Alumni Spotlight: Anna Paskalides


Why did you choose this program?

A friend recommended Global Leadership Adventures to me. After reviewing the available programs and locations, I decided to go to Thailand. It was a culture I had never experienced before and a place I have always wanted to go.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

I funded most of the trip on my own, however, I received help with financial aid and scholarships that I applied for. They were very generous and a large part of me being able to follow through with this program.

GLA arranged my flight and coordinated travel with other volunteers. They were very helpful any time I had questions.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

It is real, everything you experience will stick with you. It is also short, so experience every minute you get to spend there. Be a sponge and soak up everything you can.

While there is nothing I would have done differently, my biggest regret is not living every moment while I was there and experiencing the culture to the fullest.

This was the best decision I could have made for myself and my future. I recommend this program to everyone because I mean it when I say it changed my life. I will always have a huge place in my heart dedicated to Thailand and the children I met.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

The average day is waking up early to the sunrise, breakfast at around 7:00 am followed by about 5 hours of service a day.

After lunch, Global Leadership Adventures follows up with either a cultural or adventurous afternoon activity. Dinner is at home-base, and then there are mentor groups to review what we learned that day.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear going into the trip was the fear of not knowing anyone. As I went on this trip alone, I was not sure if anyone else was doing the same. The minute I met the other volunteers in the airport, it felt like we had been friends for years. Now we are friends for life.