life. Peru... What a different world down there. The Amazon Rainforest is the most incredible place I have ever been to. It's one of the most bio-diverse places in the world that also takes credit for producing about 20% of the Earth's Oxygen. I saw so many amazing things including sloths, monkeys, frogs, snakes, and a lot of weird bugs. As a group we did a lot of community service in the Amazon. We worked a lot with the Santa Cruz community, which is comprised of a primary school, secondary school, and facilities for the teachers. Some of the service included constructing a new kitchen for the school, which involved mixing concrete, shoveling, and a lot more physical labor. We also brought in trashcans into the community and painted them with the children of the primary school and I assumed the leadership role of managing a team to present a lesson to the kids about the importance of throwing trash away in the trashcan. We also taught the older kids how to speak some phrases in English along with overall bonding with the community through fun activities. The kids at the community were so amazing to interact with and talk to. Service that we did outside of the Santa Cruz Community involved planting trees in deforested areas of the Amazon. We also bagged and nurtured growing trees that will eventually be planted Santa Cruz Forest Reserve. All in all, I learned so much about the culture of Peru, the other student and staff on the trip, but most importantly I learned a lot about myself and what I want to do with my life. The service in the Amazon was an amazing experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Thank you GLA!

Animal Rescue Project to Costa Rica

Animal Rescue Project to Costa Rica

5
Reviewed on 8/22/2016 by

I went on the Animal Rescue Project to Costa Rica this summer, and at age 15 having never left the country you can say that both my parents and I were more than a little nervous. Though I can assure you that the experience was more then worth it. I've been home for more than a month and I'm still not sure I've been able to talk about everything that I got to do there. The culture in Costa Rica is so much more laid back then what most of us were used to. The best way that I know to describe it is Pura Vida, which roughly translates to seize the moment, you only live once, or make the most of today. Though we say all of these things in the U.S. it's more then just a saying in Costa Rica it's a lifestyle. You say you'll be somewhere at 3, and you show up at 3:45, no big deal. I mean the cow needed to be milked, or their was a herd of cows crossing the street; which actually did happen. But nobody gets upset, they just roll with it and go on with their lives, no need to stress about it right? We got to work at animal rescues, building monkey playgrounds, cement stairs, helping out on a turtle conservation project. Visiting with the locals and participating in what they call Cafecito, learning to make bread, taking dance classes, and even going claiming. On the weekends we went on adventures from zip lining to horseback riding on the beach, to stand up paddle boarding and surfing. Though more then any of that my favorite part of the trip was the amazing friendships. Everyone was completely different but we still managed to have a least a hundred inside jokes, and impromptu karaoke sessions on the bus rides. Living with 20 other teenagers might seem like a challenge but for me personally I had a harder time adjusting to living without them when I got home.

GLA Galapagos: Preserving Natures Wonders

GLA Galapagos: Preserving Natures Wonders

5
Reviewed on 8/21/2016 by

My GLA experience was absolutely incredible and exceeded any expectation I had going into the program. I really wanted to make a difference, I really wanted to go to a brand new place, and I really wanted to experience something new. The only worries I had were about traveling abroad alone for the first time! Once I got on my flight, all the worries flew out the window and before I knew it I was in Ecuador meeting with my mentors. My group had 15 teens (including me), 2 adult mentors, and 3 nature guides. I really wanted to work, volunteer, and make a difference. It was exhausting yet so rewarding to be in such a beautiful place with such amazing people. I am so fortunate and lucky to have had such an amazing GLA group. All of us bonded extremely quickly and truly cared about one another as if we were family. When applying to GLA, you have to keep in mind this is more than an adventure program. You are going knowing that you will participate in hours of community service, which is the most rewarding part. The hardest part was leaving. I made incredible memories and met some truly remarkable people that I will remember for the rest of my life! This program also helped me realize my true passions in life and what I want to do in the future. I will definitely be applying for ANOTHER GLA trip next summer.

Ghana: Children of Africa

Ghana: Children of Africa

5
Reviewed on 8/19/2016 by

This trip was truly life changing. I loved everything about it from beginning to end. The people were awesome, the kids even better, and it was a truly enriching cultural experience in addition to being a valued service project.

GLA India: Discovering a New World

GLA India: Discovering a New World

5
Reviewed on 8/19/2016 by

To generically say that my service trip to India this past summer was amazing is a pathetic attempt to truly capture my feelings about my experience. Never had I had such an experience over the past three weeks: from the emotional lows of being in a hospital after having a stomach illness (it's not as bad as it seems - the staff takes care of you really well) and the sluggishness of the 23 hours on the plane (no joke) to the fulfilling feelings I had every day because of the treks exploring the local cultures and just having fun with the kids. Each day presented a new opportunity for adventure: from creating and organizing what games to play with the children, seeing local temples, or shopping in the Tibetan market of McLeod Ganj, every day was filled with meaning and excitement. The staff are always knowledgeable, funny, and some of the nicest people you will ever meet. When people ask me how my trip was, I have trouble. How am I supposed to summarize possibly the best three weeks of my life? Not only have I become more aware of global affairs and interests, but this program has deepened my love to learn new things, deepened my love to meet new peoples and cultures, and deepened my understanding about how my actions ultimately affect the world. From this program I have been able to look at my surrounding circumstances in a new mindset. The most important lesson that I think this program has taught me is this: even in heartbreaking conditions, in the poorest of areas, in the most disadvantaged parts of the world where cell reception is more common than clean, running water and where trash cans are the streets, people still to find genuine happiness through each other. The memories I have of my GLA trip, of the people I met, of the cultures that I encountered: I will have these for the rest of my life. I can say pretty surely that I will come back to India one day, whether it be in two years or in thirty. I know I was hesitant in the beginning to go to a country clear across the world with perfect strangers; call me crazy. But hey, aren't we all a little crazy sometimes? It's taking that leap that will change your life; it certainly changed mine.

Global Leadership Adventures: Heart & Soul of Africa - 2 Week Program

Global Leadership Adventures: Heart & Soul of Africa - 2 Week Program

5
Reviewed on 6/12/2016 by

In June 2015, I went on the GLA Heart & Soul of Africa trip in Arusha, Tanzania. These two weeks were honestly the best and most rewarding weeks of my life. I learned and personally got to experience Tanzania culture - from eating food to speaking in Swahili to the locals, I gained so much valuable insight and knowledge into not just a different culture but a different world as well. In two weeks, I experienced so many things - painting traditional African batik paintings, hiking the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro, cooking plantain soup, teaching primary school kids, exploring the wild outdoors through the safari weekend at Ngorongoro Crater and Tarangire National Park, and so much more. To parents who are interested in sending their kids to a volunteer program or students who are interested in going, I highly recommend not just Global Leadership Adventures but the Heart & Soul of Africa trip as well, as they make sure you are comfortable and safe during the whole trip while also providing you with the culture and experience of that country you are visiting. A helpful tip to anyone going on a trip like this: keep an open mind! Don't shy away from any activities! You are probably already outside your comfort zone just by flying to another country, but try to have an open mind to make sure that you make the most of the trip and your time in Tanzania!

GLA Tanzania still has such a big impact on my life

GLA Tanzania still has such a big impact on my life

5
Reviewed on 5/31/2016 by

I had no clue what to expect going into the trip because though I made sure I knew as much about Tanzania as I could, I did not look into other programs like GLA. I reaally lucked out in that I picked GLA. Not only was I completely immersed in the culture of Tanzania and actually helping the community I was staying in (GLA works very closely with community leaders to make sure we as volunteers are part of a bigger, positively impactful project), but we talked about our experiences as a group. At the end of the day we would share our thoughts and connect it to things back home, which I felt made the experience cool but really meaningful as well. Not to mention we had the GREATEST group and mentors. Everybody is so unique and the mentors are more like responsible friends than disconnected chaperones.

The Land of Smiles

The Land of Smiles

5
Reviewed on 5/24/2016 by

Thailand is coined the "The Land of Smiles," and with smiles also came many laughs and tears too. The respect for their culture is one like no other, and the traditions they have in Thailand are upheld by all citizens. They have a devote appreciation for Buddhism and their King and Queen. They dress conseratively, talk kindly, and live a happy and peaceful life. Growing up on Long Island, NY, I have never been to a country like this. They appreciate everything life has to offer - including animals, especially elephants. Elephants were one of the key points that drew me to the program. I had the opportunity to bathe an elephant, and also ride one. I will never forget the tears that came with this special moment, because I had never seen an elephant in my life; yet they were my favorite animal. Aside from working with elephants, we also taught English and worked at an orphange. I had never imagined teaching first grade English in a foreign country in my life, yet, I had the opporunity to do so for a week. We were able to create special bonds with the children there, and leave making an impact on their English speaking and writing abilities. At the orphange, we painted the housing buildings a new color to make the center look nicer. I did not think though, that I would leave creating a bond with a child that would lead me to still pen-pal him to this day. While I was at the orphange, a little boy came up to me and immediately attached to me when we got there. Wherever I went, he went; wherever I painted, he painted also. It was like he was my little brother, but I knew he viewed me as a father-like figure since he had no parents. We played all the games together, ate the same food together - literally everything I did, he did as well; and I will never forget the moments we shared. Luckily, my friend had a polaroid camera with her, and on the second to last day we were there, we took two pictures and I wrote my name on his picture, and he wrote his name on my picture. When we were leaving on the last day, as the van pulled out of the driveway, he held up his picture of me at the gate. I bawled my eyes out for the next few hours. I still remember that moment so clearly, and I'll never forget it. To know I made an impact on his life, has forever impacted me. Besides doing community service, we also had the opporunity to go ziplining through the rain forest, kayaking, and take trips to local night bazaars. These were just some of the fun activities we did. Global Leadership Adventures, and the Cultural Kalediscope program in Thailand has forever changed my life, and my outlook on life. I'll never forget the three weeks I had spent creating bonds with children there, and creating new friends across the world.

It ROCKS!!!!

It ROCKS!!!!

5
Reviewed on 3/14/2016 by

The cool thing about GLA is that unlike some of the other volunteer abroad companies, GLA values in also allowing the students to have a say so in what they want to do, so on top of being an extremely organized program they also get the students involved by allowing them to lead their own programs, hence Global LEADERSHIP adventures smile emoticon. I had a great time in each of the locations (Costa Rica, Thailand, and India) that I've traveled with them to, definitely would suggest them to people.

Global Leadership Adventures is amazing!!

Global Leadership Adventures is amazing!!

5
Reviewed on 1/16/2016 by

I went on a 2 week trip to Costa Rica through Global Leadership Adventures that was so much fun and so meaningful to myself, the other kids on my trip, out mentors, and the community. Global Leadership Adventures provides an awesome balance between passionate and fun service work and exciting activities that really immerse you in a new culture. GLA provides trips of a lifetime that left me with great friends, great memories, new world experience, and new passions. You will absolutely not regret a trip with Global Leadership Adventures; it will be one of the best experiences of your life!

Global Leadership Adventures Ghana : Children of Africa

Global Leadership Adventures Ghana : Children of Africa

5
Reviewed on 1/16/2016 by

I truly wish there were words to adequately describe just how incredible my 3 week trip to Ghana with Global Leadership Adventures was. It was without a doubt the best 21 days of my life. The experience will change students more than they could ever imagine and they will without a doubt never be the same. My expectations going into the trip were extremely high, but they were more than surpassed. Everything about it was seemingly perfect - the service (teaching & building bricks), cultural activities, housing, food, and workshops. The relationships built are lifelong relationships- the mentors were insightful and more personable than I can describe and the bonds formed with them and especially with the other students are unique in the best way possible. Our group became a family very quickly and to this day they are still some of my greatest friends. I cannot emphasize enough how highly I would recommend a GLA trip. The growth that takes place inside of every single person is unimaginable until one actually experiences it. Never once did I feel unsafe or uncared for. Every high school student NEEDS this experience (although you might not realize it beforehand).

Time of my life!

Time of my life!

5
Reviewed on 12/3/2015 by

Hi all! I am a Global Leadership Adventures Alumni and I had an amazing time in Peru, this past summer! I really recommend GLA! The housing experience was great! GLA Peru rented out a hotel in Cusco, for both the 2 week and the 3 week groups. I felt very safe there! I had never been to Peru, so I felt that by being there I grew, a lot! I understood much of their culture and what their lifestyles are like. The program staff were very supportive! I felt that I was able to talk to them about whatever I needed, or if I was frustrated with other students! Overall I recommend GLA to all High School age students.

Thailand Cultural Kaleidoscope and Ghana Children of Africa

Thailand Cultural Kaleidoscope and Ghana Children of Africa

5
Reviewed on 11/27/2015 by

For the past 2 summers, I went with Global Leadership Adventures and traveled to Thailand and Ghana and had absolutely amazing times on each trip. In Thailand I learned a lot about the culture and went on several adventures. We rode elephants, went zip lining, kayaking, biking, and even rode on a bamboo raft. We cooked, learned a traditional Thai dance, and even a few words of Thai to use at the markets. We volunteered at an orphanage and a home for women as well. In Ghana, we became very close to the community we lived in. Every morning we would teach and make bricks for a library, and in the afternoons we would play with the children at "The Park". In the evenings we would learn about the Ghanaian culture through songs, dancing, music, and stories. Both trips were phenomenal and I would recommend everyone who is interested in going on a trip to do so, because you won't regret it.

Tanzania 2015

Tanzania 2015

5
Reviewed on 11/21/2015 by

Jambo (hello) everyone! I'm Jennah, a junior in high school, and last summer i went on the most amazing trip with Global Leadership Adventures. I traveled to Tanzania and for three weeks, I spent my time teaching students English, immersing myself in African culture and learning things that i never knew existed before the trip. GLA provided so many great opportunities to dive deep into their culture and I loved every single activity that they had planned out for us! Because i went on the three week program, we were able to go to a Masai village one weekend, a safari the other, and climb the base of Mount Kilimanjaro! I made so many great friends and was able to create so many phenomenal memories from all that we did. Every aspect of the trip opened my eyes up to all that the world has to offer, and it really made me appreciate that diversity of the world we live in. It was an absolutely mind blowing experience. I think about my time in Tanzania every single day- not a day goes by that i don't miss it. I recommend this program so so so much- you will never regret a trip with GLA. When i first was looking at trips to go on and tour groups to go with, i came upon a lot. It was a hard decision to decide where to put my money, but i'm so thankful that i chose GLA. Their stress on cultural immersion was very appreciated while i was on the trip- we were able to walk around the town we stayed in with host families and i learned so much from it. I learned so many new things while on my trip that changed my view on the world and its people. I couldn't be more grateful to GLA and all its amazing staff. Nakupenda (i love you) Tanzania and Asante Sana ( thank you very much) Global Leadership Adventures :) here is the link to the site I made that highlights my time in Africa: http://jennahlandgraf.wix.com/tanzania

Dominican Republic Trip

Dominican Republic Trip

5
Reviewed on 10/8/2015 by

This past summer, I spent three wonderful weeks participating in the Building a Sustainable World program in the sunny Dominican Republic. This program shaped my life positively in so many ways. I came into this program with high expectations since I had already gone on another GLA program in Peru two summers back, and I can say with certainty, every single expectation was met and greatly exceeded. Each day spent in the Dominican Republic was utilized to its maximum potential, by either doing service, adventuring, or learning about the political/environment of the Dominican Republic. Service wise, this trip was eye opening. My group did a variety of hands on service projects in multiple communities, with the overarching theme of sustainability guiding us the entire time. We cemented floors, fixed the roof of a water tank, helped add to two bottle clinics, and planted trees. The best part of these projects was working with the communities and community leaders, and learning how to interact and create the best long term solutions for people as possible. After a long day of working hard, it was wonderful to come home to a warm ocean, and to go swimming for an hour or so. In the nighttime, we had 2 hour classes that focused on leadership and human security. These were probably the most informative classes I have ever taken, and they helped me to get a more educative global view. When we weren’t spending our days working, our program was adventuring! We jumped off waterfalls, ziplined into lagoons, and went snorkeling along the reefs. We also took a three day trip to Santo Domingo, learning about the city’s culture, and examining the beauty and history of the DR. After this trip, I realized my true passion in life was helping in foreign countries. After being exposed to all these wonderful opportunities and experiences, I decided to major in International Relations in college, with a focus on Latin America. I still stay in touch with my mentors from my trip, and with all my fellow groupmates as well. My Dominican trip left me with life long friends, I become more informed about politics and the environment, and most importantly of all, I gained with a new perspective on life. Because I loved this trip so much, I plan on going back as a returnee next summer. I would recommend this trip to everyone, for it is genuinely life changing and the best experience I’ve had in my lifetime.

My Trip To the Dominican Republic

My Trip To the Dominican Republic

5
Reviewed on 10/4/2015 by

Never will I forget the twenty one days I spent with GLA in the Dominican Republic. Not only was I immersed in a beautiful place but I was surround by the vibrant culture. We got to stay in breathtaking bungalos steps from the beach. I was also lucky enough to meet friends that will last a lifetime. Each day was packed with learning from how to cement a floor to thoughts and ideas for making our community more sustainable. There was excellent guidance by our leaders trust, and friendships formed with all of them. Some of my favorite days consisted of mixing cement in small dominican communities. There were no power tools so everything was done by hand, and there was a great amount of help within the communities themselves. Surrounded by the men, women, and children of the communities we shared laughs and stories during our lunch breaks. One of the days we got to travel to a beautiful tropical lagoon. There we got to zip line and cliff jump! It was a blast and at the end of our swimming we had an intense volleyball game with some of the locals. I will never forget the people I met in the Dominican Republic, their stories, laughs, and friendships are forever with me. My trip was an experience of a lifetime and one that everyone should experience.

The Costa Rica Trip

The Costa Rica Trip

5
Reviewed on 9/28/2015 by

The Costa Rica Spanish Service was one of the most authentic and adventurous experiences that I have ever had. For two weeks, we stayed in Rancho Quemado, a remote village located in the Osa Peninsula which compromises 2.5% of the world's natural biodiversity. That basically means that you found every insect and every plant in one small valley. We were not only encircled by the most bizarre bugs, but by 250 soccer loving , sustainably focused, environmentally conscious Costa Ricans. The people were like family, the bugs, not so much. Every morning we woke up in our home base , I greeted our lovely hostesses with my minimal Spanish, which improved immensely each day. We then either walked across the village in a shower of warm rain, or humid sun. We received welcoming shouts of laughter from local villagers, and after two days I practically knew every GLA participant, so the feeling of homesickness escaped me completely. As someone that loves traveling I now know the difference between visiting a place, and becoming part of it. I thought that the GLA experience would be helping a community and sure, on the way there we would make some friends. I was wrong, the community helped us, we made inseparable bonds between people that I would never have met, and who now I have the honor to know. My fondest memories are zip lining, swimming, snorkeling on an island that could have been Jurassic World, playing soccer with the locals, making necklaces, horse riding, gold mining, the list goes on. Every day we had to give a highlight and a downer, I can honestly say that the highlights outnumbered the downers at all times. The last day in Rancho Quemado was the most emotional, for everyone. I realized that I had actually made a difference. We painted a library, built a basketball court, raked a one mile trail in a tropical forest. Once again the experiences are endless. All I can say is that the Costa Rica service has changed me as an individual, I have this connection with a group of people in a country completely different from my own. I hope that I can see them again. As always- Pura Vida!

GLA Ghana: Building Healthy Villages

GLA Ghana: Building Healthy Villages

5
Reviewed on 8/28/2015 by

I had the the most incredible experience in Ghana this summer building an eco-compost toilet for a local village. I met some of the most amazing people and spent two weeks feeling so genuinely welcomed. Every morning you wake up and head over to the work site until lunch time and then you spend the rest of the day being immersed in the culture; visiting a slave fort, going to a local market, making fabrics, etc. The culture is so vibrant and anywhere you go you are welcomed and even thanked for your service to the community. Every day at the work site children come to watch and play and keep a smile on your face while working hard. It feels so gratifying when you finish a compost toilet and have the opening ceremony and you realize how many lives you have changed and benefitted. I made the most amazing friends on this trip, both students and local people. This experience absolutely changed my life and know it chanaged many other peoples lives in Ghana as well! I hope anyone who is considering going on this trip goes for it- you will be so happy that you did! Ghana is an incredible place and this service project is so important. I had so much fun and learned more than I ever could've imagined. This is definetely the right program to spend some of your summer with!!

My GLA Children of Africa Trip.

My GLA Children of Africa Trip.

5
Reviewed on 8/28/2015 by

This summer I spent 3 weeks apart of the Children of Africa trip in Ghana. I was in a group of six other teenagers from across the United States and China. The seven of us spent 21 days making bricks, playing with the neighborhood kids, and teaching primary students in the local school 5 days a week. So on a more personal note I can tell you that this program was exactly what I was looking for! I have always loved traveling and I love working with kids; so being able to work with kids AND travel at the same time was a match made in heaven. I have never travelled alone without knowing anyone so I definitely was nervous. But once arrived at home base and met the neighborhood kids and the rest of the staff I instantly felt at home. All of the staff involved in this program are so passionate about the work they're doing and about the people living in Angloga. We built deep connections with the staff, the support staff, and with the kids we played with and taught. Our small group of seven was extremely close with each other and with the staff and I think part of why we're so close is because of the passions we all share. We are all travelers and we all understand and see how blessed we are to be able to travel, which is such a passion of ours. Not only did I learn so much abou Ghana, its food, its culture and its art culture; but we also learned an incredible amount about ourselves, each other, and about leadership. And how to become a better leader. This trip was such a life changing trip for me and deciding to go on this trip was probably the greatest decision I have ever made. One of my favorite memories from my trip was on our final day teaching we had a drum and dance party with our students as a farewell. I recommend if you have any questions about Children of Africa contact me, GLA itself, or go to GLA's Facebook page or the children of Africa Facebook page. We will all be more than happy to share our stories and answer any questions you might have!

Service in the Sacred Valley

Service in the Sacred Valley

5
Reviewed on 6/13/2015 by

I traveled to Peru for 3 weeks last summer with Global Leadership Adventures and was completely blown away by the experience. I hadn't done a trip without knowing anyone going into it, so I came into the experience more than a little nervous and wary. But GLA exceeded all of my expectations. I felt completely safe and secure at every moment, and that was a big deal to me. The accommodations on the trip were great and the mentors on the trip were absolutely fantastic. Right from the start, I felt welcomed and supported, and as the trip went on I only grew more in awe of how cool they were. The other great aspect was they really take leadership, adventure, and cultural immersion into account, almost as much as they do meaningful service work. Yet the other students were what made my trip truly exceptional. Before the trip, my friend who had done GLA Costa Rica told me that GLA attracts really cool people and I was going to make some really great friends, and that proved so true. Somehow I was lucky enough to get to explore Peru with 30 of the coolest, nicest, funniest people I had ever met. Lasting friendships just formed instantly and I'm so grateful for the friends I made on my trip. As I look at my opportunities in the future, I really don't know how anything could top my trip with GLA last summer, and as I look back on my time in Peru, I wish every day that I could go back and relive it over and over again. Peru is breath-taking and life-changing and I highly recommend this program to everyone, yet no matter what GLA program you choose, I promise you won't regret going!

Spanish Service Adventure for Global Leadership Adventures

Spanish Service Adventure for Global Leadership Adventures

5
Reviewed on 5/9/2015 by

Over the summer, I went to Costa Rica with Global Leadership Adventures (GLA) on the Spanish Service Adventure and I can easily say it was one of the best, if not the best, experiences of my life. I know that sounds really cheesy, but I don't simply throw that term around so I hope you believe me when I say that this program is truly a remarkable experience that everyone I know thoroughly enjoyed. Even though there's no succinct way to truly sum up the program, some of the most memorable parts and definite benefits include the development of everlasting relationships and friendships (friends from all over the world, the mentors genuinely take care of you and support you throughout the entire trip, and the community members are extremely warm and welcoming), volunteer work (although it may be hard work, it definitely pays off in the end -- the smile on the community members when the job is done is reward enough), fun excursions (I had my first surfing lesson, went whitewater rafting, repelled from a tall tree, went zipling, and swung through the jungle on a "Tarzan swing"), and a true development of Spanish skills. In general, I hope that you thoroughly consider GLA as a potential possibility for your summer trip because it was such a wonderful and rewarding experience that I encourage you to embark on. :)

I was a part of ...

I was a part of ...

5
Reviewed on 12/30/2014 by

I was a part of the Children of Africa program in Ghana with GLA this past summer, and I can honestly say this program was exactly what I was looking for. Both the local and international staff made our well-being their top priority, and were incredibly caring to every student. We were broken up into personalized "mentor groups" to process our experience, undergoing many reflective leadership and teambuilding activities to supplement our service projects in primary schools and the local clinic. Mentors became our friends, our role models, and our educators, and their guidance through this eye opening experience is something I can't write enough praise about. This was not the typical "high school travel" program; everyone came with a purpose, and we were able to come together to work towards a beautiful goal as a family. We were able to live WITH the people in the middle of a community, rather than just being ambiguous American volunteers detached from the local people. I never once felt unsafe or worried while in Ghana; GLA made sure all of the students felt comfortable when embarking on this off the map experience in a developing country. I can't say enough about how much I fell in love with Ghana and our little community in Anloga. Going on this journey is something every teenager should do if they have the chance to. While these types of teen service experiences are offered by many programs, GLA Ghana shows excellence in responsible voluntourism for high schoolers, working with the community to make a difference in some small way by educating students in development work and Ghanaian culture. This program is incredible, and GLA helps you every step of the way. I could say so much more about the program and my unforgettable memories, but every single student will take away something different and indescribably special from this experience on their own. If anyone has any questions, check out the GLA Ghana Facebook page to get in touch with alumni like me and see all the wonderful resources GLA makes available. Thank you!

I did the 10 day ...

I did the 10 day ...

5
Reviewed on 12/21/2014 by

I did the 10 day beachside service adventure in the Dominican Republic this summer and it was definitely one of, if not the, best experiences of my life. Everything about my trip was amazing, the unbelievably important work , crazy adventurous things we did, the wonderful staff/ mentors, everything. We helped build the biggest bottle school in the world, planted hundreds of trees, interacted with the local communities, went zip-lining and cliff jumping into gorgeous waters and so much more. I wouldn't change anything about my time down there except for making it longer. I think it's an essential experience for us young people to go out and experience other, less privileged lifestyles and get a real sense of what's going on in the world first-hand and I don't think there's a better way to do that than with Global Leadership Adventures. I would highly recommend this, or any Global Leadership Adventures trip, I'll be on another one to Thailand this summer.

Last summer I went with ...

Last summer I went with ...

5
Reviewed on 12/9/2014 by

Last summer I went with Global Leadership Adventures to the Dominican Republic. I can say without a doubt that it was the most life changing experience I've ever had- I still think about my time spent there everyday. Global Leadership Adventures is a perfect mix of service and adventure. we spent six days at service sites and two days spent having pure fun. We went to three different villages. In Caraballo, we worked on building a bottle school; in Las Canas, we worked on building the bottle clinic; and in La Grua, we picked up trash, implemented water filters, and spent time playing with the kids. For fun, we went to Dudu Lagoon where we got to zipline into a freshwater lagoon. We also went to Sosua the last day so we got to do a little tourist shopping to get trinkets for our families and we also went snorkeling. The best part for me was playing with the kids. At each site, the kids were so welcoming to us and just craved our attention. At La Grua, I spent half the day just giving this one little girl piggie-back rides and spinning her around in circles until her feet lifted off the ground! I can't imagine going on this kind of trip with anyone but GLA; the staff was so amazing and friendly and I felt safe and welcomed at all time. I highly recommend going if you get the chance!

Last summer I went with ...

Last summer I went with ...

5
Reviewed on 12/4/2014 by

Last summer I went with Global Leadership Adventures to the Dominican Republic. I can say without a doubt that it was the most life changing experience I've ever had- I still think about my time spent there everyday. Global Leadership Adventures is a perfect mix of service and adventure. we spent six days at service sites and two days spent having pure fun. We went to three different villages. In Caraballo, we worked on building a bottle school; in Las Canas, we worked on building the bottle clinic; and in La Grua, we picked up trash, implemented water filters, and spent time playing with the kids. For fun, we went to Dudu Lagoon where we got to zipline into a freshwater lagoon. We also went to Sosua the last day so we got to do a little tourist shopping to get trinkets for our families and we also went snorkeling. The best part for me was playing with the kids. At each site, the kids were so welcoming to us and just craved our attention. At La Grua, I spent half the day just giving this one little girl piggie-back rides and spinning her around in circles until her feet lifted off the ground! I can't imagine going on this kind of trip with anyone but GLA; the staff was so amazing and friendly and I felt safe and welcomed at all time. I highly recommend going if you get the chance!

I loved my trip to ...

I loved my trip to ...

5
Reviewed on 11/25/2014 by

I loved my trip to Ghana. I have been on three Global Leadership Adventure trips and I feel they are some of the greatest experiences I have had in high school. They have all allowed me to grow as a leader and as an individual. All Global Leadership programs focus on instilling leadership and training students on leadership skills. This has helped me a lot in life and has helped me become a leader back at home. Global Leadership Adventures also teaches you to have your own perspective. They teach you that it is important to be an aware citizen of the world and know what is happening. They teach you to question what is important in life. Additionally, through this program I found a passion for service and helping people that I feel has helped me decide what I want to do with my future. The GLA Ghana trip was an especially amazing trip. We lived in a small village that was extremely safe in a small hostel-like hotel. The local staff was very informed and was able to teach and explain about all aspects of Ghanian culture. The international staff was very encouraging and affectionate; by the end we all became just like family. Every morning we would wake up early to go to breakfast only to be greeted by a bunch of local children ready to play (the food was amazing by the way). Afterwards we would go to service. At my site we helped make cement blocks for a new local library and taught at a school. This service was so much fun and was extremely rewarding. Everyday we would get to service and kids would be waiting there with hugs for us. We would learn games and songs and teach classes all by ourselves. Outside of service we did a lot to fully immerse ourselves into Ghanian culture. We took island tours, had a cooking class, an ewei class (local language), had host families, visited a slave fort, went to a local market, among many other things. Every night we would also have lessons, guest speakers, and discussions that served to make us think and educate us on issues both in Ghana and the world around us. My trip to Ghana was extremely rewarding and amazing. It was very busy and very educational. It was full of love and full of life. As a senior it has helped me direct where I want to go in life and what I want with my future.

Global Leadership Adventures is an ...

Global Leadership Adventures is an ...

5
Reviewed on 1/12/2014 by

Global Leadership Adventures is an amazing program for service, adventure, and exploration. I went to Peru in the summer of 2013, and I felt very appreciated by the community we were working with after 3 weeks helping them build a greenhouse for their community. Throughout the trip, we were able to explore Peru where most tourists would never go, like hidden ruins and the homes of farmers in rural Cusco. Lastly, camping trips and rafting trips made me appreciate the beauty of the Andes and discover a new passion for nature.At the end of the trip, I felt inspired to continue to be a leader for change and development for this world.

I would definitely recommend this ...

I would definitely recommend this ...

5
Reviewed on 1/3/2014 by

I would definitely recommend this organization to any teen searching to use their summer break to discover their potential in changing the world and impacting the lives of many. Not only do GLA participants have the opportunity to learn about themselves through service, they get to build long-lasting frienships and experience a foreign country in ways in which they never would have on a family vacation.

Global Leadership Adventures is an ...

Global Leadership Adventures is an ...

5
Reviewed on 11/15/2013 by

Global Leadership Adventures is an amazing program. They continuously do an amazing job with providing a fun learning experience that immerses students into the culture of foreign countries. In 2012 I went to the Galapagos with GLA for 2 weeks and last summer I went to Thailand for 3 weeks. My family keeps sending me back because of the amazing experience GLA provides. Everything is extremely safe; The staff is professional, the home base is beautiful, and all the activities are carefully planned out and monitored. I was even able to call home whenever I wanted. GLA does a great job by keeping students busy at all times. I would never be able to see and do this much in a foreign country if I was on a family vacation. In addition, GLA provides opportunities a typical tourist would not have. For example in Thailand we attended a Thai boxing class, ate mother's day lunch with our driver's family, and helped our driver's neighbors plant rice in their rice fields. All in all Global Leadership provides a great and amazing experiencing for those teens who are willing to step out of their comfort zones and in addition volunteer in a community.

138 Participant Reviews

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A million words can't begin to explain

A million words can't begin to explain

5
Reviewed on 3/5/2019 by

Hi! I am a Global Leadership Adventures Alumni and I had an amazing trip with GLA. I choose Ghana: children of Africa and this was the best experience of my life. In Ghana, we lived in a house that was in the village I volunteered in. There wasn't ever any moment that I felt unsafe. At the age of 15, this was not only my first time traveling into Africa but my first time traveling alone. I feel that I have grown a lot, everything from no longer having a single story of Africa to knowing how to check in my bags. I didn't know much about the culture. shortly after arriving we got a little history and visited a host family to learn how to speak some Krobo. The program staff were very supportive and were always there to talk if you needed anything. a million words can't begin to explain the love, joy, and so many more emotions from this trip.

Best Experience of my Life

Best Experience of my Life

5
Reviewed on 3/4/2019 by

I went to Costa Rica for a fourteen day trip to teach in schools, and it was the best thing I have ever done. I have never had a better time. I learned so much about myself, and I think I really was able to make a difference. I was able to teach the kids in my school a bit of English, but I also got to work on their school, and their classroom, to give them a better learning environment. I also met some of the most wonderful people, and they will probably be some of the best friends I've ever had. After this experience, I decided that I want to teach kids, and I don't know if I would have come to this conclusion if it weren't for this trip. I would recommend this program to anyone and everyone.

BEST EXPERIENCE EVER

BEST EXPERIENCE EVER

5
Reviewed on 3/4/2019 by

Wow! GLA Peru was the best experience ever, I met so many new friends and had such an amazing time! I loved every second of my trip, we did so much service and adventure! It was so amazing to meet other people like you that love to travel and do service! I would 100% recommend this trip . It was so amazing.

Life Changing

Life Changing

5
Reviewed on 2/22/2019 by

I came back from the Galapagos Islands with GLA a changed person. This trip opened my eyes to the wonders of our world and the amazing wildlife and environments that exist on it. The service was very rewarding and I made lifelong friends on the trip. The leaders were excellent at connecting with the students as well as being leaders and role models to us. If you are thinking about GLA, I 100% reccomend it. You will not regret it.

Worth it!

Worth it!

4
Reviewed on 5/1/2018 by

I had an amazing time on the Empowering Rainforest Communities trip to Costa Rica with Global Leadership Adventures. Everything from the wildlife to the food to the culture made a memory for a lifetime. My group did struggle with internal relationships, but we worked through hard times together, as our task was mentally and physically challenging. The climate was a rainforest, so it rained a lot... and then some. I wasn’t quite prepared for the humidity and rain, as I am from a dryer climate. But I learned to live with wet clothes. Make sure to keep money or important documents from molding.

Amazing Experience!

Amazing Experience!

5
Reviewed on 5/1/2018 by

Hi all! I am a Global Leadership Adventures Alumni and I had an amazing time in Peru, Ghana and Thailand with GLA! I really recommend GLA! The housing experience was great! GLA Peru rented out a hotel in Cusco, for both the 2 week and the 3 week groups. In Ghana we all stayed in a house together and in Thailand we also had a hotel! I felt very safe there! I had never been to Peru, Ghana or Thailand, so I felt that by being there I grew, a lot! I understood much of their culture and what their lifestyles are like. The program staff were very supportive! I felt that I was able to talk to them about whatever I needed, or if I was frustrated with other students! Overall I recommend GLA to all High School age students!

Amazing Experience!

Amazing Experience!

5
Reviewed on 5/1/2018 by

Hi! My daughter has gone on 3 absolutely amazing GLA trips! She has had so many beneficial experiences! Each trip she has gone on I have felt so safe with her leaving! The communication and help I received from the GLA staff made such a difference. I had many questions the first trip she went on and they were always there to answer them! One of the best parts was seeing the blog of what they were up to each day! Coming back she had so many amazing stories to tell! I completely recommend GLA!!!

Global Leadership Adventures 14-Day Children of the Maya Guatemala Program

Global Leadership Adventures 14-Day Children of the Maya Guatemala Program

5
Reviewed on 4/2/2018 by

Global Leadership Adventures is a truly an extraordinary organization! This past summer I traveled to Guatemala for the 14-day Children of the Maya Program. This experience forever changed my life and the way in which I view the world. Going into my second trip with Global Leadership Adventures, I was still nervous about traveling solo to a foreign country. However, GLA is very helpful with flight coordination and making their students feel as comfortable as possible. When you sign up for a GLA trip there's a spreadsheet in the Travel Portal with every student signed up for the program including their emails, the city/state they reside in, whether or not they're a GLA alumni, and their flights for the program. The Travel Portal is a very useful tool I used while planning both my GLA trips to the Dominican Republic and Guatemala. Also, GLA's in-country staff is very assertive. There is a 24 hour hot spot available in all GLA locations, along with a cell phone available to all students if they ever need to call home! All of GLA's home bases are extremely safe and are equipped with western style bathrooms! Undeniably, the country you do a GLA trip in will become you new home away from home. I encourage everyone to step outside their comfort zones and realms of security to experience something that will forever change your life!

Happy Parent of GLA Students

Happy Parent of GLA Students

5
Reviewed on 4/2/2018 by

This past summer, my twins went to Costa Rica with Global Leadership Adventures on the Beachside Service Adventure and they had the times of their lives. The GLA staff was very supportive from before they even enrolled to after they returned home and they did a wonderful job of ensuring my kids' safety and the quality of their experience. While in county they participated in exciting adventure and cultural experiences and performed meaningful service alongside the locals. They also built strong relationships with the other kids on the trip and made new discoveries about our word. I am so happy I was able to send them abroad!

Two life changing experiences

Two life changing experiences

5
Reviewed on 3/28/2018 by

My daughter has gone on two trips so far with GLA. First she went to Costa Rica for 10 days. When she came back, she had developed a much more global perspective of the world. She was ready to travel farther and for longer. From the communication from GLA and how safe I felt my daughter had been on her first trip, I had no problem allowing her to go on another trip. Her next trip was going to Fiji for 3 weeks. This was half way around the planet and an experience most will never have. I am glad that she has had these opportunities. She is going on a spring break service trip to the Dominican Republic and a summer trip to Guadeloupe, with a home stay. She is doing this to help the community and also be exposed to the the French language. I am so proud of who she has become, partly due to her experiences with GLA.

My summer in Fiji with Global Leadership Adventures

My summer in Fiji with Global Leadership Adventures

5
Reviewed on 3/23/2018 by

Traveling with Global Leadership Adventures has given me the most amazing life experiences and many unforgettable adventures. On my GLA trip to Fiji I met so many new amazing people that were on my trip with me and within the locals, everyone is so kind and caring there. I learned so much about other cultures during my trip and the other ways people normally live their lives. During my three weeks on the islands, I made strong relationships with people, learned parts of a new and unique language, experienced delicious new foods, learned ways to adapt to unexpected situations, and I learned a lot about myself. GLA trips have a unique way of respectfully making you a part of a community that isn't yours, to provide them with assistance in any way needed by the community. It is the way they assist others and helps the students become comfortable in these new environments and make sure they have a great time, in the end, is what makes the Global Leadership Adventures programs unique and an amazing experience to have in life.

Global Leadership Adventures: Life-changing cultural, social service experiences

Global Leadership Adventures: Life-changing cultural, social service experiences

5
Reviewed on 2/8/2018 by

GLA provided me with many firsts: my first time out of the country, my first time traveling without an adult, and my first time being immersed in all of the beauties of another culture. My first trip with them was on a spring break service trip in the Dominican Republic in 2016. My friend had found out about GLA online, and I thought it would serve as a fun time away from home with friends. Little did I know that this trip would become something so much more. We spent our time there working on a house for a single mother and her two children, distributing water filters to a Dominican-Haitian village, and replanting trees. My last trip (because really I couldn't get enough) was to Belize for two weeks this past summer. There, we taught local school children, many of whom I've stayed in contact with for whenever they need help with school or just to talk. You see, with GLA, you're not just spending time in another country, just passing through, you're actually taking part in local community service projects and making an impact that will last long after you've left. You get the chance to meet and interact with people from these countries who, despite having little or less than us, are amazingly kindhearted and selfless. It really helps you to see the world in a different light and put things into perspective for you in your own life. I know that this is a cliche, overused expression, but there really is no better way for me to describe the opportunities that GLA provides you with as anything less than life-changing. While they do incorporate some extremely fun, recreational activities (in the Dominican Republic we went cliff jumping, snorkeling, and shopping in local markets; in Belize, we went to see ancient Mayan ruins, visited a beautiful and vibrant island, and went snorkeling in the second largest Barrier Reef in the world), I found that I actually enjoyed the service with the local people to be so much more fun and meaningful for me. I would give anything to see each of the people I worked with again. However, it's not just the people from the country you form a connection with; I met so many wonderful people taking part in the service trips who shared a lot of the same interests with me. I still keep in contact with many of them to this day ( I'm actually planning a trip this next summer to meet up with a few of them). Please don't just take my word for it, though. Take a chance and sign up to be a part of a service organization that gives so much to every corner of the world. I guarantee you won't regret that you did.

Mom's GLA Review Tanzania

Mom's GLA Review Tanzania

5
Reviewed on 2/4/2018 by

My daughter went on a a 3 week program in Tanzania with the GLA last summer 2017. I had never heard of GLA prior to 2017 but after her expressed interests in taking part in this program, I read everything I could find about it and felt good enough to register her. Everything went without a hitch, all preparations prior to departure were done quickly and painless ourselves because everything was prescribed. And before long, it was departure time, and off she goes to Africa, on her own, meeting up with other teens going to the same program on their flights there to Tanzania. While she was in Africa, I didn’t worry at all because I got email and blog updates on what the kids are up to, with pictures even. I could call her if I needed to, and she could call me and text me while there. All in all, she had “the best 3 weeks of her life so far” and the memories and lessons learned are priceless! I would let her do it again, if she so inclined. I am glad she got to experience this incredible adventure on her own with other teens her age and with experienced guides and a local organizer. This is something that will affect her long after the trip is over.

A Dad's Review of GLA Tanzania

A Dad's Review of GLA Tanzania

5
Reviewed on 2/4/2018 by

I was very impressed with my daughter’s service-learning experience with GLA in Tanzania last summer. She received thoughtful guidance and immersion into the local culture and day to day living in the village of Arusha near Kilimanjaro. Here the students give of their time and knowledge to teach and help in executing community projects that improve the lives of local citizens. In turn they learn what it is to engage another culture through their traditions and beliefs. And they are introduced to the diversity of the natural environment that my daughter could only describe as wonderfully strange. This intense three week international experience was inspiring and enriching and reminded my daughter and our family of the promise for what it is to be a global citizen.

3 Weeks of Absolute Adventure in Thailand

3 Weeks of Absolute Adventure in Thailand

5
Reviewed on 1/29/2018 by

This previous July I went on GLA's Cultural Kaleidoscope trip in Thailand. I have to say that those 3 weeks I spent in Thailand were unforgettable. From the food, the culture, to the everlasting friendships I made, this trip was the highlight of my summer before college. Not only were our trip leader knowledgeable, they were caring, fun and always their to listen/help. Everyday was a new adventure and never felt that I was wasting my time instead I felt as though I would never be the same when I came back home.

Tanzania: An extraordinary 3 weeks

Tanzania: An extraordinary 3 weeks

5
Reviewed on 1/28/2018 by

I went on a Global Leadership Adventures 3-week program to Tanzania this past summer. I have traveled out of the country with my family multiple times in the past, but I had never flown internationally alone. Naturally, I was extremely nervous. However, when I met most of the other GLA participants before our flight to Tanzania, we hit it right off. When we arrived, all of us 30 students got to know each other so well and became extremely close in a matter of days. The fact that we could all relate to each other, yet we were all so different, made volunteering in the Tanzanian community (primarily teaching English at a local school and refurbishing the school) and exploring the country a blast. Throughout the program, I felt safe wherever we went--even if we were in the middle of safari among giraffes, lions, and elephants! (There's a bodyguard on watch at the home base at all times.) In addition, the mentors are extremely caring about making your experience reflective and memorable. This trip opened me up to a world of travel that I had never before been exposed to. I highly recommend any teen who is seeking an opportunity to make an impact on a foreign community and to be immersed in another culture to look into a GLA program. Personally, I would recommend the 3-week programs (if possible for you) in order to get the full experience.

14 day animal rescue

14 day animal rescue

5
Reviewed on 1/24/2018 by

My 16 year old daughter went on the 14 day animal rescue program last summer. I was hesitant at first since she had never traveled alone. We then found out one of her teammates had done a trip the summer before and she and her mother spoke highly of the experience. I gave in. Jules had the most amazing experience. Everything from the service work, the cultural learning, and of course the friendships. The staff were attentive to the students and Jules expressed that she always felt safe. Jules is a vegetarian and had no problem eating on the trip. The blog posts that were supposed to be 2-3 times a week, were almost daily which was very helpful for a nervous parent. To be able to read and see pictures of what they were doing, how much fun they were having, and how happy everyone seemed eased my concerns. She would have stayed longer if she could have and is already signed up for the upcoming summer for trips to the Galapagos and Thailand.

Costa Rica - Empowering the Rainforest Communities

Costa Rica - Empowering the Rainforest Communities

5
Reviewed on 1/19/2018 by

The summer of 2017 I had the ability to go on the adventure of a lifetime by myself in Costa Rica. When getting to the airport in Costa Rica, it was a little nerve racking knowing that I was alone, in a country i have never been to before. However, as soon as I went through the doors, I was greeted with friendly faces and warm personalities from the staff of GLA. On the bus to our home for next two weeks, everyone slowly started to become friends and told stories on why we chose this program. The community was so welcoming when we got into the town, and were willing to open their arms to us so we could assist them in projects. Over the two weeks being there, I saw so many things that i wouldn't have been able to, like sloths, different insects, variety of people, and the most amazing sights of the coast and the jungle, if it wasn't for GLA and everything they did to help me get to Costa Rica. I highly recommend GLA if you are looking for safe travels, meeting amazing people, and unforgettable memories. Happy Travels.

My Daughters GLA Experience

My Daughters GLA Experience

5
Reviewed on 1/19/2018 by

My daughter Hollie did the 2 week Tanzania trip with GLA in June, 2017. Hollie absolutely loved the entire trip, and was so inspired by it, that her feet have not touched the ground since! Thanks to the meaningful service work that GLA did on her trip (refurbish the classrooms), Hollie even took her service a step further when she returned home, by creating a fundraiser for the kids school, to further refurbish. Her fundraiser has gone very well so far, and she even has future plans to return back ASAP. Also, Hollie made several amazing friends on her trip, three of which happen to be from the same state as us, so they have gotten together multiple times, as well as two who live in the town where she will be attending college, and ones who stay in touch over the phone. GLA sparked a passion in Hollie that I know will be lifelong. If your child is thinking about going on a GLA trip, stop thinking and just GO. They will come home with so much more appreciation of the life they live in the USA.

My Daughter's Summer Trip

My Daughter's Summer Trip

5
Reviewed on 1/15/2018 by

Hello, my daughter went on the Costa Rica beach side service adventure trip. Initially, my wife and I were really worried sending her to a foreign country alone. I can honestly say I was very pleased with the way GLA handled everything. I needed to get in contact with her on the trip and they quickly got her to a phone. I felt very confident in the GLA staff and program. I am so excited for her to be going on her next trip this Spring to the Dominican Republic. Thank you GLA!!

Ghana Children of Africa 2 Week

Ghana Children of Africa 2 Week

5
Reviewed on 1/15/2018 by

Last school year, I decided on a whim that I wanted to go on a service trip abroad and began my search online for a well-qualified program that would meet my desires. I came across Global Leadership Adventures, and with reviews such as these, I made the decision to trust my travels with this organization. Throughout the application and admission process, the GLA staff was super helpful with any questions me or my mother had and could answer anything I threw at them by email within a day. I left Virginia not knowing what to expect but once I met up with other girls in New York, some more in Amsterdam, and everyone else in Ghana I knew these next few weeks were going to be the best of my life because I was already becoming such good friends with the people on my trip. Everyone from the people on the plane, the GLA hired staff, and the members of the Krobo community were so welcoming and positive which was a great start to the trip. A typical day on this program consists of brick making, teaching at the elementary school or nursery, playing in the park, and indulging in the culture through naming ceremonies, batik cloth dying, fabric market shopping, bead making, sitting in on high school classes, and much more. Gla combines the perfect amount of service, cultural immersion, and fun days off to make the trip extra special. The goodbyes were the only bad thing about this trip because the kids wouldn't let go and it was hard to make them do so. Ghana will forever hold a special place in my heart.

My Daughters Trip to Tanzania

My Daughters Trip to Tanzania

5
Reviewed on 1/14/2018 by

Hi! My daughter Hollie went on the 2 week Tanzania trip in 2017. I cannot say enough about how fantastic GLA is! She had the trip of a lifetime. Not only did she fall absolutely in love with Tanzania (the second she got home she has been bugging us about going back!), she loved the experience as a whole, meeting new friends from all across the globe and spending this journey with them. She has truly met friends of a lifetime and has already reconnected with some friends back here in the United States multiple times! How cool is that? I would highly recommend GLA to anyone, anywhere, anytime. Their professionalism is amazing, and they truly do everything they say they are going to do. They made planning this trip very easy and will answer any question with delight! From the second we began to plan our daughters trip with GLA, to the second she returned home, everything went as smooth as possible! GLA changed my daughters life, and for that, I am forever grateful!

Global Leadership Adventures- Life changing.

Global Leadership Adventures- Life changing.

5
Reviewed on 1/11/2018 by

This previous July, I took a two week service trip to the Dominican Republic with Global Leadership Adventures, and participated in their Global Health Initiative program. The experience was absolutely life changing. The home base we stayed at for our two weeks in Barahona, Dominican Republic was beautiful. The living conditions were above average, and I was so comfortable for the duration of the stay. The mentors and directors are some of the nicest, most genuine people I have ever met. They are willing and able to help with any problems you may have, whether it be related to the program or not. The educational part of the program was amazing. I have an entire notebook filled with interesting facts I learned about the Dominican culture, memories I made, notes, and graphs. We even had the opportunity to have an organized debate on universal healthcare. Every night, we would finish up our day of service and adventures with a lecture, followed by mentor groups, where we would just sit and talk, unwind, and become closer as a Global Leadership Adventures family. For anyone interested in going on a Global Leadership Adventures trip, I would 100% recommend this company. I've never had a more rewarding experience. A+ for GLA!

14 Days of Pure Joy in Tanzania, Africa

14 Days of Pure Joy in Tanzania, Africa

5
Reviewed on 1/9/2018 by

This past summer, I traveled 7,515 miles from New Jersey, USA to Tanzania, Africa, all thanks to Global Leadership Adventures (GLA). Truthfully, words could never even adequately describe the experience I had. Before leaving, of course I was nervous, and also skeptical of all of the GLA Alumni I had seen raving, saying things such as "experience of a lifetime" or "life changing". Boy, was I off! It definitely is the type of thing that you have to experience for yourself to truly understand. However, I hope that in seeing my love and passion for the program, along with thousands of other teens from all around the world, that you too will be inspired to give it a go! On the Tanzania 14 day program, you get to teach at a primary school for one week, complete 30 hours of service (doing some type of refurbishment on the school), spend a day with a host family, explore local markets, villages and communities, spend time at an orphanage, hike the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro and even swim in it, tour a coffee farm, dance with locals, create traditional African art, embark on a two day safari trip (ABSOLUTELY AMAZING), try new and exotic yummy food, and SO MUCH MORE! Additionally, you make real, deep, meaningful connections with like-minded teenagers who will absolutely, positively be some life long friends of yours! Most importantly though, you learn about yourself! Whoever you are and wherever you came from, you are guaranteed to be enlightened, awakened and have an entirely new perspective on the world at large once your time is up! (My advice would be to even go for the 21 day program- 14 days are enough, but they fly!) Take a chance, take a risk and go for it! You will NOT regret it! There is no price tag that can be put on this experience.

GLA Guatemala

GLA Guatemala

5
Reviewed on 1/5/2018 by

I loved my experience with Global Leadership Adventures, I went to Guatemala on the 14 day Children of the Maya trip and had the best time! I made great friends and great memories. By going on this trip I realized how I want to impact peoples lives in the future! The staff members were awesome and I loved the home base, you felt super safe and right at home. I learned so much about their culture and their way of life! It was overall an amazing experience and I would recommend it to everyone!

Global Leadership Adventures Costa Rica

Global Leadership Adventures Costa Rica

5
Reviewed on 1/5/2018 by

This past summer, I traveled to Costa Rica on the "Beachside Service Adventure" with Global Leadership Adventures and it was incredible! I knew as soon as we landed in Costa Rica that it was going to be a great trip (and I was right!): we were greeted by friendly, competent staff then went to our home base. The adventures we had were so much fun and allowed us to experience the country. Our service projects were touching and engaged us with the locals, and the whole experience challenged us as people for the better. I am so happy I had the opportunity to go to Costa Rica with Global Leadership Adventures and cannot wait to head to the Dominican Republic with them!

Global Leadership Adventures Promises an Awesome Trip

Global Leadership Adventures Promises an Awesome Trip

5
Reviewed on 1/4/2018 by

Over the past summer, I went on this program and I was pretty nervous to travel alone and not know anybody. Little did I know that I was going to have the time of my life! This program helped me meet people that I can call my long lost bestfriends! I developed relationships with people who amazed me everyday with their kindness and generosity! I developed myself as a person through many different aspects. First, this trip helped grow my love for community work and missionaries. It makes me feel better about myself when I am helping others and this program was all about that. Second, I went out of my comfort zone and was able to have a fun time without having to worry! There is so much more I could include but I reccomend that everyone goes on a trip with Global Leadership Adventures and sees for themselves. The staff who accompanied me on this trip was awesome. I couldn't of asked for better people to lead my way to bettering myself as a human and bettering the people of Belize. The housing of this trip was awesome and the beds were comfy. The food was out of this world! I’m currently missing the abnormously large amount of plantains that would be accessible to us at all moments. This program has influenced me to want to be more involved with my community at home and the world around me! I will be going on another missions trip just because of how awesome this one was. My favorite memory about this trip was working with the kids. I worked with the younger age group and they were all so adorable and excited to learn. What I really took out of this experience is the fact that kids in Belize wanted to learn so bad while people at my home complain about going to school everyday. The kids in Belize would showup to the school we taught at running up to the friends I made and I hugging us! They would say thank you as much as possible just because we taught them the alphabet or some numbers. This really amazed me and made me realize that I need to be more grateful about how lucky I am to be able to go to school everyday. I reccomend that everyone who can goes on this trip and makes a memory close to this one. A memory that can change their outlook on life and make an extraordinary impact just like Belize; The Iniative for Children did for me :)

Global Leadership Adventures Galapagos

Global Leadership Adventures Galapagos

4
Reviewed on 12/31/2017 by

My daughter traveled to Ecuador and Galapagos the summer of 2017. She had an amazing trip and now is taking her second GLA trip this spring break 2018. GLA staff was great. I recommend GLA for teens who are independent, spirited and looking for a way to give back to the world. Pam Prast mother of 15 year old traveler.

The Best Three Weeks of My Life

The Best Three Weeks of My Life

5
Reviewed on 12/7/2017 by

This past summer I traveled to Fiji for three weeks with Global Leadership Adventures and I can honestly say it was the best experience I have ever had. Every new place we went we were greeted with the warmest welcomes and friendliest smiles I had ever seen in my life. The program director, mentors, and local staff were so incredibly helpful, supportive, intelligent, and fun. The food and housing were always great. The balance between service and adventure was awesome, we worked for long hours in the villages on a variety of projects but it was always fun. When we got back we had free time to jump in the ocean or hang out in a hammock. The excursions to see stingrays and the long mountain hikes were incredible. And the nightly meeting where we talked about leadership and our views on the world were so engaging and informative. While I was there I also became best friends with the other students on the trip, and since then have flown across the country to visit them. Everyone was so welcoming and nobody was left out, we all had so much fun together. My time in Fiji was without a doubt be the best experience I have had to date, and I know when I came home I was a changed person. I expanded my horizons and immersed myself into a new culture. I gained new knowledge of people around the world, and new insight into the vast world that is out there. My trip challenged me, it pushed me and tired me out but at the end of the day it proved to be so incredibly rewarding. I recommend this program so much to anyone who wants to do service in another country and expand their horizons. The spirit of the country was indescribable, one of the best things I have experienced in my life. The GLA staff did an amazing job organizing this and I'm so happy I was lucky enough to be a part of it!

Global Leadership Adventures

Global Leadership Adventures

5
Reviewed on 12/1/2017 by

My daughter went on a trip last year with GLA to Costa Rica. At first we were nervous about our her going so far as a 15 year old, but GLA was great and it ended up being a trip of a lifetime. The GLA advisors, Jackie, was very patient and informative with all my questions. They were completely on the ball at every step of the way and made us feel very comfortable as parents. The volunteer work with local school system was great for our daughter, but even more, the immersive cultural experience with like-minded teens from various places and backgrounds was irreplaceable. She has become an ambassador going with GLA to Peru this year and we're excited for her and the impact these trips are having on her world view, life experiences, learning and self esteem. We felt very comfortable working with Global Leadership Adventures and can not wait to see what future adventures our daughter has with GLA!

thai elephant home

thai elephant home

5
Reviewed on 11/30/2017 by

i went on a 14 day trip to thailand, surrounded by elephants. during my time in thailand i learned a lot about the issues that affect elephants in thailand today. i met some amazing people, including the staff and the students who attended the program with me. it was a very eye opening experience and a super fun trip. we got to visit buddhist temples and even talk with monks, we went rafting, and visited various elephant related organisations. our home base was very nice and the food we ate there was delicious! we got to work very closely with the elephants but at the same time we were made aware of the issues they face in thailand and in the tourist industry. i think Global Leadership adventures is a great way to travel and do service that is both fun and educational.

Thailand: Cultural Kaleidoscope

Thailand: Cultural Kaleidoscope

5
Reviewed on 11/21/2017 by

My two week trip with Global Leadership Adventures this past summer was a beyond amazing experience of learning, growth and fun! The ability to do service in a new place while also being immersed in a beautiful culture is life changing. We were able to make such amazing bonds with our students, and get them excited about learning a new language. We got to learn about Buddhism and its prominence in the culture of northern Thailand first hand by visiting temples and speaking with monks. We got authentic Thai food everyday and tried new things, and stepping out of our comfort zones. I learned so much from the hard work of raising the money for the trip to navigating an international airport by myself. Words can only say so much, and I would recommend this trip to anyone!

GLA Galapagos

GLA Galapagos

5
Reviewed on 11/20/2017 by

This summer I spent two weeks with amazing staff, students, and guides on the beautiful islands that are the Galapagos. This experience was my first time traveling alone, and i have to say it couldn't have been better. Everyday we would do community service work, with purpose and pride, just like the staff had taught us. We also got to experience the culture and beautify of these islands though many fun activities like hiking, snorkeling, beach walks, spending time in the town, and more. The staff had extensive knowledge and were more than willing to answer questions, goof around, and participate with students. Future participants be aware, you will come back changed. Seeing one of the last places on earth that is virtually untouched will change you, it changed me. To see how elegant nature is without human interaction has made me want to fight even more to protect it. I cam home wondering what more I could do, and swear of the impact my everyday actions have. This trip will change you, and 100% of that is for the better.

Global Leadership Adventures Tanzania (14 Days)

Global Leadership Adventures Tanzania (14 Days)

5
Reviewed on 11/17/2017 by

My time spent in Tanzania was unforgettable. I paid for this trip myself (I work all summer), but I would do it all over again! I truly enjoyed every aspect of this trip! The staff is really helpful, and answered all of my and my parents' pre-departure questions. Once you put down a deposit you also have access to a packing list, the other people on your trip, and so much more! I have actually gone on two trips, one to the Dominican Republic (Beachside Service) as well as Tanzania, and have had great experiences on both. Safety was a main concern for my parents but there was never a moment I felt unsafe. There was security on the home base and GLA has local staff who know their way around Tanzania. The service was so rewarding and it was so cool to make connections with people who live such different lives than mine. The food at the home base was so good and the staff was always willing to make something special for picky eaters. We did so many cultural activities that were so fun too! We went to a coffee plantation, dancing show, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Batik painting, a safari and more! Every part of this trip was so rewarding and I recommend for anyone to go on this trip!

My China - Global Leadership Adventures

My China - Global Leadership Adventures

4
Reviewed on 11/16/2017 by

This summer I went to China with a group of 24 students. Originally when searching for programs I found that none of them were even close to my price range as they were all too expensive. At first, I selected Global Leadership Adventures because of its affordable price and its service component. But it turned out to be so much more than that! GLA was an experience through which I learned to be more independent and confident. When out in the streets with other students we had to use our language skills to communicate which took a lot of brain power but also a lot of confidence. Making friends while on the China program was not hard at all. All the kids on my program were ambitious and they cared about making a difference. Since I found kids similar to me on the program it was really easy to make friends. Even though it's been a while since this summer we still have our group chat going strong and I even regularly meet up with two of the kids who live close to me. I definitely recommend GLA for other students because it really was a life changing experience for me and I think everyone should experience this great adventure! The language aspect of this program could be greatly improved. The language classes were extremely informal and I don't feel like I really learned any new Mandarin.

Parents point of view on daughters trip to Costa Rica

Parents point of view on daughters trip to Costa Rica

5
Reviewed on 11/8/2017 by

It was a big step for us to let our daughter go on her first big foreign trip on her own. However, we were re-assured by the extensive and well planned communication from GLA. We also noticed our daughter being very responsible in all her actions and in preparing for the trip. She really developed and grew as a result of the experience and came back clearly having had the best of times having met so many wonderful friends. She just can't stop talking about her experience abroad. It positively transformed her and I can highly recommend the experience to others. Her safety was GLAs number one priority, which really assured us. We haven't had any regrets in letting her go and despite my initial hesitations she had such an amazing time that she's going back this summer to Thailand with her sister, which will be her first trip but they both cant wait.

Parent's Perspective

Parent's Perspective

5
Reviewed on 11/8/2017 by

Leading up to my daughter's departure, GLA was extremely supportive and helpful. I loved that you could book your own flights (as opposed to being forced to go to JFK or Ontario first) because I'm in a mileage program. Even then, they helped me book the flight that worked the best. During the trip, I waited each and every day to look at the program blog. It was so wonderful seeing my daughter step out of her comfort zone with a smile on her face. Right when she came back home she immediately told me about the millions of plans she had to return to South Africa or go on another GLA trip. I'm happy to say I'm planning to let her go on one again :) !

Parent Point of View

Parent Point of View

5
Reviewed on 11/7/2017 by

My daughter went on the Thailand Cultural Kaleidoscope trip this summer through Global Leadership Adventures. I have never seen her so happy upon her return. When she proposed this trip to me, I was very nervous because she would be in a new country without me or anyone she knew. However, I was reading the description of the trip and saw how much service she would be doing and eventually let her go. We spoke to each other every night and she kept telling me how amazing the trip was and that I shouldn’t worry because of how safe it was. They were very strict and secure at all times so there was nothing to worry about. To any parent skeptical of letting their child go away, you should know that my daughter did not feel unsafe at all on the trip and it is a once in a lifetime opportunity. She could not stop talking about her experience when she came back, and people are still telling her how amazing it is that she was able to volunteer abroad!

Parent Point of View

Parent Point of View

5
Reviewed on 11/7/2017 by

My daughter went on the Thailand Cultural Kaleidoscope trip this summer through Global Leadership Adventures. I have never seen her so happy upon her return. When she proposed this trip to me, I was very nervous because she would be in a new country without me or anyone she knew. However, I was reading the description of the trip and saw how much service she would be doing and eventually let her go. We spoke to each other every night and she kept telling me how amazing the trip was and that I shouldn’t worry because of how safe it was. They were very strict and secure at all times so there was nothing to worry about. To any parent skeptical of letting their child go away, you should know that my daughter did not feel unsafe at all on the trip and it is a once in a lifetime opportunity. She could not stop talking about her experience when she came back, and people are still telling her how amazing it is that she was able to volunteer abroad!

(GLA Costa Rica Initiative for Children) Amazing!

(GLA Costa Rica Initiative for Children) Amazing!

5
Reviewed on 11/6/2017 by

Global Leadership Adventures was an amazing experience! I spent 21 days volunteering at the local school and community center in Nosara, Costa Rica. Every day was a new adventure where I learned about Costa Rican foods, dance, and music. I went ziplining and surfing which were phenomenal experiences! Soaring above the rainforest was breathtaking and surfing was a must because Costa Rica is noted for its amazing surf waves. At the beach we even saw actors from the Walking Dead!

GLA Costa Rica the Beachside Service Adventure

GLA Costa Rica the Beachside Service Adventure

5
Reviewed on 11/3/2017 by

This summer I spent 10 days in Parrita Costa Rica with Global Leadership Adventures on the Beachside Service Adventure and the experience was beyond words. I definitely left a piece of my heart in the community of Parrita in Costa Rica and they have taught me so much more than I could have ever imagined. Being able to challenge myself and gain skills through service, activities like ziplining and horseriding, the leadership curriculum and putting myself out of my comfort zone has been unforgettable and truly life changing as it has helped me grow as a person. For my service project I worked on painting a mural at a school called Sardinal Sur and sometimes it was challenging because we had to paint in the rain and a lot of our hard work got ruined however we all banded together to fix it and make it the best it could be. Seeing the children's faces looking at our mural on the last day of service was so rewarding and made everything worth it. I would highly recommend this trip if you are considering going on it or any other GLA trip because the company is great and I never felt unsafe so dont be worried. My parents were originally hesitant to let me go because it was so far from home and even though we've travelled extensively as a family before this was my first solo trip. However GLA was super helpful and once they heard how much fun I was having and how happy I was being able to experience it they knew they didn't have any regrets letting me go. So much so that they're letting me go back next summer to Thailand with GLA.

Parents Perspective

Parents Perspective

5
Reviewed on 11/2/2017 by

When my 15 year old approached me about volunteering abroad, I must say I was apprehensive. The world is changing everyday in so many unpredictable ways. However, I wasn’t raised to fear the world. I was taught to be bold and to work towards my dreams with passion. There’s so much more than the boxes we live in and we only get one chance to make the most of our time here. I can’t just send them out into the world with reckless abandon either....so I researched...A LOT....trying to find a program which I thought would help my teen develop an appreciation for other cultures. One that would help guide, without stifling creativity and would encourage growth and independence. I went through countless reviews by parents and participants of many programs. Global Leadership Adventures seemed to be a perfect. A great balance of service, culture, and adventure. From day 1, a GLA rep was available to answer any questions to help guide us through the process. We were well informed as to what would be required, timelines, deadlines....any and all of the behind the scenes stuff to make this trip a reality. It has provided a solid foundation to encourage growth for a different future. One where boundaries become blurred and opportunities are more than just dreams. There is so much to learn in this world, but many are too afraid to learn. Too afraid to promote change. Changes don’t have to be global. The children, the families, the communities our GLA teens are supporting....it doesn’t take much to inspire 1, who could then inspire 1 more. Before long, that 1, turns into countless numbers of people who have been inspired in different ways to accomplish different things. I am grateful my teen has the desire to want to do more. To help others. To take a chance on the world and believe that it can be better. GLA as been an amazing group for my teen. I hope others will see the importance of stepping outside of the box...outside of their comfort zone, and be the change. My teen loved this program so much! There was a new found appreciation for the people and the culture of Thailand! It also fueled a desire to want to do more, see more, help more, BE more! We are excitedly preparing for next summers 5 week experience!

My Daughter's Trip

My Daughter's Trip

5
Reviewed on 10/29/2017 by

Obviously, both Lydia's Mom and I were very concerned about her going to Tanzania but equally excited about her having an experience as rich as this. All concerns were alleviated immediately when we saw pictures of her, completing her work as the smile on her face was infectious. We knew she was in her element and truly maximizing her experience. Lydia is a confident and caring young woman but her trip to Tanzania helped enhance her passion for others immensely. As we discern her options for college, we find Lydia talking about International Relations or International Law and that is a direct result of her trip. I have no doubt that it has truly changed her perspective in regards to our responsibility for others and have made her an even more compassionate and caring person, not to mention has played a pivotal role in helping to identify what she may do in her professional life.

Amazing experience for my daughter.

Amazing experience for my daughter.

5
Reviewed on 10/29/2017 by

My daughter, now 16, has traveled with GLA the past two summers. Her first trip was the Galapagos program, and she did Bali this past year. She does not have enough great things to say about her trips, and when she got home from the airport after her trips, she could not stop talking about it for hours. Even still she tries to bring her trips into conversation whenever possible. As a parent, I was originally worried about letting her go, even though we had done significant international travel as a family before. We went to an alumni open house event before her first trip, and that solidified my confidence in GLA. She was able to talk to a girl who had gone on trips before, and her parents were able to speak to me about their experience. While she was abroad, we got frequent updates on the program blog, and seeing her smiling face in pictures reassured me. She has found a new passion for travel, and has been begging me for a third summer with GLA.

Painted Sunset: Ghana

Painted Sunset: Ghana

5
Reviewed on 10/24/2017 by

This past summer I was lucky enough to have traveled to Ghana to work with children. The program was life-changing, to say the least. I had never left the United States and all of a sudden I was flying to Africa of all places. I knew the experience was going to be unforgettable, but nothing prepared for what I was going to live through. I was exposed to an entirely new culture and people, it was a sincere culture shock. The country was beautiful and the people welcoming. From the moment I stepped on Ghanaian soil, I was welcomed with open arms, and hearts. The trip was centered around working with children at a locate school, we would teach them English in the morning and play games with them in the afternoon. I know I touched their lives, but they changed mine. These children have very little, but they didn't let their situation dampen their spirits. They always bared smiles and giggles, it was amazing seeing their positive attitude! I'm still trying to digest everything I experience but one thing's for sure it was amazing! The food, the children, and the program were spectacular! Anyone who has the chance to travel should do so, and GLA is a great organization to do it with.

My Daughter’s Lifechanging Experience

My Daughter’s Lifechanging Experience

5
Reviewed on 10/22/2017 by

This past summer my daughter Ava travelled to Belize for two weeks with Global Leadership Adventures. At first I was a bit hesistant to let her go on the trip, but I had never seen her so impassioned by a cause. Also, after extensive research on several websites, I found out GLA has few to no bad reviews and about a million amazing ones. The assurance from other parents about the trip’s safety and impact on their child’s life are what finally convinced me to let her go. And it was so worth it!! Ava had THE time of her life and found a new sense of purpose as well as many new friends. The in-country staff was always there if I ever needed to place a call in case of emergency but if I had questions I’d just email GLA and they got back to me quickly. My personal favorite part of this organization are the blogs that the students post online every few days. They gave me a great idea of what Ava was doing each day and I loved the pictures attached! Couldn’t recommend this organization more!!

Bell in Tanzania

Bell in Tanzania

5
Reviewed on 10/22/2017 by

My daughter went to Tanzania this past summer. In preparation for the trip, I was impressed with the organization; nothing was overlooked! The trip was well run and left her with a feeling of accomplishment and a desire for helping more. I highly recommend this trip for any teenager since it will increased their awareness of the world while this organization keeps them safe in their pursuit.

Amazing Program!!

Amazing Program!!

5
Reviewed on 10/22/2017 by

This program has taught me so much! I have been on two trips with GLA and they have had such a huge impact on me and my veiw of the world. It is such a transformative experience and it is so much fun!! I cannot think of a better way to spend my summer than with fellow teenagers having an adventure in a new country and volunteering. Thank you so much for the great times GLA! -AJ

Thailand: Cultural Kaleidoscope

Thailand: Cultural Kaleidoscope

5
Reviewed on 10/20/2017 by

This summer, I went on the 21 day flagship program to Thailand with Global Leadership Adventures, and it was the best experience of my life. I grew so much as a person from group discussions and seeing all different walks of life in another culture. I never once felt unsafe, which was very nice. It was definitely clear that safety was the number one priority. The support we received from our mentors was amazing; they were always there for us to talk about missing family, to being scared of an activity, to personal struggles affecting you on the trip. The mentors really help to make you feel welcomed. We got to see every aspect of Thailand, from the nightlife of the markets to the daily lives of rice paddy farmers. The activities were all so much fun and had something to learn from them. The mentors are always making sure we're aware of what's going on. My favorite part about the trip, besides teaching Thai children, would be the last night of the program when we all laid out on the floor to write our bag notes and stayed up late to finish them after our final dinner. We had all grown so close throughout our 21 days and we just talked about our favorite parts of the trip and it felt like everything came full circle.

Tanzania: Heart and Soul

Tanzania: Heart and Soul

5
Reviewed on 10/18/2017 by

Global Leadership Adventures changed my life completely, and I would recommend it to everybody. Last summer, I traveled with GLA to Tanzania, my first time going out of the country in my whole life! As the days approached, I became more and more excited, but also more and more nervous. I was so anxious to travel to a far away country with complete strangers. Little did I know how GLA was going to become family to me. From the moment we got off of the plane, our mentors were waiting for us at the airport to take us back to our "home base", where they welcomed us with open arms and made us feel like we were at home. Throughout the entire trip, if we ever felt uncomfortable or sick in the slightest bit, they made sure we were being taken care of right away. The staff made an unreal effort to get to know us, and we are still very close with them today. GLA gave me the most amazing experience in my life. In Tanzania, I had the opportunity to teach English in a local primary school in Kilimanjaro, build trees at the school, and cement classroom floors. We also got to learn so much about their incredible culture at a dance ceremony, coffee farm, trip to the market, and so much more. It was also an unforgettable experience being able to climb the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro and go on TWO beautiful safaris. My trip to GLA truly did change my life, and I can not thank the organization enough for that!!

Global Leadership Adventures: Protecting the Pacific

Global Leadership Adventures: Protecting the Pacific

5
Reviewed on 10/16/2017 by

This was one of the best experiences of my entire life! It helped with both my growth as a person, a leader, and as a friend. Growing up I always wanted to travel and see the world and even help in out in my own way. Global Leadership Adventures made all of these things possible. From the second I touched down in San José to the second I left I felt welcomed, included, and important for the first time in a long time. We did so much community service that could change a lot of the townspeople's lives for a long time. While I was there, my group helped out at a local tree nursery, we built a scale model of a baby humpback whale completely out of plastic water bottle and we even did a couple of beach cleanups in the local marine park. That's not all we did while in Costa Rica. We also went on a bunch of adventures. We went zip lining, surfing, hiking, and we even took a day trip to Corcovado national park on the Osa Peninsula. I would definitely recommend either this or any trip that GLA has to offer. The mentors were so helpful at every activity, they were definitely a big part of why my trip was so enjoyable. The food was amazing and our home base was so beautiful. Every aspect of my trip was incredible and I fully recommend trying a service trip abroad. I know for a fact I will be going on another one very soon.

Costa Rica: The Initiative for Children

Costa Rica: The Initiative for Children

5
Reviewed on 10/16/2017 by

My volunteer trip to Costa Rica with Global Leadership Adventures was nothing short of eye opening. The positive attitude of the people involved in my program was so inspiring. The community where I was volunteering was so happy that we could offer them help in rebuilding a better place for their children to learn and the children enjoyed having new people to kick around a soccer ball with. I found myself falling more and more in a euphoric state as Global Leadership Adventure helped me immerse myself in a new culture. Whether it be at the volunteer sight, at the beach or at a locals house, the opportunities that were given to me on this trip were surreal. The program helped me learn to appreciate what I do have instead of thriving for such materialistic things. I was able to learn about the true meaning of a pure life.

My GLA experience

My GLA experience

5
Reviewed on 10/16/2017 by

My GLA experience was amazing. Not only did I get to indulge in living in the culture of Tanzania and learn all about the country and their people but I also got to make a real difference. I got to teach English at the primary school to a class of third graders which changed my life to know that young people really do look up to teens my age that are becoming young adults. The GLA program required me to travel halfway across the globe to stay with people I had never met for 2 weeks and the entire time I felt secure and confident. Global Leadership Adventures has taught me to be bold and active. I have never been able to get up and do what I am inspired to do before from lack of confidence but now I am involved in so much! I made lifelong friends while on the program. The GLA program inspired me to never travel anywhere as a tourist again. I now always want to travel specifically for the culture and to learn about the people with the people. I am very much looking forward to doing another GLA program!

Global Leadership Adventures: Bali - Land of Discovery

Global Leadership Adventures: Bali - Land of Discovery

5
Reviewed on 10/15/2017 by

I travelled to Bali this past summer with Global Leadership Adventures, and it was such an amazing experience! This was my second GLA trip, as I attended their Ecuador and Galapagos program in 2016. The mentors for our session were really cool, and it helped that they were relatively close in age to us, making it really easy to relate, and have fun with them. Every activity we did was meaningful, and it was so fascinating to be so deeply immersed in a culture unlike my own from the United States. Some of my favorite memories from my trip include: trekking to a great viewpoint in East Bali, learning to scuba dive, spending a weekend studying with BioRock Bali, and all the beautiful sunsets we were able to see. After spending 7 days working with elementary aged kids from a small school in North Bali, I have a new appreciation for my education, and thinking of my students from the summer helps me to get through a tough day at high school. The bonds I created with the other students are sure to stay for a long time, and I would do anything to spend just one more day with them, back in Bali. For now, I continue to reminisce on the wonderful time I had in Indonesia, and I hope for the opportunity to explore the world more in the future. Huge thank you to GLA for fostering a love for travel, service and adventure in me! Much love.

Global Leadership Adventures: Thailand Elephant Health and Welfare Project

Global Leadership Adventures: Thailand Elephant Health and Welfare Project

5
Reviewed on 10/15/2017 by

My time in Thailand has truly been an amazing experience. Prior to the trip, I was most excited about interacting with elephants and learning about the species and its behavior. I am more than happy to say that I was 100% satisfied. Every day we woke up with elephants outside of our door (unless traveling). I really do have an appreciation for the creatures in a way that I would never have had without my experiences in Thailand with GLA. I learned so much and found myself coming home a completely different person. I was enthusiastic about animal welfare, knowledgeable about elephants, increasingly independent, and most of all grateful for the experiences that I was able to have. It was truly an amazing and rewarding experience.

AMAZING PROGRAM!

AMAZING PROGRAM!

5
Reviewed on 10/15/2017 by

My trip to Costa Rica was truly an amazing experience. The staff were exceptional and i always felt safe. I did the 14 day animal rescue program so I was able to work with a lot of the strays from Costa Rica at a local no kill shelter. As much as we helped the dogs and their living conditions, we also had lots of fun! The staff and students made all of the service hours fly by. We were also able to experience a variety of other fun activities like zip lining, hot springs, seeing the waterfalls, coffee tours, and touring San Jose. Those are just some of the awesome things we were able to do. We also learned a lot of interesting facts about the Costa Rican community. The bonds you create with the students and staff are incredible and I can't wait to go back next summer! This trip has made me look at everything in a different way and it truly made me a better person. I recommend Global Leadership Adventures for any teenager who wants to be the change in the world, and wants to have lots of fun!

It's Worth It

It's Worth It

5
Reviewed on 10/14/2017 by

It is a terrifying feeling when your daughter asks you to travel to Africa alone. When you have never done anything like this yourself, it is even worse. Global Leadership Adventures made this need a little more reassuring. My daughter went with GLA after months of persuading me. She went to Tanzania and taught English for two weeks. She says it was the best 2-weeks of her entire life, and I believe her. (It was the worst 2-weeks of my life). It's terrifying letting your teenage daughter do something like this. I didn't want her going across the world essentially alone in my eyes. I realized that she was with a ton of other students and has so much support when she got to Tanzania. I am thankful for the staff that took care of her. They answered my phone call promptly when my daughter was sick and stopped texting me. They allowed me to talk to her on their phone to make sure she was ok. I was terrified, but she was at ease. The ease she felt was because of the GLA staff. Because of this, I recommend GLA to everyone. If your child shows the same interest as mine, you can trust GLA to keeps your child safe and to give them a life changing experience.

Extremely supportive staff

Extremely supportive staff

5
Reviewed on 10/13/2017 by

My trip to South Africa has been the most pivotal moment of my life thus far. Especially within this specific program, you tackle issues that most other travel organizations do not. I was able to work directly with a small business owner, and the whole GLA group was able to help foster entrepreneurship in a country with about a 25% unemployment rate. South Africa is a beautiful country, with stunning views (and penguins! and ostriches!) and vibrant cities. If many are hesitant to travel afar, South Africa is a great choice. Everyone is welcoming and helpful (and speaks English). The staff on the South Africa team are experienced, fun, and very helpful. When I left, I cried my eyes out. I plan on returning as soon as possible, and hopefully studying there during University.

Best summer ever!!

Best summer ever!!

5
Reviewed on 10/13/2017 by

I loved traveling with Global Leadership Adventures! My service was so rewarding, and I loved working with the kids in Thailand. The country itself is so amazing, and kept me in awe the whole time. I felt safe and secure throughout my trip, and never had a worrying time, even during my travel to and from the country. The trip was life-changing, and I miss waking up in Thailand!

AMAZING!!!

AMAZING!!!

5
Reviewed on 10/13/2017 by

My incoming freshman son went on the 10 day trip to Costa Rica not knowing a single soul. From second one, he felt comfortable and had an amazing, unforgettable experience. He made new friends, learned about a completely different culture, came back appreciating things so much more, and couldn't wait to find a new adventure for next summer! A+ for GLA from beginning to end. Thank you so much!

Global Leadership Adventures Belize: The Initiative for Children

Global Leadership Adventures Belize: The Initiative for Children

5
Reviewed on 10/12/2017 by

This past summer I participated in Global Leadership Adventures Belize: The Initiative for Children. I had THE most amazing and life-changing experience of my life. The staff is amazing and very well-qualified/equipped to deal with any situation or emergency (should one even arise at all). The best part about this experience is that it is a totally authentic and service-oriented approach to exploring new cultures. On my particular trip we went to a poetry night a few villages over from home base, snorkeled around Tobacco Caye, and explored ancient Maya ruins.These direct and genuine interactions with Belizean culture are what sets GLA apart. Further, the service we participated in is beneficial to all involved. We got to teach the local youth English, paint their playground, and encourage them to reach their full potential. Even more, though, the service we completed changed our lives equally, if not more so, by opening our eyes to poverty, the privilege of public education, and social justice.

Global Leadership Adventures- Thailand Cultural Kaleidoscope

Global Leadership Adventures- Thailand Cultural Kaleidoscope

5
Reviewed on 10/12/2017 by

I had such an amazing experience through the Global Leadership Adventures' program Thailand Cultural Kaleidoscope! I traveled to Thailand not knowing anyone, yet I felt at home. Each student was so welcoming and eager to make new friends. My favorite part of the two weeks was definitely teaching English to the children. They were so engaged in the lessons and tried to understand, although the language barrier was a challenge. The kids were so thankful that we taught at their school and crying as they said goodbye. I also loved immersing myself in Thai culture visiting many different temples, and also volunteering at an elephant conservation. We also had a Thai cooking lesson. It was so much fun learning about new foods that are different than ones I usually eat. Besides the many different activities, the Global Leadership Adventure mentors were always so nice and helpful. They were always there for us and were willing to talk about anything. This was an unforgettable experience that I would love to repeat hopefully next summer!

GLA-An unforgettable experience

GLA-An unforgettable experience

5
Reviewed on 10/12/2017 by

Global Leadership Adventures, or GLA, is incomparable to any other program. Every staff member is always there for you, especially your mentors. All of the mentors are very supportive and kind hearted people. When I got back home, the first thing I said to my mom and dad was, "Can I do another next year?" Everyday we woke so excited to scarf down our delicious breakfast and head out into the jungle to join the smiling faces of the locals. I will never forget these 10 days, the best 10 days of my life.

My Trip to Belize with GLA

My Trip to Belize with GLA

5
Reviewed on 10/12/2017 by

I spent three weeks this summer in Belize with Global Leadership Adventures and even though I had spent the summer before in Guatemala, also with GLA, this trip was one of the most amazingly scary things I’ve ever done. Not only being without family but being surrounded with strangers in a whole new country is stressful to say the least, and as should be expected, had a slightly rocky beginning, with lost bags and awkward hellos, but once we reached the Tropical Education Center, which would be our home for the next three weeks, things settled down. We played a few “get to know you” games, nothing like the boring icebreakers I was used to from past summers, and got a tour of home base, and as we did this I started to get to know the other girls I was there with. The food was always great at the TEC, they had wonderful gluten free options and always something without red meat for me. Our first day at the school was easy, we split into groups and organized our classrooms, children occasionally stopping in to say hello, four little girls gathered by the fence that separated their yard from the school, telling us how excited they were for tomorrow. When we did get to the school on our first day teaching, kids were there waiting for us, happy and willing to learn. The kids I taught all spoke very good english, some were better spellers than me. My fellow teachers and I made lesson plans every night after dinner, a quick job once you get it down, we also always had a few back up games incase the kids were especially energetic. We did have a few problems with fighting, teasing, and bullying, and the kids sometimes tried to sneak out when they thought we weren’t looking but all in all they were well behaved. The day trips we went on we always interesting, though some more than others, I would have to say our trip to the ATM caves was my favorite, but that is only available on the three week program. On the last few days we took a trip to Caye Caulker, a two mile wide island just off the coast without cars, the locals having bicycles and tricked out golf carts instead. We stayed at a pretty nice hotel with AC right by the sea, explored the island, shopped a little, and spent the whole next day snorkeling from which I earned a nasty sunburn, but it was definitely worth the pain. All in all it was a great trip with amazing mentors, the kids were hilarious, and the other girls on the trip with me were some of the sweetest, most down to earth people I’ve ever met. If I were to suggest a summer program I wouldn’t hesitate to say this one.

Dominican Republic Global Health Initiative

Dominican Republic Global Health Initiative

5
Reviewed on 10/12/2017 by

This trip left me totally inspired and motivated. I have a new love for Dominican and the people there, it is just gorgeous. We spent a lot of time in the communities setting up pop-up clinics, and helping with the construction of labs and clinics. It sparked my interest in nursing and I was able to learn a lot from shadowing the doctors there and taking notes. What I liked was that it was away from all the tourism, you got to see more of the raw, real Dominican. I have a friend that went on vacation to Dominican, and our trips turned out to be very different. I was happy I got to see the real thing, and learn about the struggles the communities face. It is also interesting to actually be there and not fully relying on different forms of media to tell you what its like. You get to actually be there! I do wish that I had practised more spanish before the trip. Although I was able to still communicate through motions and pointing, it would be totally different if I could actually speak that language. It was an overall amazing experience.

GLA Ambassador

GLA Ambassador

5
Reviewed on 10/12/2017 by

I traveled to Tanzania with Global Lewdeship Adventures for two weeks in August 2017. I am someone who is very attached to the their friends and family, and couldn't imagine traveling with a group of strangers for two weeks abroad. As my trip neared, I thought I was crazy for signing myself up! But I wouldn't have wanted to go with any other program. Global Leadership Adventures made my trip the most amazing thing I have ever done. I made friends I still talk to and hope to see soon, and I made relationships with Tanzanians that I hope to never lose touch with. This program made me realize how incredible the world around us is, and forced me to put myself out there and engage in this wonderful world. I could not recommend this program enough. The staff and experience made me appreciat life more, and gave me a bad case of th travel bug. I'll be back, Tanzania!!

GLA Tanzania

GLA Tanzania

5
Reviewed on 10/12/2017 by

I went on a trip with Global Leadership Adventures and my life has changed forever. From the children that I taught to the mentors that taught me, I have never learned so much in my life! I felt incredibly safe and secure the entire time despite having never traveled alone. I made friends on my program that I will have forever and we have stayed in contact and are planning more trips together. My friends have already come to visit me because the bond you make there is so incredibly strong. The people in Tanzania frequently say "karibu" which means welcome. The tell us that we are always welcome to stay with them and they mean it. Trust me they mean it. I couldn't possibly recommend anything more than I recommend GLA. They changed me life. And I hope to change others lives with their help. Make it happen.

Daughter had an amazing time!

Daughter had an amazing time!

5
Reviewed on 5/2/2017 by

My daughter went with GLA to both Ghana and Peru and loved both of them. She has traveled before on her own, so we weren't that worried about her, but also always knew she was in good hands! GLA made the application process really simple, and we loved all the communication we got! They set up a blog that would be updated pretty frequently! GLA is awesome!

GLA Ambassador

GLA Ambassador

5
Reviewed on 5/1/2017 by

Hi! My name is Atoosa Haghani and I participated in a summer program with GLA and had the absolute time of my life! I went on the 2 week Children of Africa Program with about 17 other teens from all the around the world. I highly reccomend any programs that GLA offers because of the fun, service packed and eye opening expiernce it gives teens, like myself. Not to mention the amazing staff and just as amazing teens that you meet there. I am so glad I went and encourage others to do so as well.

GLA Parent

GLA Parent

5
Reviewed on 4/30/2017 by

I sent my two daughters on Global Leadership Adventure's "Preserving Nature's Wonders" trip last summer, and I could not have had a better experience with them. I was a little nervous about the idea of sending my two young girls out of the country without either parent, but GLA eased all my worries. From the very start, we had helpful staff keeping us updated on the necessary preparations for our trip. GLA made the entire process really easy and helped me feel better about the trip. My girls were safe the whole time, and they had incredible mentors with them on the trip. They both came home with a new outlook on the world, and I know GLA has truly changed their lives. I highly recommend this program to any parent and teenager looking to volunteer abroad.

A Parent's Perspective

A Parent's Perspective

5
Reviewed on 4/30/2017 by

Last summer my seventeen year old daughter went with Global Leadership Adventures to Fiji. I was not very thrilled about the idea of my daughter going halfway across the world. After researching the program and speaking with a member of GLA I was more open to the idea. Immediately upon her arrival she was able to call and check in and GLA was very good about keeping parents updated with the well being of their children. Everyday there was a post about what the kids did and how they were doing. It really is like the Peace Corps for teenagers. When I picked my daughter up from the airport I realized that my little girl had grown up from this program. Her brother is very excited to jump into the program as soon as he can. I am much more relaxed about him going on the trip now knowing what an incredible and safe program it is. I am extremely proud of my daughter and all the hard work that she did in Fiji. She will take this incredible experience with her for the rest of her life.

Fiji: Empowering Island Communities

Fiji: Empowering Island Communities

5
Reviewed on 4/30/2017 by

Words can't describe how special this program is. You get to swim with manta rays, see islands stretch for miles, laugh and play games with some of the greatest kids you'll meet, and create friendships that will last a lifetime. My trip to Fiji through Global Leadership Adventures was incredible. I thought this was the perfect amount of freedom mixed with 100% adult assistance for high schoolers. I also loved that this wasn't just a vacation, it was a chance to make a difference. I would not change this trip for anything and I will remember it for the rest of my life. I would highly recommend a trip through Global Leadership Adventures to any teenager.

Global Leadership Adventures: Galapagaos, Preserving Natures Wonders

Global Leadership Adventures: Galapagaos, Preserving Natures Wonders

5
Reviewed on 4/30/2017 by

I was fortunate enough to travel to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands though Global Leadership Adventures on the "Preserving Natures Wonders" trip during the summer of 2016. This program was honestly one of the greatest experiences of my life. It was unique in that I was able to surround myself in one of the worlds most special ecosystems as I snorkeled with sea lions, sea turtles and many tropical fish, saw countless crabs and iguanas, and was able to meet the Galapagos tortoises up close. What made these experiences with the animals and nature of the Galapagos even more impactful, was the fact that I was able to volunteer and help the land I was visiting. On this program everyone was very kind and I am still friends with many of the other kids that I met to this day. Our mentors were very helpful and made sure that everyone felt and was kept safe throughout the trip. Post program, I was impacted mostly by the friendships I had made and the knowledge that I now had regarding conservation and the importance of it. Some useful tips that I have are to bring snacks along if you have any dietary restrictions. I am vegan and the program was very accommodating so I didn't miss out on many of the delicious foods that they served, but bringing along snacks was very helpful. Another tip is to bring a camera along and to keep a journal because there are so many memories that will be made on a trip like this, and since many activities are packed into one day, it is easy to lose some of them. I took many pictures and journaled every day so now I have something to look back on.

Preserving Nature's Wonders In the Galapagos Islands

Preserving Nature's Wonders In the Galapagos Islands

5
Reviewed on 4/30/2017 by

It was with great anxiety that we sent our daughter last summer (2016) on her Global Leadership Adventures trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands for the Preserving Nature's Wonders program. But it was soon apparent that it was the very best decision we could have made for her! Communication was immediate and sufficient throughout the trip. We were able to speak with our daughter on several occasions, most importantly when they first arrived safely in Ecuador. The excitement and pure joy we could hear in her voice was music to our ears and the enjoyment the group was having was evident in the daily updated blogs the program provided. But we still were not prepared for the incredible transformation we witnesses when we picked her up from the airport. The shy, quiet 16 year old we had dropped off just two weeks prior, was now confident and full of self-esteem! And oh how happy she was! The only sadness felt was that she had to say good-bye to the friends she had made and have come to mean so much to her. It has now been nearly a year since she had this incredible experience and she is still in daily contact with many of these new friends. I am so proud of the service work she completed on this trip and how it has changed her into a thoughtful, thinking young person who truly has compassion for the world around her. Well worth the investment!

Thailand Trip

Thailand Trip

5
Reviewed on 4/27/2017 by

My daughter traveled to Thailand this past summer with Global Leadership Adventures and absolutely loved it! This was a great experience for her because she learned a lot about independence and leadership while having fun in a safe environment. I was apprehensive to let my daughter go away for 2 weeks across the world but after talking with GLA alumni and staff I was reassured that this was a good, safe decision. This experience is one that can not be gained anywhere else and I would recommend that anyone interested takes the leap and do it!

I am the Parent

I am the Parent

5
Reviewed on 4/27/2017 by

My daughter, Nicole 16 at the time, sat my husband and I down to ask to go to Ghana Africa. We thought she was crazy! We immediately said no and then realized she was serious so we did our research into Global Leadership Adventures and Accra where she would be staying and it was very safe. We left her at the airport and waited 3 weeks to see her again. She came back a new person she had more appreciation and she was so happy. She raved about her trip and the children and the Staff and everything about it. So as a review I will highly suggest the trip all aspects were safe and my daughter got so much out of the experience that she will carry along with her throughout he whole life. As well she has experiences many kids her age do not have in which she can put on applications and apply to her work in the future because of the new aspect she has gained thanks to Global Leadership Adventures! As a parent I highly suggest this program for high school kids!

Galapagos Preserving Nature's Wonders

Galapagos Preserving Nature's Wonders

5
Reviewed on 4/25/2017 by

Last summer I went on a two-week service trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands with Global Leadership Adventures, and it was the greatest experience ever! On this trip, I got to experience one of the most unique ecosystems on earth. Before the trip, GLA ensured that all my plans were solidified and everything was ready for my adventure in August; they made what could have been a stressful process easy. Once I arrived in Ecuador, my mentors were both friendly and knowledgeable about the islands. I got the chance to immerse myself in the Ecuadorian culture all while participating in very rewarding service. I would definitely recommend Global Leadership Adventures to any teen looking for a once in a lifetime experience!

Galapagos with GLA

Galapagos with GLA

5
Reviewed on 4/23/2017 by

Two of my daughter went on the Global Leadership Adventures's Galapagos trip last summer. I'm beyond grateful for this program, my kids were completely safe and they enjoyed every minute of it. The stories they came back with still amaze me! The staff made the process easy and stress free. I definitely recommend GLA to any parent who wants to send their child on an eventful volunteer trip abroad.

Definitely recommend!!

Definitely recommend!!

5
Reviewed on 4/22/2017 by

My daughter went on a GLA program to Valencia, Spain last summer and I couldn't have been happier. GLA took care of everything, made the entire process as easy as possible, and I never had to worry about safety. At the same time, I heard about how fun the trip was, so GLA definitely knows how to make a program safe yet fun!

Galapagos 2016

Galapagos 2016

5
Reviewed on 4/13/2017 by

My experience with Global Leadership Adventures has been one I'll remember forever. The program that I was a part of (Galapagos) was very well structured. We got to kayak, snorkel, climb volcanoes, and more. We were always busy and had a great itinerary full of service and adventures. There was never a moment when we were bored. We cleared out invasive species, talked to the locals and the children, and played a ton of soccer which I made a fool of myself doing so, but it was all part of the fun! The food was amazing and the housing conditions were rustic but an adventure. The staff was great - they were all so fun and relatable but were able to be great role models as well. My parents were very reluctant to let me go on this trip when I proposed the idea. They had never sent one of their kids to a foreign country alone before. However, they became much more comfortable with the idea after talking to the welcoming and assuring staff who were more than happy to explain everything about the trip, from safety to fun. I still miss this trip- one of the best experiences ever of my life. Would definitely recommend!! GLA offers such a friendly environment.

Galapagos Parent Review 2016

Galapagos Parent Review 2016

5
Reviewed on 4/13/2017 by

Global Leadership Adventures was very professional and thorough in covering all the necessary things to ensure a safe program. They were very good with communicating with us (the parents) with what was going on. They made me feel very comfortable that they had a lot of experience and they knew all the ins and outs of what needed to be done to make it a very safe and enjoyable program for all the students involved. My daughter got a lot out of it and had a great experience. She wrote about her trip which she was encouraged to do by the staff. I feel that she gained very valuable experience, particularly in things that she could not get anywhere else. She made great contacts there and continues to meet up with friends she made on the trip. The GLA trips reflect great value and purpose. She and her peers from the trip were really engaged in the service. We were not able to sign up for the trip until just a few months before, but they were very accommodating in helping us obtain a passport and all of the necessities for the trip which reflects their experience and professionalism in organizing their programs.

Dominican Republic 10 day Beachside Service Adventure 2016

Dominican Republic 10 day Beachside Service Adventure 2016

5
Reviewed on 4/11/2017 by

My name is Grace Lee and I was fortunate enough to have gone on the 10-Day Beachside Service Adventure in the Dominican Republic with Global Leadership Adventures, this past summer. Little did I know I was about to embark on a trip that would change my life forever. Being only 15 and raised in "the bubble" of East Grand Rapids I didn't have a very wide understanding of the world. There is a prevalent misconception among my town's populace that most of the world live the privileged, lavish lifestyle of EGR citizens. Yet, I had always been aware of global issues and wanted to experience poverty first hand, in a different culture. The DR was the perfect place for my journey of discovery to begin. Throughout my entire trip, each thing we did had some sort of cultural tie to it whether its working directly with locals on a service project, speaking to the Dominicans in Spanish, or being educated by your mentors on a prevalent issue faced in everyday society. The issue my group discussed during the nightly seminars was Human Sustainability. I left the DR with a greater understanding of the countries beautiful culture and a new outlook on the world itself. Global Leadership Adventures is truly wonderful and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in gaining a new perspective on the world and experiencing a new culture.

GLA - Dominican Republic Adventures!

GLA - Dominican Republic Adventures!

4
Reviewed on 4/10/2017 by

In July 2016 my daughter Grace went to the Dominican Republic with Global Leadership Adventures. When she left she was afraid of heights and going outside of her comfort zone. When she returned she was a new kid! She went cliff jumping, hiked a 3 mile mountain, zip-lined and went snorkeling, all way outside her zone of the known. Not only did she do it, her whole heart was in each adventure even though she was truly afraid. With the support of her GLA mentors/leaders and the students on the trip she overcame her fears leaving way more courageous! Grace learned the value of digging deep, taking risks within the realm of still being safe, and experiencing the sweetness of life outside the comfort zone. So grateful to Global Leadership Adventures!

Great trip for our daughter!

Great trip for our daughter!

5
Reviewed on 4/5/2017 by

Our 15-year-old daughter, Natalie, came to us with the idea of going to Costa Rica for ten days with GLA, Beach Side Service Adventure. She returned having helped build a bridge, loving coffee and beans, the Costa Rican people, and the entire experience of feeling and being herself in entirely new and important ways. She brought her glowing heart and smile home and continues to pursue her interests including a GLA 21-day trip to Ghana this summer.

Elephant Trip

Elephant Trip

5
Reviewed on 3/30/2017 by

I was looking for a volunteer trip abroad that was safe and put me out of my comfort zone. When reflecting on this experience it realize how much it helped me grow as an individual as made me realize my part in elephant conservation and how I can 'be the change'.

Galapagos 2016

Galapagos 2016

5
Reviewed on 3/18/2017 by

Our daughter went on the GLA trip to Galapagos in July 2016. It was truly a remarkable fun-filled adventure that enriched her leadership and social skills and provided an acute awareness of our fragile environment. Snorkeling amongst the sea lions, turtles, climbing volcanoes and learning about exotic species such as the giant tortoise were just some of the highlights. The program attracts outstanding, intellectual students from around the globe whom our daughter still stays in touch with. As a parent, I was particularly impressed with GLA's organization and caliper of their trip leaders. We felt safe and secure on trip arrangements and it was comforting to receive daily briefings and photos from the students. The GLA program is second to none on their organization, adventure and mentorship.

Parent to a 17 year old who went on the 2 week Ghana trip

Parent to a 17 year old who went on the 2 week Ghana trip

5
Reviewed on 3/12/2017 by

I was quite hesitant to send my 17 year old abroad and especially to Africa. However, the precautions that GLA took (Global Leadership Adventures) towards helping us with the payment plan, vaccines, visas and health insurance was impeccable. I highly recommend this trip to families that want to see a change within their children/ I wish this program were present during my adolescent years!

My daughter's trip to the Dominican Republic with GLA

My daughter's trip to the Dominican Republic with GLA

5
Reviewed on 3/6/2017 by

My daughter Rachel went to the Dominican Republic last summer with GLA. She came home a different child with a more global perspective. The first thing she said to me when she returned home was, “Whatever I do in my life, I want to make a difference”. While Rachel will have many different experiences in her life, I’m grateful that she will always have this awareness to draw from.

Costa Rica - Initiative for Children

Costa Rica - Initiative for Children

5
Reviewed on 2/20/2017 by

I went on the Initiative for Children this past summer in Costa Rica and it really made my entire summer. It was absolutely incredible. The staff were all so fun and friendly, and the other students there were awesome. I personally had never really had a ton of friends that were out of my own grade level, but this trip I met friends two-three years younger and older than me. GLA was so unique in how well organized this trip was and how it was truly a community to community outreach. I'm so glad I had this experience, because it really made my summer 2016 one of the best of my life.

Memorable

Memorable

5
Reviewed on 2/9/2017 by

I went to Costa Rica on the Beachside Service Adventure this past summer and have come back with new insight, views, values, and an abundance of incredible memories. I had the opportunity to do impactful and fun community service at a school making and laying concrete for an outdoor basketball court at a local school. Not only do Global Leadership Adventure trips involve students giving back to those in need, but you also get to meet amazing people, experience and learn a new culture, and grow as an individual. GLA has given me a life-changing experience that I will never forget.

Ghana: The Children Of Africa

Ghana: The Children Of Africa

5
Reviewed on 1/1/2017 by

There is so much to say! GLA gave me an opportunity I never thought I could have at this young of an age. I was able to make a difference in peoples lives, at the age of 16! Like anyone would be, I was nervous at first! I mean who wouldn't be, but as soon as i stepped foot into Ghana i was overcome with excitement! Me and the other students on my flight were welcomed right away at the gate by mentors from GLA! Throughout the first few days we were introduced to all our fellow students and our mentors we would be living with for the next 3 weeks! Then things really got started! I started brick making! And teaching! and going on excursions! it was beyond amazing! I fell in love with it all! The people who i lived with, that the first day i called strangers, I now called family. Everyday i got to meet new people, try new things, and learn new amazing things! Because of this trip, I am a better person, I try new things, and i view things with a different, more positive eye. I would not trade this trip for anything and because of this trip it made me realize i want to volunteer in my future more.

Life-changing

Life-changing

5
Reviewed on 12/22/2016 by

I went on the beachside service adventure program in Costa Rica this summer, and it was an amazing experience. I was assigned to a service project that involved helping a community build a bridge so the children's walk to school would be more than cut in half, as the river we helped build a bridge over swelled up in the rainy season. The trip changed my perspective, and I went without knowing anyone else, so it really pushed me out of my comfort zone. I got to play basketball with local teenagers, go swimming in the ocean at sunset, make new friends, try to make costa Rican style art, visit an animal sanctuary, a natural hot springs, and so much more. Everyone on the staff was so kind, on one of the last nights they all shared personal stories about how they ended up volunteering abroad, and they were all so inspiring.

Amazing Experience

Amazing Experience

5
Reviewed on 12/8/2016 by

GLA has been a great experience for my daughter. She learned a lot about the Dominican Republic culture and the challenges the community faces there while having an opportunity to make a lot of new friends and enjoy the beautiful island. It was amazing to see how much she matured in a short time and how much her view of the world has broadened since that trip. We are already planning her next trip to Belize.

Best time of my life: GLA Dominican Republic

Best time of my life: GLA Dominican Republic

5
Reviewed on 12/4/2016 by

At first i was scared to go on a Global Leadership Adventure trip, knowing that i didn't know anyone going and would probably be one of the youngest ones on the trip. Looking back, if I were to not go on the trip because I was too scared or nervous, I would have hated myself for it. My trip was the best thing I've done in my life and literally changed my life. The people down in the DR are the most welcoming and friendly you will find, with great support of the staff. I made life long friendships with people from ALL over the world. This trip was one for the books and it will never be forgotten! I encourage everyone do a GLA trip!

Fun under the sun!

Fun under the sun!

5
Reviewed on 12/4/2016 by

My close friend and I traveled to the DR over summer 2016 with global leadership adventures. And, wow! what an experience :) One of the things that we surprisingly appreciated most about the trip was our evening lessons. As two girls who can get frustrated with school back home, we were wary about having lessons/lectures each evening, but quickly came to look forward to them. We learned about human kindness, philanthropy, and the staten of our fragile world. We both came home and immediately began lecturing everyone we knew and how meat was killing the planet, LOL! These lessons in addition to the amazing locals, fun adventures and fulfilling community service made for the best trip ever!! Wouldn't hesitate to recommend this trip to any family/friends.

14 Day Global Health Initiative-Dominican Republic

14 Day Global Health Initiative-Dominican Republic

5
Reviewed on 11/8/2016 by

The trip with Global Leadership Adventures is so worth it. When I went, we usually woke up, ate breakfast, and then went to our activity of the day (usually walking which made it more fun). We got to do service activities like building a house out of recycled plastic water bottles (!!!) or visiting a Haitian batey which was so eye opening. Even though some activities may be emotionally or physically harder than others, the people around you is what it makes it all worth while. Everyone in my group got along and we still talk. Then there's the recreational activities like zipping which is beautiful. And even though the price of the trip may be a little much, there's tons of different ways to fundraise and the trip will definitely be worth the cost. For activities we usually wore athletic shorts and a t-shirt or tank, but in the communities we wore long pants (about 3 days where you need to wear long pants). Oh and do not forgot mentors. Your mentors are the greatest people and they will teach you so much on this trip, GLA mentors are undoubtably amazing. Let me know if you have any questions and I hope you choose to go on this trip!

Dominican Republic with GLA

Dominican Republic with GLA

5
Reviewed on 11/1/2016 by

Going to the Dominican Republic with GLA was an amazing experience. The staff was so nice and they really pushed me out of my comfort zone. I really got to learn about the Dominican culture and the issues people face. My advice is to bring a battery powered fan because it does get hot. Also in the DR there is no wifi but the staff will help you get in contact with your parents.

GLA is the best!

GLA is the best!

5
Reviewed on 10/28/2016 by

This past summer I went to Ghana with Global Leadership Adventures (GLA) and needless to say it was the best summer i've ever had. I loved helping out the community and adjusting to the way the Ghanaians live- and the food I ate there was sooo yummy. I learned so much about what it's like to actually be out of the country, to where people don't have it the same as in the USA. Regardless, it was a beautiful place. GLA is so easy to work with and plan things, and they answered all of my million questions. A huge thanks to GLA for helping me discover myself. :)

For the parents

For the parents

5
Reviewed on 10/24/2016 by

For the Parents- Sending my 16 year old daughter out of the country on her own (without knowing anyone who would be there) was a daunting and slightly terrifying experience. Yet, she wanted to go so badly. She wanted to "see the world" and do some good for others. We did our research and settled on Global Leadership Adventures, a 10 day trip to costa Rica. It was a growth experience for all of us. We learned to let go and trust others to take care of our chid (which they did wonderfully). She grew in countless ways- independence, maturity, empathy, seeing a hard days work pay off (they helped build a bridge to shorten the walk to school for local children). She saw the world from a whole new perspective, met interesting and caring people, had adventures and gained valuable experiences she never would have staying close to home. After she returned, she was so excited to share her experiences and we were so glad we made the decision to let her go. We highly recommend GLA and the volunteering abroad experience.

Global Leadership Adventures- Bali, Land of Discovery Program

Global Leadership Adventures- Bali, Land of Discovery Program

5
Reviewed on 10/20/2016 by

Going to Bali, Indonesia this past summer was a blessing. It was a once in a lifetime experience. Being able to fully immerse within their culture and live as Balinese people was amazing. The bonds we made with our staff members and fellow program students developed over time and shared several moments together. The trip itself was absolutely stunning. Being able to pray and receive blessings with holy water created a surreal experience. Along with that the locals are all friendly and always happy. After leaving the country, you begin reminiscing every day and wish to return. GLA is a wonderful organization to start off your adventure

Global Leadership Adventures-Spain Cultural Kaleidoscope Program (2016)

Global Leadership Adventures-Spain Cultural Kaleidoscope Program (2016)

5
Reviewed on 10/19/2016 by

Going to Valencia, Spain with Global Leadership Adventures this past summer was one of the best decisions I've made. The program exceeded my expectations by a long stretch! I was amazed to learn just how much ability I have to make change and leave an impact on this world. Working with kids at a local school showed me Spanish culture through their eyes, and along with my peers I was able to give them a window into my home culture as well. It truly proved to be an experience of a lifetime. I would highly recommend this program for travellers of all kind, but especially those looking to give back and experience Spanish culture in all its beauty at the same time. They did an amazing job at combining the two! When you look at more information about the program on the website (https://www.experiencegla.com/destinations/teen-programs-europe/spain/spain-cultural-kaleidoscope/) you might notice that it is a bit on the costly side, but don't let this make your decision for you! GLA offers aid and tips on fundraising for you trip, and I can promise you that the cost of tuition is worth it for this program. Thank you GLA for giving me the best summer of my life!

GLA: Dominican Republic Beach Side Service Adventure

GLA: Dominican Republic Beach Side Service Adventure

5
Reviewed on 9/6/2016 by

My trip with GLA to the Dominican Republic was something I will never forget. While I was nervous at first to leave behind my bubble of a community, I soon realized that there was nothing to be afraid of. I met some fantastic people who would later become my best friends. There are so many great aspects to the trip. Everyone on the staff is so supportive of all the kids, and they set an inspiring example of what a good role model looks like. They have fun with all of us while also establishing a relationship of respect and encouragement with each student. One of the best parts of the experience is building friendships with the locals and giving back to an underprivileged community. Like most of the students who volunteer, I live in a very privileged community, and to be able to see what life is like for these locals and how happy they are just to have something so simple such as clean drinking water is jaw-dropping. This trip taught me so much; how to give back, how to be happy with what you have, but most importantly- how to change the world just one project at a time.

Ghana: Children of Africa- 14 Day Program

Ghana: Children of Africa- 14 Day Program

5
Reviewed on 9/2/2016 by

My GLA trip was the adventure of a lifetime; I loved every second of it. After a long journey from Denver to Accra, Ghana my friend and I were welcomed to home base by our Local Leader Henry. We had arrived late at night, so the next morning we saw the beautiful landscape that surrounded us. Sunday was our first day and after breakfast we went to go view a church service and as we walked through the village members of the community would wave to us and the children would come up and hold our hands. The people in the church welcomed us as we observed the vibrant service. Everyday, we had the opportunity to go to Asitey Park to play with the children. The kids would eagerly wait at the end of our driveway for us to come down to play. The park was filled with end,was games of Little Sally Walker and Ring Around the Rosey, pass with the baseball, games of soccer, hair braiding, and so much more. At the end of each day at the park or each day after school the kids would walk us back up to the home base. This program offers you the opportunity to develop relationships with people in the community and to connect with them directly. We also met with girls at the Krobo Girls High School up the driveway from home base where we sat in on classes and had the opportunity to talk these girls about their lives in Ghana and they would ask about our lives in America. Our service project was to teach at the school for classes 4, 5, and 6. It was a cool role reversal as you became the teacher and taught material to kids who were so eager to learn. In the classroom we also played games like Heads up Seven Up and Hangman which was so fun. Another highlight was Sajuna, a beach club with a pool, canoes, volleyball, ping pong, soccer, and more! That day was so much fun and everyone in our group participated in a huge volleyball game. The best part was probably getting to experience this with friends. GLA creates a community where it is easy to bind with everyone and make lasting friendships. We had so much fun playing games in the living room, eating meals together, hanging out in the roof at night and everything in between! One of my favorite memories is the night the taught us Ghanian dancing and we stayed outside afterwards having a dance party, or the bonfire. All of the staff at the home base are such wonderful people who we had fun spending time with as a group. Those are just some of the activites that you get to do on this trip, but there are so many more! I had such an enriching and unforgettable experience on this trip and I wouldn't trade this experience with these people for anything in the world.

14 Day Empowering Rainforest Communities – Costa Rica

14 Day Empowering Rainforest Communities – Costa Rica

5
Reviewed on 8/31/2016 by

My GLA experience had exceeded my expectations in every possible way. Upon arrival, the greetings of mentors felt so welcoming and warming. This was my first trip traveling abroad alone, so I was a little bit anxious, but super excited. As all of us filed onto the bus and onto our first home base, it was a bit awkward, but all that was to change sooner than I thought. We played ice breakers and other games to get to know one another. Although, it wasn't until I noticed we began to bond already on the first night laughing and cracking jokes as if we've known each other for years. I would say by day 2 we had already felt like a family and so close one another. Everybody was so positive and outgoing and easy to talk to that it my experience much more spectacular. Working with the community directors and seeing how much of a positive outlook on life they had and how they strived to better their community really sparked something in me to really want to take each project that we did serious, wether it was painting trail markers, replanting trees, and even using machetes to clear out weeds and bushes. This trip gave me a new perspective on life and a new culture that I'm not really accustomed to seeing back home. One important thing that I will take from this trip is to be humble and gracious of what I have. Seeing the living conditions the people of these communities lived in made me be more appreciative of things that I have, rather than the things that I don't have. The memories that I will take away from this trip will never be rid from my mind. Thank you for this remarkable experience GLA!

I left My Heart In Ghana

I left My Heart In Ghana

5
Reviewed on 8/31/2016 by

The two weeks I spent in Ghana were the best two weeks of my life so far. It was definitely not Kentucky like I was use to, it was better. The people are always happy, welcoming and laughing. No matter what we were doing that day whether it be working on building our toilet, dancing in an African drum circle, or taking a trip to the village market it was the people around us that made the trip so special. The staff and other GLA students became my family for two weeks and we continue to stay in touch. We reminisce on inside jokes made at the work site and the many games of soccer we played with the village children. Going to Ghana gave me so much insight into a country so different from my own. I was able to learn about the people's history when visiting a slave fort in Keta, also we learned how to make fufu(a traditional African dish) by the ladies at the lodge where we stayed, and we also got to practice both fishing and farming with our neighbors in the community. Of course the whole reason I chose this program was because of its health initiative and I feel as though I made the right choice. We Learned a lot about the health administration in the country through visiting a nearby clinic and talking to a well educated nurse named Rose. After visiting Ghana it makes me want to have a bigger medical outreach that expands larger than my home town. This trip was definitely one for the books and I could write volumes about my experience. Upon returning home and beginning to unpack my suitcase I made a mental check of all the items I had brought on the trip to make sure I hadn't forgotten anything. Sunscreen? Check. Journal? Check. Charger? Check. Everything seemed to be accounted for but it was as though I was still missing something. I went to close my suitcase and heard the sound of rattling sea shells that had forgotten to remove from a pocket inside, I close my eyes and it was as if I was back at the lodge with my feet in the sand. Suddenly I remembered what I had forgotten to bring home, my most prized possession, I had left my heart in Ghana.

Thai Elephant Village Initiative

Thai Elephant Village Initiative

5
Reviewed on 8/31/2016 by

After a very long flight from New York, I and the other GLA students arrived in Chiang Mai greeted by an excited staff. For the next three days, we visited extravagant temples, a Christian school, and busy markets. My favorite activity in Chiang Mai was visiting the school where we exchanged our American culture with the students by teaching them slang words and they taught us about Thai dances and games. It was uplifting to see the students so happy, welcoming and excited to meet us. Our elephant education began in Chiang Mai where we visited the Elephant Conservation Center and Elephant Hospital. It was the first time I had ever touched an elephant which was scary and amazing! When we arrived at Thai Elephant Home, the elephants greeted us and we were assigned a roommate and our elephant. My elephant was named Mae Chan and she was a sweetheart! Our counselors took us on a five hour trek where we rode our elephants, played in the mud with them and then took them to the river for a bath. It's daunting the first time you are riding or standing next to an elephant, but the mahouts are right there to guide us. That first day was surreal - I never thought I would actually be interacting with an elephant so intimately. Even though we were all pretty sore the next day from the riding the elephants, we got used to it quickly. All of the staff and counselors were helpful and outgoing. The atmosphere of the home is warm, safe and comfortable. Our days started at 5:30am, but we were always excited to see what the day had in store for us. In the morning, we shoveled our elephant's mess, bathed our elephants and fed them new grass before our breakfast. The food is INCREDIBLE - and this is coming from a very picky eater. Everyday, we did service work (grass cutting or dam building) which was tiresome but everyone participated and no one complained. We did have a lot of free time to get to know each other and I loved hanging out, playing bananagrams and cards. The two weeks flew by and I was sad to leave my elephant and new friends that I made.

Global Leadership Adventures: Belize - Rhythms of the Caribbean

Global Leadership Adventures: Belize - Rhythms of the Caribbean

5
Reviewed on 8/31/2016 by

GLA is my second family. The people you meet, both volunteers and locals, will change your life and the service work you complete will teach you so much about the world you never knew. One day you're teaching the local children and the next you're snorkeling with wild sharks! But thats not even the best part. The friendships you make on these trips are so powerful and strong it'll feel as though you've finally found you're real home!

21 Day Service in the Sacred Valley - Peru

21 Day Service in the Sacred Valley - Peru

5
Reviewed on 8/28/2016 by

My Peruvian adventure was beyond words. This was my first time traveling abroad alone and it was my first time in South America. The first few days were definitely an adjustment, from climbing up 5 flights of stairs multiple times a day to waking up at 6am every morning. I have never had so many new experiences on one trip than I did on this one. I look back at one particular moment during the trip where we walked and explored our neighborhood. I realized that was the moment where I began to inhale and breathe in the excitement of being away from home and the potential for adventure. The person who I was when I was boarding the plane to Peru was not going to be the same person who 3 weeks later would be leaving it. Our service project was to dig the foundations for a fish farm in the rural community of Mayrasco just outside of Cuzco. The work was hard and physically demanding but our mighty group of 19 banded together and helped as well as encouraged each other constantly. We always had an afternoon activity to look forward to that presented us with new and unique cultural experiences. The staff was friendly, funny, and all around amazing people who were passionate about helping us have the most immersive and educational experiences possible. My favorite part of the trip was the trek into the Andes mountains at the end. I have never hiked in such a beautiful and remote environment and I was so happy to be doing it with my Peruvian family. The hardest part was leaving but our group decided that this wasn't going to be goodbye. It was an until next time, until our next journey. I highly recommend this program to anyone looking for pure adventure, perspective, life-changing experiences, and a whole lot of fun with amazing people. I hold the memories of my trip and the people I meet along the way forever in my heart. I am very thankful for this adventure and everything it has taught me. And with that, until next time GLA!

14 Day Global Health Initiative - Dominican Republic

14 Day Global Health Initiative - Dominican Republic

5
Reviewed on 8/25/2016 by

My trip to the Dominican Republic with Global Leadership Adventures was simply spectacular. I signed up thinking I would go there and learn one thing, but when I got there I learned about things I never even knew were problems around the world. I want to begin by talking about the Dominican culture. Everything is more relaxed than in the United States and the people are more easy going with a strong sense of community. Even though in the beginning no one knew how building houses and playgrounds affected global health, we all left there feeling as if we truly had impacted the way of life of a Dominican. While there, everyone that came on the trip instantly bonded and become friends. On this trip I made friends that I hope to someday meet up with again and discuss the impact that this trip left on our lives. You also become very close with your mentors who teach you so much about global health, leadership, Spanish, and so much more. The mentors are awesome and I'm so glad they were nice enough to share their wisdom with us. This whole trip was extremely exciting and I learned the most amount of information relevant to what I want to do in the future in those 14 days. The experience was so life changing that by day 13 you still have not accepted the fact that you need to go back to a culture so much different than the one you've grown accustomed to in these 2 weeks.

Amazon Service Project - Peru

Amazon Service Project - Peru

5
Reviewed on 8/25/2016 by

This trip to Peru was the most amazing experience of my life. Peru... What a different world down there. The Amazon Rainforest is the most incredible place I have ever been to. It's one of the most bio-diverse places in the world that also takes credit for producing about 20% of the Earth's Oxygen. I saw so many amazing things including sloths, monkeys, frogs, snakes, and a lot of weird bugs. As a group we did a lot of community service in the Amazon. We worked a lot with the Santa Cruz community, which is comprised of a primary school, secondary school, and facilities for the teachers. Some of the service included constructing a new kitchen for the school, which involved mixing concrete, shoveling, and a lot more physical labor. We also brought in trashcans into the community and painted them with the children of the primary school and I assumed the leadership role of managing a team to present a lesson to the kids about the importance of throwing trash away in the trashcan. We also taught the older kids how to speak some phrases in English along with overall bonding with the community through fun activities. The kids at the community were so amazing to interact with and talk to. Service that we did outside of the Santa Cruz Community involved planting trees in deforested areas of the Amazon. We also bagged and nurtured growing trees that will eventually be planted Santa Cruz Forest Reserve. All in all, I learned so much about the culture of Peru, the other student and staff on the trip, but most importantly I learned a lot about myself and what I want to do with my life. The service in the Amazon was an amazing experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Thank you GLA!

Animal Rescue Project to Costa Rica

Animal Rescue Project to Costa Rica

5
Reviewed on 8/22/2016 by

I went on the Animal Rescue Project to Costa Rica this summer, and at age 15 having never left the country you can say that both my parents and I were more than a little nervous. Though I can assure you that the experience was more then worth it. I've been home for more than a month and I'm still not sure I've been able to talk about everything that I got to do there. The culture in Costa Rica is so much more laid back then what most of us were used to. The best way that I know to describe it is Pura Vida, which roughly translates to seize the moment, you only live once, or make the most of today. Though we say all of these things in the U.S. it's more then just a saying in Costa Rica it's a lifestyle. You say you'll be somewhere at 3, and you show up at 3:45, no big deal. I mean the cow needed to be milked, or their was a herd of cows crossing the street; which actually did happen. But nobody gets upset, they just roll with it and go on with their lives, no need to stress about it right? We got to work at animal rescues, building monkey playgrounds, cement stairs, helping out on a turtle conservation project. Visiting with the locals and participating in what they call Cafecito, learning to make bread, taking dance classes, and even going claiming. On the weekends we went on adventures from zip lining to horseback riding on the beach, to stand up paddle boarding and surfing. Though more then any of that my favorite part of the trip was the amazing friendships. Everyone was completely different but we still managed to have a least a hundred inside jokes, and impromptu karaoke sessions on the bus rides. Living with 20 other teenagers might seem like a challenge but for me personally I had a harder time adjusting to living without them when I got home.

GLA Galapagos: Preserving Natures Wonders

GLA Galapagos: Preserving Natures Wonders

5
Reviewed on 8/21/2016 by

My GLA experience was absolutely incredible and exceeded any expectation I had going into the program. I really wanted to make a difference, I really wanted to go to a brand new place, and I really wanted to experience something new. The only worries I had were about traveling abroad alone for the first time! Once I got on my flight, all the worries flew out the window and before I knew it I was in Ecuador meeting with my mentors. My group had 15 teens (including me), 2 adult mentors, and 3 nature guides. I really wanted to work, volunteer, and make a difference. It was exhausting yet so rewarding to be in such a beautiful place with such amazing people. I am so fortunate and lucky to have had such an amazing GLA group. All of us bonded extremely quickly and truly cared about one another as if we were family. When applying to GLA, you have to keep in mind this is more than an adventure program. You are going knowing that you will participate in hours of community service, which is the most rewarding part. The hardest part was leaving. I made incredible memories and met some truly remarkable people that I will remember for the rest of my life! This program also helped me realize my true passions in life and what I want to do in the future. I will definitely be applying for ANOTHER GLA trip next summer.

Ghana: Children of Africa

Ghana: Children of Africa

5
Reviewed on 8/19/2016 by

This trip was truly life changing. I loved everything about it from beginning to end. The people were awesome, the kids even better, and it was a truly enriching cultural experience in addition to being a valued service project.

GLA India: Discovering a New World

GLA India: Discovering a New World

5
Reviewed on 8/19/2016 by

To generically say that my service trip to India this past summer was amazing is a pathetic attempt to truly capture my feelings about my experience. Never had I had such an experience over the past three weeks: from the emotional lows of being in a hospital after having a stomach illness (it's not as bad as it seems - the staff takes care of you really well) and the sluggishness of the 23 hours on the plane (no joke) to the fulfilling feelings I had every day because of the treks exploring the local cultures and just having fun with the kids. Each day presented a new opportunity for adventure: from creating and organizing what games to play with the children, seeing local temples, or shopping in the Tibetan market of McLeod Ganj, every day was filled with meaning and excitement. The staff are always knowledgeable, funny, and some of the nicest people you will ever meet. When people ask me how my trip was, I have trouble. How am I supposed to summarize possibly the best three weeks of my life? Not only have I become more aware of global affairs and interests, but this program has deepened my love to learn new things, deepened my love to meet new peoples and cultures, and deepened my understanding about how my actions ultimately affect the world. From this program I have been able to look at my surrounding circumstances in a new mindset. The most important lesson that I think this program has taught me is this: even in heartbreaking conditions, in the poorest of areas, in the most disadvantaged parts of the world where cell reception is more common than clean, running water and where trash cans are the streets, people still to find genuine happiness through each other. The memories I have of my GLA trip, of the people I met, of the cultures that I encountered: I will have these for the rest of my life. I can say pretty surely that I will come back to India one day, whether it be in two years or in thirty. I know I was hesitant in the beginning to go to a country clear across the world with perfect strangers; call me crazy. But hey, aren't we all a little crazy sometimes? It's taking that leap that will change your life; it certainly changed mine.

Global Leadership Adventures: Heart & Soul of Africa - 2 Week Program

Global Leadership Adventures: Heart & Soul of Africa - 2 Week Program

5
Reviewed on 6/12/2016 by

In June 2015, I went on the GLA Heart & Soul of Africa trip in Arusha, Tanzania. These two weeks were honestly the best and most rewarding weeks of my life. I learned and personally got to experience Tanzania culture - from eating food to speaking in Swahili to the locals, I gained so much valuable insight and knowledge into not just a different culture but a different world as well. In two weeks, I experienced so many things - painting traditional African batik paintings, hiking the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro, cooking plantain soup, teaching primary school kids, exploring the wild outdoors through the safari weekend at Ngorongoro Crater and Tarangire National Park, and so much more. To parents who are interested in sending their kids to a volunteer program or students who are interested in going, I highly recommend not just Global Leadership Adventures but the Heart & Soul of Africa trip as well, as they make sure you are comfortable and safe during the whole trip while also providing you with the culture and experience of that country you are visiting. A helpful tip to anyone going on a trip like this: keep an open mind! Don't shy away from any activities! You are probably already outside your comfort zone just by flying to another country, but try to have an open mind to make sure that you make the most of the trip and your time in Tanzania!

GLA Tanzania still has such a big impact on my life

GLA Tanzania still has such a big impact on my life

5
Reviewed on 5/31/2016 by

I had no clue what to expect going into the trip because though I made sure I knew as much about Tanzania as I could, I did not look into other programs like GLA. I reaally lucked out in that I picked GLA. Not only was I completely immersed in the culture of Tanzania and actually helping the community I was staying in (GLA works very closely with community leaders to make sure we as volunteers are part of a bigger, positively impactful project), but we talked about our experiences as a group. At the end of the day we would share our thoughts and connect it to things back home, which I felt made the experience cool but really meaningful as well. Not to mention we had the GREATEST group and mentors. Everybody is so unique and the mentors are more like responsible friends than disconnected chaperones.

The Land of Smiles

The Land of Smiles

5
Reviewed on 5/24/2016 by

Thailand is coined the "The Land of Smiles," and with smiles also came many laughs and tears too. The respect for their culture is one like no other, and the traditions they have in Thailand are upheld by all citizens. They have a devote appreciation for Buddhism and their King and Queen. They dress conseratively, talk kindly, and live a happy and peaceful life. Growing up on Long Island, NY, I have never been to a country like this. They appreciate everything life has to offer - including animals, especially elephants. Elephants were one of the key points that drew me to the program. I had the opportunity to bathe an elephant, and also ride one. I will never forget the tears that came with this special moment, because I had never seen an elephant in my life; yet they were my favorite animal. Aside from working with elephants, we also taught English and worked at an orphange. I had never imagined teaching first grade English in a foreign country in my life, yet, I had the opporunity to do so for a week. We were able to create special bonds with the children there, and leave making an impact on their English speaking and writing abilities. At the orphange, we painted the housing buildings a new color to make the center look nicer. I did not think though, that I would leave creating a bond with a child that would lead me to still pen-pal him to this day. While I was at the orphange, a little boy came up to me and immediately attached to me when we got there. Wherever I went, he went; wherever I painted, he painted also. It was like he was my little brother, but I knew he viewed me as a father-like figure since he had no parents. We played all the games together, ate the same food together - literally everything I did, he did as well; and I will never forget the moments we shared. Luckily, my friend had a polaroid camera with her, and on the second to last day we were there, we took two pictures and I wrote my name on his picture, and he wrote his name on my picture. When we were leaving on the last day, as the van pulled out of the driveway, he held up his picture of me at the gate. I bawled my eyes out for the next few hours. I still remember that moment so clearly, and I'll never forget it. To know I made an impact on his life, has forever impacted me. Besides doing community service, we also had the opporunity to go ziplining through the rain forest, kayaking, and take trips to local night bazaars. These were just some of the fun activities we did. Global Leadership Adventures, and the Cultural Kalediscope program in Thailand has forever changed my life, and my outlook on life. I'll never forget the three weeks I had spent creating bonds with children there, and creating new friends across the world.

It ROCKS!!!!

It ROCKS!!!!

5
Reviewed on 3/14/2016 by

The cool thing about GLA is that unlike some of the other volunteer abroad companies, GLA values in also allowing the students to have a say so in what they want to do, so on top of being an extremely organized program they also get the students involved by allowing them to lead their own programs, hence Global LEADERSHIP adventures smile emoticon. I had a great time in each of the locations (Costa Rica, Thailand, and India) that I've traveled with them to, definitely would suggest them to people.

Global Leadership Adventures is amazing!!

Global Leadership Adventures is amazing!!

5
Reviewed on 1/16/2016 by

I went on a 2 week trip to Costa Rica through Global Leadership Adventures that was so much fun and so meaningful to myself, the other kids on my trip, out mentors, and the community. Global Leadership Adventures provides an awesome balance between passionate and fun service work and exciting activities that really immerse you in a new culture. GLA provides trips of a lifetime that left me with great friends, great memories, new world experience, and new passions. You will absolutely not regret a trip with Global Leadership Adventures; it will be one of the best experiences of your life!

Global Leadership Adventures Ghana : Children of Africa

Global Leadership Adventures Ghana : Children of Africa

5
Reviewed on 1/16/2016 by

I truly wish there were words to adequately describe just how incredible my 3 week trip to Ghana with Global Leadership Adventures was. It was without a doubt the best 21 days of my life. The experience will change students more than they could ever imagine and they will without a doubt never be the same. My expectations going into the trip were extremely high, but they were more than surpassed. Everything about it was seemingly perfect - the service (teaching & building bricks), cultural activities, housing, food, and workshops. The relationships built are lifelong relationships- the mentors were insightful and more personable than I can describe and the bonds formed with them and especially with the other students are unique in the best way possible. Our group became a family very quickly and to this day they are still some of my greatest friends. I cannot emphasize enough how highly I would recommend a GLA trip. The growth that takes place inside of every single person is unimaginable until one actually experiences it. Never once did I feel unsafe or uncared for. Every high school student NEEDS this experience (although you might not realize it beforehand).

Time of my life!

Time of my life!

5
Reviewed on 12/3/2015 by

Hi all! I am a Global Leadership Adventures Alumni and I had an amazing time in Peru, this past summer! I really recommend GLA! The housing experience was great! GLA Peru rented out a hotel in Cusco, for both the 2 week and the 3 week groups. I felt very safe there! I had never been to Peru, so I felt that by being there I grew, a lot! I understood much of their culture and what their lifestyles are like. The program staff were very supportive! I felt that I was able to talk to them about whatever I needed, or if I was frustrated with other students! Overall I recommend GLA to all High School age students.

Thailand Cultural Kaleidoscope and Ghana Children of Africa

Thailand Cultural Kaleidoscope and Ghana Children of Africa

5
Reviewed on 11/27/2015 by

For the past 2 summers, I went with Global Leadership Adventures and traveled to Thailand and Ghana and had absolutely amazing times on each trip. In Thailand I learned a lot about the culture and went on several adventures. We rode elephants, went zip lining, kayaking, biking, and even rode on a bamboo raft. We cooked, learned a traditional Thai dance, and even a few words of Thai to use at the markets. We volunteered at an orphanage and a home for women as well. In Ghana, we became very close to the community we lived in. Every morning we would teach and make bricks for a library, and in the afternoons we would play with the children at "The Park". In the evenings we would learn about the Ghanaian culture through songs, dancing, music, and stories. Both trips were phenomenal and I would recommend everyone who is interested in going on a trip to do so, because you won't regret it.

Tanzania 2015

Tanzania 2015

5
Reviewed on 11/21/2015 by

Jambo (hello) everyone! I'm Jennah, a junior in high school, and last summer i went on the most amazing trip with Global Leadership Adventures. I traveled to Tanzania and for three weeks, I spent my time teaching students English, immersing myself in African culture and learning things that i never knew existed before the trip. GLA provided so many great opportunities to dive deep into their culture and I loved every single activity that they had planned out for us! Because i went on the three week program, we were able to go to a Masai village one weekend, a safari the other, and climb the base of Mount Kilimanjaro! I made so many great friends and was able to create so many phenomenal memories from all that we did. Every aspect of the trip opened my eyes up to all that the world has to offer, and it really made me appreciate that diversity of the world we live in. It was an absolutely mind blowing experience. I think about my time in Tanzania every single day- not a day goes by that i don't miss it. I recommend this program so so so much- you will never regret a trip with GLA. When i first was looking at trips to go on and tour groups to go with, i came upon a lot. It was a hard decision to decide where to put my money, but i'm so thankful that i chose GLA. Their stress on cultural immersion was very appreciated while i was on the trip- we were able to walk around the town we stayed in with host families and i learned so much from it. I learned so many new things while on my trip that changed my view on the world and its people. I couldn't be more grateful to GLA and all its amazing staff. Nakupenda (i love you) Tanzania and Asante Sana ( thank you very much) Global Leadership Adventures :) here is the link to the site I made that highlights my time in Africa: http://jennahlandgraf.wix.com/tanzania

Dominican Republic Trip

Dominican Republic Trip

5
Reviewed on 10/8/2015 by

This past summer, I spent three wonderful weeks participating in the Building a Sustainable World program in the sunny Dominican Republic. This program shaped my life positively in so many ways. I came into this program with high expectations since I had already gone on another GLA program in Peru two summers back, and I can say with certainty, every single expectation was met and greatly exceeded. Each day spent in the Dominican Republic was utilized to its maximum potential, by either doing service, adventuring, or learning about the political/environment of the Dominican Republic. Service wise, this trip was eye opening. My group did a variety of hands on service projects in multiple communities, with the overarching theme of sustainability guiding us the entire time. We cemented floors, fixed the roof of a water tank, helped add to two bottle clinics, and planted trees. The best part of these projects was working with the communities and community leaders, and learning how to interact and create the best long term solutions for people as possible. After a long day of working hard, it was wonderful to come home to a warm ocean, and to go swimming for an hour or so. In the nighttime, we had 2 hour classes that focused on leadership and human security. These were probably the most informative classes I have ever taken, and they helped me to get a more educative global view. When we weren’t spending our days working, our program was adventuring! We jumped off waterfalls, ziplined into lagoons, and went snorkeling along the reefs. We also took a three day trip to Santo Domingo, learning about the city’s culture, and examining the beauty and history of the DR. After this trip, I realized my true passion in life was helping in foreign countries. After being exposed to all these wonderful opportunities and experiences, I decided to major in International Relations in college, with a focus on Latin America. I still stay in touch with my mentors from my trip, and with all my fellow groupmates as well. My Dominican trip left me with life long friends, I become more informed about politics and the environment, and most importantly of all, I gained with a new perspective on life. Because I loved this trip so much, I plan on going back as a returnee next summer. I would recommend this trip to everyone, for it is genuinely life changing and the best experience I’ve had in my lifetime.

My Trip To the Dominican Republic

My Trip To the Dominican Republic

5
Reviewed on 10/4/2015 by

Never will I forget the twenty one days I spent with GLA in the Dominican Republic. Not only was I immersed in a beautiful place but I was surround by the vibrant culture. We got to stay in breathtaking bungalos steps from the beach. I was also lucky enough to meet friends that will last a lifetime. Each day was packed with learning from how to cement a floor to thoughts and ideas for making our community more sustainable. There was excellent guidance by our leaders trust, and friendships formed with all of them. Some of my favorite days consisted of mixing cement in small dominican communities. There were no power tools so everything was done by hand, and there was a great amount of help within the communities themselves. Surrounded by the men, women, and children of the communities we shared laughs and stories during our lunch breaks. One of the days we got to travel to a beautiful tropical lagoon. There we got to zip line and cliff jump! It was a blast and at the end of our swimming we had an intense volleyball game with some of the locals. I will never forget the people I met in the Dominican Republic, their stories, laughs, and friendships are forever with me. My trip was an experience of a lifetime and one that everyone should experience.

The Costa Rica Trip

The Costa Rica Trip

5
Reviewed on 9/28/2015 by

The Costa Rica Spanish Service was one of the most authentic and adventurous experiences that I have ever had. For two weeks, we stayed in Rancho Quemado, a remote village located in the Osa Peninsula which compromises 2.5% of the world's natural biodiversity. That basically means that you found every insect and every plant in one small valley. We were not only encircled by the most bizarre bugs, but by 250 soccer loving , sustainably focused, environmentally conscious Costa Ricans. The people were like family, the bugs, not so much. Every morning we woke up in our home base , I greeted our lovely hostesses with my minimal Spanish, which improved immensely each day. We then either walked across the village in a shower of warm rain, or humid sun. We received welcoming shouts of laughter from local villagers, and after two days I practically knew every GLA participant, so the feeling of homesickness escaped me completely. As someone that loves traveling I now know the difference between visiting a place, and becoming part of it. I thought that the GLA experience would be helping a community and sure, on the way there we would make some friends. I was wrong, the community helped us, we made inseparable bonds between people that I would never have met, and who now I have the honor to know. My fondest memories are zip lining, swimming, snorkeling on an island that could have been Jurassic World, playing soccer with the locals, making necklaces, horse riding, gold mining, the list goes on. Every day we had to give a highlight and a downer, I can honestly say that the highlights outnumbered the downers at all times. The last day in Rancho Quemado was the most emotional, for everyone. I realized that I had actually made a difference. We painted a library, built a basketball court, raked a one mile trail in a tropical forest. Once again the experiences are endless. All I can say is that the Costa Rica service has changed me as an individual, I have this connection with a group of people in a country completely different from my own. I hope that I can see them again. As always- Pura Vida!

GLA Ghana: Building Healthy Villages

GLA Ghana: Building Healthy Villages

5
Reviewed on 8/28/2015 by

I had the the most incredible experience in Ghana this summer building an eco-compost toilet for a local village. I met some of the most amazing people and spent two weeks feeling so genuinely welcomed. Every morning you wake up and head over to the work site until lunch time and then you spend the rest of the day being immersed in the culture; visiting a slave fort, going to a local market, making fabrics, etc. The culture is so vibrant and anywhere you go you are welcomed and even thanked for your service to the community. Every day at the work site children come to watch and play and keep a smile on your face while working hard. It feels so gratifying when you finish a compost toilet and have the opening ceremony and you realize how many lives you have changed and benefitted. I made the most amazing friends on this trip, both students and local people. This experience absolutely changed my life and know it chanaged many other peoples lives in Ghana as well! I hope anyone who is considering going on this trip goes for it- you will be so happy that you did! Ghana is an incredible place and this service project is so important. I had so much fun and learned more than I ever could've imagined. This is definetely the right program to spend some of your summer with!!

My GLA Children of Africa Trip.

My GLA Children of Africa Trip.

5
Reviewed on 8/28/2015 by

This summer I spent 3 weeks apart of the Children of Africa trip in Ghana. I was in a group of six other teenagers from across the United States and China. The seven of us spent 21 days making bricks, playing with the neighborhood kids, and teaching primary students in the local school 5 days a week. So on a more personal note I can tell you that this program was exactly what I was looking for! I have always loved traveling and I love working with kids; so being able to work with kids AND travel at the same time was a match made in heaven. I have never travelled alone without knowing anyone so I definitely was nervous. But once arrived at home base and met the neighborhood kids and the rest of the staff I instantly felt at home. All of the staff involved in this program are so passionate about the work they're doing and about the people living in Angloga. We built deep connections with the staff, the support staff, and with the kids we played with and taught. Our small group of seven was extremely close with each other and with the staff and I think part of why we're so close is because of the passions we all share. We are all travelers and we all understand and see how blessed we are to be able to travel, which is such a passion of ours. Not only did I learn so much abou Ghana, its food, its culture and its art culture; but we also learned an incredible amount about ourselves, each other, and about leadership. And how to become a better leader. This trip was such a life changing trip for me and deciding to go on this trip was probably the greatest decision I have ever made. One of my favorite memories from my trip was on our final day teaching we had a drum and dance party with our students as a farewell. I recommend if you have any questions about Children of Africa contact me, GLA itself, or go to GLA's Facebook page or the children of Africa Facebook page. We will all be more than happy to share our stories and answer any questions you might have!

Service in the Sacred Valley

Service in the Sacred Valley

5
Reviewed on 6/13/2015 by

I traveled to Peru for 3 weeks last summer with Global Leadership Adventures and was completely blown away by the experience. I hadn't done a trip without knowing anyone going into it, so I came into the experience more than a little nervous and wary. But GLA exceeded all of my expectations. I felt completely safe and secure at every moment, and that was a big deal to me. The accommodations on the trip were great and the mentors on the trip were absolutely fantastic. Right from the start, I felt welcomed and supported, and as the trip went on I only grew more in awe of how cool they were. The other great aspect was they really take leadership, adventure, and cultural immersion into account, almost as much as they do meaningful service work. Yet the other students were what made my trip truly exceptional. Before the trip, my friend who had done GLA Costa Rica told me that GLA attracts really cool people and I was going to make some really great friends, and that proved so true. Somehow I was lucky enough to get to explore Peru with 30 of the coolest, nicest, funniest people I had ever met. Lasting friendships just formed instantly and I'm so grateful for the friends I made on my trip. As I look at my opportunities in the future, I really don't know how anything could top my trip with GLA last summer, and as I look back on my time in Peru, I wish every day that I could go back and relive it over and over again. Peru is breath-taking and life-changing and I highly recommend this program to everyone, yet no matter what GLA program you choose, I promise you won't regret going!

Spanish Service Adventure for Global Leadership Adventures

Spanish Service Adventure for Global Leadership Adventures

5
Reviewed on 5/9/2015 by

Over the summer, I went to Costa Rica with Global Leadership Adventures (GLA) on the Spanish Service Adventure and I can easily say it was one of the best, if not the best, experiences of my life. I know that sounds really cheesy, but I don't simply throw that term around so I hope you believe me when I say that this program is truly a remarkable experience that everyone I know thoroughly enjoyed. Even though there's no succinct way to truly sum up the program, some of the most memorable parts and definite benefits include the development of everlasting relationships and friendships (friends from all over the world, the mentors genuinely take care of you and support you throughout the entire trip, and the community members are extremely warm and welcoming), volunteer work (although it may be hard work, it definitely pays off in the end -- the smile on the community members when the job is done is reward enough), fun excursions (I had my first surfing lesson, went whitewater rafting, repelled from a tall tree, went zipling, and swung through the jungle on a "Tarzan swing"), and a true development of Spanish skills. In general, I hope that you thoroughly consider GLA as a potential possibility for your summer trip because it was such a wonderful and rewarding experience that I encourage you to embark on. :)

I was a part of ...

I was a part of ...

5
Reviewed on 12/30/2014 by

I was a part of the Children of Africa program in Ghana with GLA this past summer, and I can honestly say this program was exactly what I was looking for. Both the local and international staff made our well-being their top priority, and were incredibly caring to every student. We were broken up into personalized "mentor groups" to process our experience, undergoing many reflective leadership and teambuilding activities to supplement our service projects in primary schools and the local clinic. Mentors became our friends, our role models, and our educators, and their guidance through this eye opening experience is something I can't write enough praise about. This was not the typical "high school travel" program; everyone came with a purpose, and we were able to come together to work towards a beautiful goal as a family. We were able to live WITH the people in the middle of a community, rather than just being ambiguous American volunteers detached from the local people. I never once felt unsafe or worried while in Ghana; GLA made sure all of the students felt comfortable when embarking on this off the map experience in a developing country. I can't say enough about how much I fell in love with Ghana and our little community in Anloga. Going on this journey is something every teenager should do if they have the chance to. While these types of teen service experiences are offered by many programs, GLA Ghana shows excellence in responsible voluntourism for high schoolers, working with the community to make a difference in some small way by educating students in development work and Ghanaian culture. This program is incredible, and GLA helps you every step of the way. I could say so much more about the program and my unforgettable memories, but every single student will take away something different and indescribably special from this experience on their own. If anyone has any questions, check out the GLA Ghana Facebook page to get in touch with alumni like me and see all the wonderful resources GLA makes available. Thank you!

I did the 10 day ...

I did the 10 day ...

5
Reviewed on 12/21/2014 by

I did the 10 day beachside service adventure in the Dominican Republic this summer and it was definitely one of, if not the, best experiences of my life. Everything about my trip was amazing, the unbelievably important work , crazy adventurous things we did, the wonderful staff/ mentors, everything. We helped build the biggest bottle school in the world, planted hundreds of trees, interacted with the local communities, went zip-lining and cliff jumping into gorgeous waters and so much more. I wouldn't change anything about my time down there except for making it longer. I think it's an essential experience for us young people to go out and experience other, less privileged lifestyles and get a real sense of what's going on in the world first-hand and I don't think there's a better way to do that than with Global Leadership Adventures. I would highly recommend this, or any Global Leadership Adventures trip, I'll be on another one to Thailand this summer.

Last summer I went with ...

Last summer I went with ...

5
Reviewed on 12/9/2014 by

Last summer I went with Global Leadership Adventures to the Dominican Republic. I can say without a doubt that it was the most life changing experience I've ever had- I still think about my time spent there everyday. Global Leadership Adventures is a perfect mix of service and adventure. we spent six days at service sites and two days spent having pure fun. We went to three different villages. In Caraballo, we worked on building a bottle school; in Las Canas, we worked on building the bottle clinic; and in La Grua, we picked up trash, implemented water filters, and spent time playing with the kids. For fun, we went to Dudu Lagoon where we got to zipline into a freshwater lagoon. We also went to Sosua the last day so we got to do a little tourist shopping to get trinkets for our families and we also went snorkeling. The best part for me was playing with the kids. At each site, the kids were so welcoming to us and just craved our attention. At La Grua, I spent half the day just giving this one little girl piggie-back rides and spinning her around in circles until her feet lifted off the ground! I can't imagine going on this kind of trip with anyone but GLA; the staff was so amazing and friendly and I felt safe and welcomed at all time. I highly recommend going if you get the chance!

Last summer I went with ...

Last summer I went with ...

5
Reviewed on 12/4/2014 by

Last summer I went with Global Leadership Adventures to the Dominican Republic. I can say without a doubt that it was the most life changing experience I've ever had- I still think about my time spent there everyday. Global Leadership Adventures is a perfect mix of service and adventure. we spent six days at service sites and two days spent having pure fun. We went to three different villages. In Caraballo, we worked on building a bottle school; in Las Canas, we worked on building the bottle clinic; and in La Grua, we picked up trash, implemented water filters, and spent time playing with the kids. For fun, we went to Dudu Lagoon where we got to zipline into a freshwater lagoon. We also went to Sosua the last day so we got to do a little tourist shopping to get trinkets for our families and we also went snorkeling. The best part for me was playing with the kids. At each site, the kids were so welcoming to us and just craved our attention. At La Grua, I spent half the day just giving this one little girl piggie-back rides and spinning her around in circles until her feet lifted off the ground! I can't imagine going on this kind of trip with anyone but GLA; the staff was so amazing and friendly and I felt safe and welcomed at all time. I highly recommend going if you get the chance!

I loved my trip to ...

I loved my trip to ...

5
Reviewed on 11/25/2014 by

I loved my trip to Ghana. I have been on three Global Leadership Adventure trips and I feel they are some of the greatest experiences I have had in high school. They have all allowed me to grow as a leader and as an individual. All Global Leadership programs focus on instilling leadership and training students on leadership skills. This has helped me a lot in life and has helped me become a leader back at home. Global Leadership Adventures also teaches you to have your own perspective. They teach you that it is important to be an aware citizen of the world and know what is happening. They teach you to question what is important in life. Additionally, through this program I found a passion for service and helping people that I feel has helped me decide what I want to do with my future. The GLA Ghana trip was an especially amazing trip. We lived in a small village that was extremely safe in a small hostel-like hotel. The local staff was very informed and was able to teach and explain about all aspects of Ghanian culture. The international staff was very encouraging and affectionate; by the end we all became just like family. Every morning we would wake up early to go to breakfast only to be greeted by a bunch of local children ready to play (the food was amazing by the way). Afterwards we would go to service. At my site we helped make cement blocks for a new local library and taught at a school. This service was so much fun and was extremely rewarding. Everyday we would get to service and kids would be waiting there with hugs for us. We would learn games and songs and teach classes all by ourselves. Outside of service we did a lot to fully immerse ourselves into Ghanian culture. We took island tours, had a cooking class, an ewei class (local language), had host families, visited a slave fort, went to a local market, among many other things. Every night we would also have lessons, guest speakers, and discussions that served to make us think and educate us on issues both in Ghana and the world around us. My trip to Ghana was extremely rewarding and amazing. It was very busy and very educational. It was full of love and full of life. As a senior it has helped me direct where I want to go in life and what I want with my future.

Global Leadership Adventures is an ...

Global Leadership Adventures is an ...

5
Reviewed on 1/12/2014 by

Global Leadership Adventures is an amazing program for service, adventure, and exploration. I went to Peru in the summer of 2013, and I felt very appreciated by the community we were working with after 3 weeks helping them build a greenhouse for their community. Throughout the trip, we were able to explore Peru where most tourists would never go, like hidden ruins and the homes of farmers in rural Cusco. Lastly, camping trips and rafting trips made me appreciate the beauty of the Andes and discover a new passion for nature.At the end of the trip, I felt inspired to continue to be a leader for change and development for this world.

I would definitely recommend this ...

I would definitely recommend this ...

5
Reviewed on 1/3/2014 by

I would definitely recommend this organization to any teen searching to use their summer break to discover their potential in changing the world and impacting the lives of many. Not only do GLA participants have the opportunity to learn about themselves through service, they get to build long-lasting frienships and experience a foreign country in ways in which they never would have on a family vacation.

Global Leadership Adventures is an ...

Global Leadership Adventures is an ...

5
Reviewed on 11/15/2013 by

Global Leadership Adventures is an amazing program. They continuously do an amazing job with providing a fun learning experience that immerses students into the culture of foreign countries. In 2012 I went to the Galapagos with GLA for 2 weeks and last summer I went to Thailand for 3 weeks. My family keeps sending me back because of the amazing experience GLA provides. Everything is extremely safe; The staff is professional, the home base is beautiful, and all the activities are carefully planned out and monitored. I was even able to call home whenever I wanted. GLA does a great job by keeping students busy at all times. I would never be able to see and do this much in a foreign country if I was on a family vacation. In addition, GLA provides opportunities a typical tourist would not have. For example in Thailand we attended a Thai boxing class, ate mother's day lunch with our driver's family, and helped our driver's neighbors plant rice in their rice fields. All in all Global Leadership provides a great and amazing experiencing for those teens who are willing to step out of their comfort zones and in addition volunteer in a community.

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