Summer Volunteer Program in India: Photojournalism

Video and Photos

Program Highlight!

A full spectrum of Chinese adventure awaits, as complex as the country itself. Hike the Great Wall of China and experience Mandarin immersion and language classes on our China: Mandarin Service Adventure program!


Capture the stories of a great civilization, from Himalayan societies to the stunning Taj Mahal. As you take in Dharamsala’s diverse scenery and faces through photojournalism, give back to this community that faces challenges around education and quality of life - spend time at a local daycare center where teachers and staff run their establishments with minimal resources.

Program Highlights:
- Volunteer with children in rural communities and be encouraged to find “the real story”
- Learn the ethics of putting humanity before photography
- See the Taj Mahal

Questions & Answers


based on 8 reviews
  • Growth 8.8
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 8.9
  • Housing 8.1
  • Safety 9.1
Showing 1 - 8 of 8
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In Search for Chai

One of the most meaningful experiences for me, although it might seem like a simple act of kindness, was when one of my mentors on the trip decided to help me find all the ingredients needed to make Chai. I had mentioned to him in the second week of the trip that I really wanted to get all the ingredients to make Chai before I returned home, and I hadn't mentioned it again. Then came the last week of the trip and we went to the markets to get our last minute gifts. I had believed that he had completely forgotten about my favor, but instead he found me in the marketplace and went to each of the little shops making sure that I got everything and making sure that I wasn't being ripped off. While this seems small it meant a lot to me and it definitely exemplifies how dedicated the mentors are to their students.

How can this program be improved?
I think the way this program could be improved, is to have a little more patience with the students and allow them to explore the country a little more.
Yes, I recommend this program
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India Is An Inspiration

I absolutely love this trip to India; it made this summer the best summer ever. The whole schedule was really well developed. It was very packed everyday but it didn't make me feel overwhelmed. The idea of leadership was being carried out all the time.

Every morning, we would go to our placement. I was worrying about whether there would be too many people doing one single thing; however, the mentors kept each placement under six people. I chose to be a sports camp, and my team had only six people. Everyone had to contribute something; no one could sit there and do nothing. Every night, our mentor would discuss about the lesson plan with us. The first few days, my team was a little bit unorganized, but we put a tons of effort into collaborating with each other. I learnt so much about team work through out this experience.

Lunch and dinner were always my favorite part of the day. Our mentor Elise put so much effort into the meals. Everyday, we would have one western meal and one Hindu meal. We built a strong connection between the kitchen guys; they really cared about what we eat and our favor. In free time, me and my dorm mates loved to visit them and watch them cook. They would teach us about different spices and how to make good chai.

In the afternoon, we would go explore Dharmasala. The local mentors dig deep into this town and let us experience the culture in numerous ways. We visited a philosopher, who mind-blowed me and is still in contact with me, Dalai Lama's temple, a local feminist, a animal shelter, a fair-trade business, a Tibet medicine factory. I would never have chances to go to these exotic places and meet those amazing people on a normal trip.

Overall, this trip is definitely a five-star trip. I definitely want to go back.

How can this program be improved?
I wish doing laundry can be easier at the home base.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Excellant Experience

I spent a total of five weeks abroad with Global Leadership Adventures, three of which were in India. After many pros & cons lists I decided that Global Leadership Adventures was the company for me, and I've never regretted it. Even while walking (more climbing) up and down the steep roads of the Himalayas, I still loved every minute of the trip, and felt as though it was totally worth it. The service opportunities to work with the kids in the local schools were amazing, and we got to spend a lot of time doing it. Saying goodbye to the kids I worked with was easily the hardest part of the trip and I hope to return to India some day.

GLA provided a wonderful support system while preparing to leave, and the mentors on the trip were amazing. I would definitely recommend Global Leadership Adventures to anyone who wanted to do service abroad while simultaneously learning about different cultures.

How can this program be improved?
Towards the end of the trip, there was a lot of traveling. We spent upwards of 20 hours in a van in under two days, which was soon followed by a plane ride. The reason we drove so much was to visit the Taj Mahal, so it was worth it, but it probably would have been better if the Taj visit was at the beginning of the trip, as many of us were already pretty tired by the end. But otherwise I loved the trip and thought it was amazing.
Yes, I recommend this program
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India Expedition 2013

I traveled to India in the summer of 2013 for the 3 week long trip provided by Global Leadership Adventures. It was one of the most positive experiences I've ever been on and was incredibly safe from start to finish. I agree completely with the commentary in the other reviews. Having the chance to take on this expedition has not only developed who I am as a person today but the career path I choose to take in the future. It's an eye-opening cultural immersion, and I would not trade those memories for the world.

How can this program be improved?
If I had to change one thing it would be the limited financial assistance. I wish there was a greater opportunity to receive financial aid because many more students would be able to go on this program and enjoy this experience. However, the staff does offer great ideas for fundraising and provides a helpful fundraising packet to all volunteers.
Yes, I recommend this program
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More than volunteering

This program is very hands on. What I liked about the trip was that we not only volunteered in one place in India, but traveled to many places. I don’t want to give too much away but my favorite part was going on a camping type excursion and just playing cricket with the local kids and helping out the locals.

From my experience I can also say that the mentors were very flexible to what we wanted to do. I remember a few of us wanted to play some basketball with the locals and so someone took us up to the court to play with them.

Also, it is not only about volunteering, the program mentors also teach us leadership skills and encourage us to take part in global problems and solutions that could be implemented.

How can this program be improved?
Of course no program is perfect. The only thing that I did not like were the long bus rides. Then again, I cannot say this was that bad as it is also a part of the experience.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Kofi Boateng's Experience

Overall, my experience in India was great. But, of course, who wouldn't have enjoyed an opportunity to travel abroad and experience a totally different culture. Moreover, as a foreigner exploring India made things seem fascinating. I loved the fact that we got to spend time outdoors and really engaged ourselves within the local village (Kereri Village). However, I would have liked to have had a better knowledge on the Indian culture, so as to better understand the people and their experiences. I also would have liked to have established a personal relationship with the families that we were doing service work for; I think it would have made the work feel more meaningful.

The food was great, the staff even better because they were willing to answer any questions I would have, and provide further explantions. They were also very inviting. For example, I got to spend time with our cook for the camping part of my experience. He taught me how to make certain Indian cuisines, and through my time with him, I was able to better assess the cultural values of Indians, and that they are certainly no difference between an average person (only that there may be a language barrier).

The most inspirational and somewhat saddening part was really experiencing the poverty of the country. Since you are not really living there as a normal citizen would, it is hard to really grasp the intensity of the poverty level there, but to see children run up to your van, begging and asking, and even trying to sell you cheap balloons and toys would made anyone one sympathetic. These children often have no parents and must fend for's really sad.

We saw the Taj Mahal, got to spend time with children at a local day care center (though because of the color of my skin, I was looked upon differently, compared to the other students), toured an ancient ruin, got to shop at really good high fashioned stores, visited the Dalai Lama temple, were informed about the Tibetan/Indian crisis (in Dharamshala). There was so much to see and love, especially waking up to the sight of the Himalayan mountains pretty much next to your window. I even got a haircut for 80 rupees, equivalent to $1.51 USD, plus they gave me a head massage.

I felt that we sort of spent more time relaxing than actually immersing ourselves in the culture, as I would have liked. Yes, relaxing was very....relaxing, but I wanted to become apart of India, not just be there. With that said, I had a great time in India and it certainly felt like a home away from home. I truly felt connected to the country and was saddened to have to leave.

Oh, make sure to book the group flight on your way home, you would definitely want to be with the people you have made personal connections with; lets just say that it won't be easy saying goodbye.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Amazing Experience!

I went during the summer of 2011, and this trip is an incredible opportunity. Not only do you get a chance to glimpse at India's unique and beautiful culture, but work with wonderful organizations as well.
I feel that this trip opens the students' eyes to things they might not have known or ecperienced before.
Parents--the prorgam is very safe and you do not have to worry about your children. I got sick when I was in Dharamsala, and the GLA staff took care of me efficiently. Your kids will come home with a new global perspective and appreciation.

Yes, I recommend this program
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A Life-changer!

Enrolling with Global Leadership Adventures in India was the best three weeks I have ever experienced. It was packed with physical endurance, leadership sessions, teamwork, the committment to serve and help a community and lots of sightseeing. I made many friends across the globe and arrived home feeling enlightened and held new perspectives on the world.

In the first week, we hiked an enduring 12km from Dharamsala to Kareri Village, a small village located in the picture-esque Himalayas. The views were stunning and beautiful, seeing Himalayan mountains and little houses scattered across. Throughout the first week, we all were immersed in different community-service activities during each day: the physical labour of building a house, planting rice paddles, working in a children's day-care centre, and many more! Drinking Chai tea was delicious and replenishing, and we also ate a good vegetarian diet that consisted of: rice, chapati and lentils. Not to add we sampled the monsoon rain season, as it poured hard and made many huddle together in our tents, but was all good fun of the experience.

The second week was great fun too, as we helped assist The Mountain Cleaners, an NGO, whereby we learnt the environmental issues that India faces, and taught that to students and children. It was a gratifying, humbling experience when we were taught in great depth of what it means to be a leader, and learnt about the struggle of Tibetan independence.

Overall, the program was very safe and secure, and the Program Directors made sure we called our families when we arrived at the airport and plenty more times throughout the entire duration of the program. I became very attached to the place and the people, and it taught me the qualities of leadership, independence and happiness.

Yes, I recommend this program


About Global Leadership Adventures (GLA)

With a history and heritage in global education, Global Leadership Adventures packs our itineraries with leadership development, volunteering and the delight of taking learning off the beaten path. Our unique program design produces what many...